Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Pasqualoni OK with choppy schedule

UConn's schedule this season has been an iontriguing one to say the least.

After playing in each of the first eight weeks, the Huskies had a bye week before the South Florida game. Now comes Friday's game against Pittsburgh which is the second in six days for UConn before getting another off week.

"We had that week off which I think came at a good time and we were able to get some things healed up," Pasqualoni said on a Wednesday afternoon conference call with the media. "Now we are on a short week so it is pretty intense, two games in six days and they are physical games. (We have) the week off next week we be different in the sense that we will practice a little bit later in the week and then we will be back to the normal week (beginning) Sunday getting ready for the next one. We’ve planned for it. We have a good plan and it is what it is."

Pasqualoni said that the team is doing pretty well health wise and no new injuries have happened since the end of the USF game.

He also said he was planning to have a game captain this week to go with season captains Jory Johnson, Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Nick Williams but he won't be naming that player until later in the week and I doubt we will know who it is until they head out for the opening coin toss. Last week senior defensive tackle Ryan Wirth served as the game captain.

On the call he was asked about the offensive struggles (UConn has scored touchdowns in just two of the 16 quarters in Big East play this season).

"It’s been a combination of a bunch of little things, the details and sometimes not getting the execution that it is required," Pasqualoni said. "You can’t say it is any one particular guy or any one particular position. I think we have all contributed to it in the run game. I really don’t have an issue with what we are doing from a passing game standpoint, I think that part of it has been OK. That is a little uncharacteristic of us and uncharacteristic of the University of Connecticut. This has been a team that has done a good job of running the football over the years. We came in last year and I thought we’d be better running the football then we have been this season. Not to make any excuses but we had to replace a very good left tackle, we had to replace a very good center both who were NFL camps and of course we had this injury to Adam Masters so it has kind of been one thing after the other and we have not been able to get the thing going like we want to. I think the players are working hard at it. Receivers are involved in it, tight ends are involved in it, the backs are involved in it. At the end of the day, it is a little thing here and a little thing there.

"I personally think you don’t let up, you don’t get disappointed or discouraged but you keep working hard at it."

Pasqualoni was also asked about the learning curve he faced returning to the Big East after being away since 2004 when he was let go as Syracuse's head coach.

"When I came back I hadn’t been out of college football that long." Pasqualoni said. "I left Syracuse after the 2004 season. I did not come back naive or anything about what the challenges would be here at Connecticut. I always felt like the Big East is a very competitive deal, anybody is capable of winning every weekend. You know the deal, Miami they were hard to deal and hardly lost a game, I think they won nine of the first 13 Big East titles. After they departed in the later years I was in the league it was just so competitive so I expected it to be, all good programs, all  good coaches and the teams all have good coaches.

"Everybody is committed so it has been frustrated I the sense that we have been in some many close games, you go back to last year with the Iowa State game, the Vanderbilt game, the Western Michigan game, you go to this year, the NC State game the Western Michigan game again. It just has been frustrating because we have been in so many close games, maybe not be perfect but to we’ve had the opportunity to have more wins then we are showing, more results than the work we have put in we just don’t have that right now. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have the same passion, that we doesn’t mean we are discouraged or any of that, like a lot of things in life you just keep grinding away.

I enjoyed the NFL. I was fortunate, I was around a lot of good people, a lot of good players, young players like a DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff and some very good older players (with the Dallas Cowboys) as well but I always enjoy the younger kids, I always enjoyed the developmental process of what you go through. At Syracuse we were a developmental team, here we are a developmental team. You are working every day with the scout team and second-team guys, the third-team guys and you can see with those guys that in a very short amount of time they are going to be very good players. There is a lot of satisfaction in that. It is a lot of fun. I like coaching, I like teaching so for me this is really a pretty good environment"


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