Monday, October 01, 2012

UConn, Rutgers get defensive

A quick look at the latest NCAA stats shows that Rutgers leads all FBS teams in rushing defense allowing a mere 62.5 yards per game while the Scarlet Knights are 20th in overall defense (310 yards allowed per game). Meanwhile UConn is sixth in total defense (242.6) and rushing defense (74.2) and 13th with an average of 3.2 sacks per game.

On the weekly Big East coaches call, Rutgers' Kyle Flood and Paul Pasqualoni of UConn talked about the defensive units they will be facing on Saturday at noon.

"It starts with their players," Flood said. "I think they have excellent players on defense. Trevardo Williams is the most disruptive defensive lineman in our league, 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 whether it was Hofstra/UMass, Delaware/Northeastern or Rutgers and Maryland and now Rutgers/UConn. 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."

Pasqualoni was just as quick to heap praise on the Scarlet Knights' defense.

"I think they have good people in there," Pasqualoni said. "Scott Vallone is just playing really good defense, their linebackers are very athletic, they move very well. The kid (Khaseem) Green is about as fluid an athlete, explosive, can get to the ball. I see continuity in the defense in the sense that most of these kids played last year and they have taken it up to a different level."

Pasqualoni also stated that he considers starting center Alex Mateas, who missed last week's game against Buffalo with an ankle injury, to be probable for Saturday's game.


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