Monday, September 12, 2011

Tough loss behind, UConn preps for Iowa State

Some news and notes from today's media luncheon.

  • Based upon the first two games, it appears the UConn depth chart is purely for show this season. But, here's what it says this week. D.J. Shoemate and Lyle McCombs are still listed as co-starters at tailback, same for the three quarterbacks and Gary Bardzak and Steve Greene at left guard.

  • Pasqualoni said Iowa State's offensive line is impressive, and will be a real challenge for the Huskies defensive front.

  • The route-running by the wide receivers wasn't as sharp as it was in week 1. That's something the coaches have identified and will look to correct this week.

  • The quarterback situation hasn't changed, and Pasqualoni said he hasn't lost confidence in any of the three. He went with Johnny McEntee more Saturday because he had a better understanding and picture of the opposing defensive schemes, and coach Pasqualoni stuck with him for the continuity. "The mistakes Johnny made are correctable," he said. "You can see why he made some of the decisions he made."

  • As for Shoemate, Pasqualoni said he's optimistic the rest he's been given the last two weeks will pay off and he expects him to be 100 percent by Thursday. UConn would still like to use a two-back system, which makes sense considering the difference in styles between McCombs and Shoemate.

  • The wide receivers dropped some key passes, especially on third down, which didn't help the completion percentage of McEntee.

  • Pasqualoni isn't a big fan of playing on Friday nights. "Friday nights are for high school football," he said. He understands it's a TV thing, but would rather not have anyone doing it. "My heart goes out to the high school coaches."

  • Defensively, UConn gave up some big plays against Vanderbilt. They also had sacks and turnovers and created points. It's a matter of lining up correctly and avoiding the big plays. "At no level of football can you be considered a sound defense if you're giving up big plays," Pasqualoni said. "The only way to counter that is to go out and get big plays on offense. If you're going to live in the big play world, you're playing with fire."

Heading up to speak to some players now. More notes later this afternoon.


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