Sunday, November 04, 2012

Trevardo Williams would have taken win over sack record

It could have been Trevardo Williams' night.

The dynamic senior defensive end from Bridgeport broke a 27-year-old UConn record when he sacked South Florida QB B.J. Daniels in the second quarter. However, after the Huskies' 13-6 loss at South Florida, he was not in a mood to celebrate.

“It is a bittersweet moment,” Williams said. “Actually, that is for another time. I can celebrate after the season or something.”

Williams and his defensive teammates pretty much did everything they could to get the Huskies their first Big East win of 2012. After Daniels’ capped an impressive 80-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring run in the first quarter to give the Bulls the early 7-0 lead, the UConn defense stood tall.

South Florida’s only other points came courtesy of a pair of fourth-quarter field goals after a pair of Connecticut turnovers. UConn’s defense, which looked helpless at time two weeks earlier in a 40-10-loss to Syracuse, “regained our swagger” according to senior linebacker Jory Johnson.

But three fourth-quarter turnovers by the UConn defense were even too much for one of the nation’s stingiest defenses to overcome.

“That is just football,” Williams said. “It is unpredictable. You give your best and in the end the slightest mistake can turn the whole game around. There is not much to say about it.

“We know that there is time to turn the season around. All season we have played well but we haven’t been winning like we should. We are a good team and (Friday’s game against Pittsburgh) is another opportunity to prove to ourselves.

With the extra week to prepare one thing I noticed when UConn had the ball was that the Huskies were breaking the huddle quicker and snapping the ball often times with 15 or so seconds on the play clock.

I was curious if I was just imagining things of if UConn was making a concerted effort to pick up the tempo.

UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni confirmed it was the latter.

"I think it was the way we practiced for the last two weeks," Pasqualoni said on a Sunday afternoon conference call. "We were sure of what we were doing in and out of the huddle. There was no special (hurry-up) call like racehorse or NASCAR or any of those things. It was just ‘here is the tempo that we want to play with.’ I thought for the most part we did a good job with that."

So will we be seeing more of that moving forward?
"Absolutely get the play in, get it to the line of scrimmage and get us going with some tempo, keep the pressure on them. We would like to play that way," Pasqualoni said.

Of course it should be pointed out that the quicker tempo resulted in all of six points so it will take more than just snapping the ball a few seconds quicker to fix what is ailing the Huskies on the offensive side of the ball.

Pasqualoni expressed optimism in what he saw after watching the tape of the game.

"We are so darn close from several of those runs, really having more production there," Pasqualoni said.

Pasqualoni said that UConn didn't have any injury issues of note coming out of yesterday's game. Center Tyler Bullock suffered an apparent head injury which forced him to leave the game but Pasqualoni said all the tests came back fine on Bullock and he doesn't figure to miss any practice time.

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