Sunday, September 30, 2012

Jory Johnson delivers for Huskies

Pretty much from the opening snap it was pretty evident that the Buffalo skill players would be getting acquainted with UConn senior linebacker Jory Johnson on Saturday afternoon.

Johnson brought down Buffalo running back Brandon Murie for a 1-yard gain on the Bulls' first offensive play. By game's end Johnson, who came into the game with a total of 23 tackles in four games, finished with 14 tackles in a 24-17 victory.

Coming off a disappointing loss to Western Michigan and being one of the four UConn captains, Johnson knew he needed to set the tone for the Huskies.

"I want to make all the plays I can," Johnson said. "All of our calls we have different guys doing different things. I just want to do all I can to help the team. Some games I’ll be more active than others. As long as I am helping us win I am fine with that."

Johnson isn't the most vocal player on the UConn team. His fellow senior linebacker Sio Moore is the one who gets the Huskies fired up just before they take the field but Johnson provides leadership in other ways.

"Jory is one of the guys, he may not talk as much but he is going to give you everything he’s got," Moore said. "I love to see him flying around. That is what he does, he goes out there and makes plays. I have never known anybody get to the ball or be around the ball as much as Jory so he is always a good guy to play with."

Shortly before kickoff UConn AD Warde Manuel had a chance to catch up with some familiar faces.

Manuel spent 6 1/2 years as the athletic director at Buffalo before he accepted the job at UConn in February. So shortly before kickoff I asked Manuel to reflect on his time at Buffalo.

"It was great," Manuel said. "Much like here there was a lot of great people, a lot of great student-athletes. It was my first opportunity to be an AD and I will always fondly remember my experience at Buffalo. I got a chance to see some of the guys before the game. It was good to see them but once the ball is kicked off it is a Husky Day in my mind."

Rutgers, which will host UConn Saturday at noon, moved up one stop to No. 22 in the latest Associated Press poll.

Louisville checks in at No. 19 while Cincinnati is the next team to receive votes or No. 26 in terms of number of points.

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