Sunday, November 25, 2012

Upset win sets stage for Saturday's regular-season finale

Just where the upset of nationally-ranked Louisville will go down in UConn folklore figures to be determined by just what happens in Saturday's regular-season finale.

If UConn wraps up the regular season with a win over Cincinnati, the Huskies will have secured a bowl bid which is something that seemed like a virtual impossibility following a loss at South Florida on Nov. 3 and that will make what transpired in Louisville all the more important. A loss to the Bearcats, especially a lopsided one, and it will be merely a footnote in a second-straight losing season.

“What it did for us is it makes this one (against Cincinnati) the most meaningful game we’ve played,” UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “The next game you play is always the most important one because it is the next game but obviously it is a game where we could become bowl eligible. It is the last game the seniors will play here at the Rent (Rentschler Field) so that Louisville game put us in position to have a pretty exciting game.”

Pasqualoni said that Christen was given the special teams’ game ball while the offensive game ball went to sophomore tailback Lyle McCombs, who ran for 133 yards. In a rare gesture, Pasqualoni said that the entire defensive unit was awarded the defensive game ball.

“It was very clear on the film how many guys (on defense) contributed to the win,” Pasqualoni said. “It started with doing a very good job on run defense, constantly putting them in second down and third down and longs where you kind of knew it was going to be a drop back type of thing instead of a play-action type of pass. They threw the ball 65 times in the game and that required us to use a lot of people. Guys like Julian Campenni came in and got a sack. B.J. McBryde came in and did a good job in the pass rush. Tim Willman came in and did a good job with the pass rush and Kenton Adeyemi came in and gave us a couple of rushes. I thought the guys inside did a good job of trying to keep (Louisville quarterback) Teddy Bridgewater in the pocket. It was an overall good team win. Obviously Blidi (Wreh-Wilson’s) play at the end was just a huge play to make that interception in the end zone.”

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