Saturday, April 21, 2012

Whitmer, Wirth star in spring game

A few notes and observations from today's spring game.
  • Chandler Whitmer was clearly the most productive of the four quarterbacks who played (Scott McCummings sat out with a toe injury). He completed 18-of-27 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns while the combination of McEntee-Nebrich-Cochran combined to complete 14-of-38 passes for 138 yards, no TDs, three interceptions and eight sacks. Still, Pasqualoni insisted the competition will carry over into preseason camp. "There's no reason for us to (name a starter) now," Pasqualoni said. "We'll get into camp and as soon as we can, we'll make a decision." 
  • New UConn quarterbacks coach Shane Day said while Whitmer was accurate at times, he still has issues with his technique and learning the offense that are among other things to work on in the offseason. "No one jumped up and taken the job, it's still there for all those guys," Day said. "The sonner into cam we can figure out who the starter is, the sooner we can prepare for the season. We're not going to put a time table on it. You have to find the right guy and that's the most important part of the puzzle. ... We don't want to make a hasty judgment based on the spring game."
  • UConn's offense really lagged in the running game, and that was probably the most notable concern. George DeLeone said the line is struggling with injuries. "Our best players aren't here," he said, referring to injured tackles Jimmy Bennett and Adam Masters. "When you split it in half, you don't have a strong group and a second group. You have a mismatch of the whole group. With that said, I don't think we protected the passer very well. The defense, in many ways, outworked us and that was disappointing." The big test, DeLeone said, will be seeing whether the line, at full strength, can come together and produce.

  • Back to the talking to the coaches there's little doubt they don't like having to split practice reps between five players. It limits them all, and hampers the progress of the offense as a whole. "There’s going to come a point in time where we have to decide, move on and get ready for a game,” DeLeone said. “I don’t know when that point is, but it will come. By that time, the Little League rules will be over. We all don’t have to play three innings." If there's no rush to declare a starter now, expect it to come early in training camp. And expect it to be Whitmer. But, if you saw the game, you already know that.
  • DeLeone, like Pasqualoni and Day, wasn't outwardly gushing over the performance of Whitmer. Asked how he thought Whitmer played today, DeLeone was still upset over the interception he threw near the end of the first half. "Ridiculous," DeLeone said. "And I told him that on the sideline. You can’t lose the game for us. You don’t have to win the game necessarily, but you can’t lose the game. That was a disappointing play and I told him ‘Chandler, you know better.’ You throw that one to the tuba player in section 114.”  


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