Saturday, November 20, 2010

The UConn train's a-rolling

Impressive win tonight, and one that's important on several levels. The Huskies remain in the thick of the chase for a BCS bowl berth, become bowl-eligible for the fourth successive season and win their first road game in a hostile environment. The Carrier Dome was very loud, and UConn, while wearing down the Orange with a swarming defensive effort, managed to take the crowd out of the game by the start of the fourth quarter.

A couple of postgame notes and quotes.
  • The significance of the game was obvious, and not lost on the Huskies. "We knew the importance of this game," Kendall Reyes said. "We knew it was our sixth win and we'd be bowl eligible. We knew what it meant to the Big East race; but most importantly, we knew we needed a win."
  • It would have been easy to write off the season after the ugly loss at Louisville. Things seemed to be falling apart with the departure of the starting quarterback and an offensive lineman in such turbulent circumstances. But UConn has been like a different team the last three games; the team most expected to see out of the gate this fall. "When your backs are to the wall, you have to come out swinging," Edsall said. "That's what I've tried to do all my life, that's what I've tried to instill in these young men. That you can't let anybody count you out. You have to keep fighting, you have to keep getting through it and persevere."
  • Edsall and his players have repeated this to the point of nausea, but they truly believe that by raising the level of intensity in practice, it's translated to the way they are playing in games. Hard to discount that theory.
  • Reyes has stepped up and become a vocal leader who is setting the tone on defense. He was outstanding on Saturday. "Kendall's been a lot more disruptive in the middle there. He's realy become the leader of the defense," Edsall said.
  • Another game, another 100 yard day for Jordan Todman. He finished with 130 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries despite the fact that UConn did little to establish a down field passing game. "We knew they were loading the box in the run game," Todman said. "That's what we do best is run the ball, and we knew they were preparing to stop that. The effort of our offensive line, Anthony Sherman was great. Toward the end, we started to wear them down and take over."
  • Zach Frazer completed 13-of-21 passes, but with just 98 yards it accounts to just 7.5 yards-per completion. When UConn attempts passes, it's mostly quick outs. But, it's proving to be enough of a change of pace to keep the run game effective.


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