Saturday, October 20, 2012

Adam Masters lost for the season

Things just went from bad to worse for the UConn football team as head coach Paul Pasqualoni confirmed on Saturday that senior offensive guard and team captain Adam Masters' left ankle injury will require season-ending surgery.

Masters has started 30 games during his career including seven this season at right guard. He has seen time this season at both guard and tackle positions and on the offensive side of the ball the Huskies might not have a tougher player to replace than Masters.

"His ankle is going to require surgery so he is done for the season," Pasqualoni said on a conference call on Saturday afternoon. "He was our most versatile guy, our swing guy. Not only that, he was probably played the most snaps up there so we are going to lose a guy with versatility and we are going to lose a guy with experience. Gus Cruz will have to step it up. Dalton Gifford will get some reps as the next tackle. Tyler Samra will get reps as a guard so we will continue to have seven people who will be prepared to go in the game.

"It is difficult on him. He is obviously disappointed. It is at the end of his senior year and he is very disappointed. He is a tough guy. He is optimistic. He will get the surgery and do the rehab but it is going to take some time and as it would be for anybody, it is really disappointing for him."

Masters' injury seems to be the only one serious one coming out Friday's 30-point loss to Syracuse.

Defensive end Tim Willman had his left arm in a sling after the game but Pasqualoni doesn't expect him to miss practice time. Linebackers Sio Moore and Yawin Smallwood, defensive end Trevardo Williams and receiver Michael Smith all had to come out of the game but Pasqualoni believes they will be good to go.

Moore's emotions got the better of him late in the game but Pasqualoni just chalked it up as being part of football.

"It is no big deal, just a little bit of frustration, guys are playing hard and it is an intense, emotional thing," Pasqualoni said. "One minute it appeared to be a little bit of a scuffle  but in 30 seconds everything was fine. There was no big deal made about it."

UConn won't play again until traveling to South Florida on Nov. 3 and Pasqualoni thinks the bye week comes at an ideal time.

"We had a very physical preseason, eight very tough games in a row," Pasqualoni said. "I don’t know if anybody else has played eight in a row. We are a little banged up so this open week comes at a good time for us, we will be able to get some work done but at the same time give the kids a good amount of rest.

"One of the things we really need to take a look at it is running the ball. We have not been able to run the ball especially in the past two weeks which is frustrating for us so those are things that we are going to work on and are going to have to improve on as we move forward. We have to establish some sort of runs and the runs that we feel the run concepts we feel like we would be the best at, try to narrow those down and do a good job with what we decide to do."

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