Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sorting through a bad loss

Not pretty. UConn self-destructed in the final 9 minutes and lost to a MAC team for the first time in eight years. Some good stuff from players in the post-game interviews.

  • Jordan Todman injured his elbow when he got his legs cut out from underneath near the sidelines, and came down hard as he tried to brace his fall. He said he was hurting, but wouldn't use that as an excuse for the key fumble. "Hurt, not hurt, my job is to hold onto the ball," Todman said. "I apologize to my team and all the Connecticut fans for that mistake."

  • Todman didn't fumble so much as have the ball yanked out of his hands. Edsall said it's noble for Todman to fight for every yard, but in that situation, with so many tacklers on you, it's better to go down. Not so simple, Todman said. "It got to the point where I was trying to get down, but it was hard," Todman said. "When there's two or three guys on you, you're trying to go down but they're holding you up."

  • No question Todman was hurt pretty badly. His arm was wrapped and taped tight, but at times you could see his arm was just hanging limply. "It wasn't as mobile as I wanted it to be, and there's not as much strength. But I'm not using that as an excuse." Speaking from my own experiences...seeing Todman falling the way he did, with that much force, often causes cracks of the radial head. I'm not saying Todman has a fracture, but it wouldn't surprise me.

  • Edsall spoke of a lack of execution and making plays, and said he didn't think his team was overconfident or lacking intensity. His players didn't necessarily agree. "We just didn't show up, I don't know what it was," defensive end Jesse Joseph said. "We played a good first half, we just didn't keep the momentum. Defense, offense, special teams too." Joseph said the fumble was a big play, but he could sense the team going downhill from a morale standpoint well before that. "We were going downhill, we weren't doing our jobs," Joseph said. "(The fumble) played a part. We're a lot better than we've played, everyone knows that. The team knows it. We have to come out hard. You can't let these games get away like that."

  • Senior linebacker Greg Lloyd said UConn lost its focus. "I don't know exactly when it happened," Lloyd said. "But you could definitely see it. People weren't listening as much, people weren't being as crisp in their assignments. Clearly disheartening. But as defense, we have to buck up and do what we have to do. We didn't get it done."

  • Lloyd also felt the defense was on the field too much. "We definitely should have been off the field more as a defense," Lloyd said. "(There were a lot of) Like 3-and-outs, out on the field, did our jobs, did our responsibility and then done." Still, Lloyd said, the defense should have continued to get the job done "no matter what the situation."

  • Said Lloyd of the second half surge by Temple, "They came out with the mentality to get after it and we didn't match the intensity." He also said he's concerned about where the Huskies are mentally as a team. "Most definitely," Lloyd said. "We have to be a 60 minute team. We can't play a decent first half then completely fall apart in the second half. Until we have a solid stream of being consistent for the entire have to play 60 minutes. Anything less, you can't win a game."

  • UConn, down 11 points, caught a break when Temple fumbled a punt deep in its own territory (Mike Lang recovered). UConn moved nine yards and faced 4th and 1.5 yards from the Owls 21. Edsall decided not to go for it there, choosing a 38 yard field goal that Dave Teggart missed. "You need two scores," Edsall said. "You think your guy can make that field goal. You miss it, you've got no chance. The thing about it is, I was looking to give ourselves the opportunity to live another down, another series. ... We weren't having a whole lot of success there making short yardage plays in the second half."

  • The passing game struggled mightily. Is it Zach Frazer? Is it the receivers? More likely, it's a combination of both. It was a problem in 2008. It was a problem last season until Marcus Easley came from nowhere to establish himself as one of the top big-play threats in the Big East. And it's a problem right now. "We'll evaluate," Edsall said. "If we need to make changes, we'll make changes." Cody Endres comes off suspension this week, but it's unlikely he'll be anything higher than No. 3 at QB. Perhaps Mike Box gets an extended look, though unlikely. Is there another Marcus Easley hiding somewhere on the bench?


Anonymous Vinny from East Haven said...

Hahahahahahahahahaha. This is going to be a LONG season for you poor uconn fans. Pretty soon we'll see signs in the student section at The Rent that say, "Is it basketball season yet?"

Just like Duke.

September 18, 2010 10:05 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chip -

I know I should go easy on you as your a part-time Uconn Football blogger, but you might want to change the bullet point that says that Todman's fumble was Uconn's first turnover of the season. I know you did not get to Ann arbor, but the video of the game showed DJ fumbling near the goalline (turning point in the game). Last week, I realize you might of stopped watching after Uconn went up 10-0 on TSU, but Wilburn fumbled a punt and was subsequently demoted. On a related note, Frazer has still not throw an interception, probably 'cuz most of his passes are uncatchable by anyone!


September 19, 2010 1:06 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to be a nitpicker, but UConn had a turnover earlier this season. It involved some guy named Shoemate and some Wolverines.

Good stuff, though. Keep it up.

September 19, 2010 1:55 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Thanks, guys. I don't know what I was thinking there.

September 19, 2010 12:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's NOT the WRs, it's Frazer. Do you watch the games?

September 19, 2010 6:12 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Lots of dropped balls (against Michigan, not as many Saturday vs. Temple), not many yards after the catch. Frazer isn't getting it done, but it's not all on him.

September 19, 2010 6:58 PM 
Blogger The Bubble Screen said...

How can the receivers catch the ball when Frazer is slinging it 100mph when they're 5 yards away. He was awful.

September 19, 2010 8:43 PM 

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