Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday is now Tuesday; Wednesday will be Saturday

A rare Friday media luncheon at UConn in preparation for Wednesday night's game at Pitt. It's the start of the week for the Huskies, who practiced Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and got yesterday off.
  • It's seven games into the season, but also seven months into the new offensive and defensive schemes instituted by the new coaches. There have been some (at times a lot) of struggles as the team adjusts. Paul Pasqualoni says the struggles now aren't due as much to the installation but simply playing good, consistent football. "To me, the 'what if' is if we didn't turn that ball over, if we didn't give up that play," Pasqualoni said. "There haven't been that many, but there have been a few, and we might be sitting here with one or two or three more wins right now. That's the challenge. The challenge of getting the system in is a work in progress. The more time we spend on the concepts, the better the kids will be."

  • Pasqualoni said opposing defensive coaches, noting that Johnny McEntee is a new, relatively inexperienced quarterback, have made a concerted effort to pressure him more in the hopes that he'll make a mistake. West Virginia and South Florida both came in with some new pass rush schemes that weren't on film, which caused problems. "Once we saw them, and we got them straightened out on the sidelines and at halftime we were fine," Pasqualoni said. "But you have to see those things to get them (straight). Johnny recognizes things well. But if it's brand new, and you've never seen it, and you have all these other things you're looking for, and they bring in a different alignment and different concept, I don't care who the quarterback is it takes a snap or two to figure it out."

  • Safety Jerome Junior was at the complex with a walking boot on his foot. Pasqualoni said it's a mild ankle sprain, and Junior is expected to be fine by Wednesday. No chance of Blidi Wreh-Wilson playing this week. Linebacker Jerome Williams and tailback Martin Hyppolite, both coming off knee injuries, are back on the two-deep this week.

  • Perhaps it's only because he has to (he still has to recruit, of course) but Pasqualoni talked of the potential new Big East lineup with excitement. He gets questions on the recruiting trail about the future of the league, and has a fair and honest pitch. The league has a chance to emerge from the latest defections in decent shape should Boise State, Houston, SMU and Air Force get invitations. "I'm hear what you guys hear," Pasqualoni said. "Put (Boise, SMU, Houston and Air Force) in the Western (division) with Cincinnati and Louisville, you got something special there. Add Navy and Central Florida in the Eastern Division with Connecticut, South Florida and Rutgers. Have two divisions, have your division play two cross-over games every year to the Western division. Play four non-conference games, select who you want to play, guaranteed BCS berth based on the quality of those teams, no issues there. Pretty exciting to me."

  • Pasqualoni also said the chance to be in Houston and the Dallas/Forth Worth market would be a major bonus in recruiting, as well. "I'd love it, and George DeLeone is as well known in Houston as anybody, and I know a few guys in the Metroplex Dallas area," Pasqualoni said. "I think it would be without exaggerating, one heck of a deal. I'd love Connecticut's place in that. I'm hoping that's the way it goes, the sooner the better."

  • Yes, Pasqualoni did leave out West Virginia in his quote breaking down the Eastern and Western Division lines. Did he simply overlook them? Maybe Does he know something? Probably.


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