Monday, November 05, 2012

Pittsburgh coach raves about UConn's defense

Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst did not need much prodding to start throw out lofty praise for the nationally-ranked UConn defense when it was his turn to take questions on Monday's Big East conference call.

Chryst believes the Huskies have difference makers at all three levels on defense but he said he expects the Panthers to be excited for the challenge of squaring off with a defensive unit ranked ninth among 120 FBS schools in total defense, 14th in pass defense and 21st in both rushing and scoring defense.

"They are a heck of a defense, overall they are ninth in the country," Chryst said. "You take the major categories and they rank highly in that. It is a combination of good players, a good scheme and it is another great challenge for our offense. If you throw on the tape, they jump out at you right away; they have gotten our attention. We look forward to going up there, it is kind of fun playing against the best. This is one of the best defenses in the country, we are looking forward to that. They have personnel, a well-thought out scheme."

Chryst's time on Monday's call started with him being asked about Notre Dame having two players with the same number on the Panthers' field goal in the second overtime. By rule, Notre Dame should have been flagged for a five-yard penalty and Pitt would have had a first down with a chance to go for the touchdown rather than settling for the field goal.

Chrsyt said he was told about it after the game by a couple of assistants and it was among the plays he sent to the league official for review. However, he was not about to blame that no call for the overtime loss.

"A couple of our coaches did (see it)," Chryst said. "You submit plays for review and that was on it. There were a lot of other plays that where why we didn’t win."

Not much of note to report from UConn coch Paul Pasqualoni's press conference today. He continues to stick to the company line of being impressed by the mental fortitude even in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

I did ask him about the two fourth-quarter sacks when USF players shot gaps up the middle and got the UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer even before Whitmer could get in position to throw the ball.


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