Saturday, October 06, 2012

Ground games to be key today

Rutgers comes into today's game with the top-ranked defense against the run among all FBS teams and UConn is not far behind. However, look for both the Scarlet Knights and Huskies to look to establish the run behind their talented starting tailbacks.

“It is what we live for,” UConn senior offensive guard Adam Masters said. “It is going to be smash mouth football and that is why I play the game. Without a doubt this is what we look forward to. It should be an exciting game.”

No. 22 Rutgers come into the game allowing a mere 62.5 yards per game. By contrast, UConn’s rushing attack ranks 109th among 120 FBS squads averaging 112 rushing yards per game. A closer look at the numbers shows that the Huskies are one of nine FBS teams to average less than three yards per rushing attempt.

“As you enter Big East play you have to try to run the ball with more consistency,” UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “If there is one thing that we would like to do it is run the ball with more consistency and be able to support Chandler so we don’t get into these deals where we have to throw 33 or 34 times especially against teams that can really rush the passer.”

As much as the Huskies want to establish the run, the story is the same for the Scarlet Knights. Junior tailback Jawan Jamison was ineffective when the teams met a year ago and he is looking to find room to run against one of the nation’s stingiest defenses.

“They have excellent players on defense,” Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said. “Trevardo Williams is the most disruptive defensive lineman in our league and that certainly shows up year in and year out. Their linebackers No. 33 (Yawin Smallwood) and No. 3 (Sio Moore) combined (have) 7½ sacks, 16 TFLs (tackle for losses) and Donnie Brown is an excellent defensive coordinator. I coached against him at a number of places. Year in, year out he does an excellent job with his defense and he is very aggressive. He has a different scheme but same objective to make plays in the backfield like we do here at Rutgers.”

Rutgers will get a boost from the return of reserve RB Savon Huggins who missed the last two games with a back injury. Meanwhile, Martin Hyppolite is coming off his best game at UConn and considering how many times Pasqualoni brings up talented freshman running back Joe Williams' name, it seems like it will be only a matter of time before Williams is unleashed on somebody. Is today the day? We'll have to wait and see. Of course the news that starting tailback Lyle McCombs was arrested on Friday on second degree breach of peace charges could potentially change the pecking order of UConn's tailbacks.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home