Saturday, September 14, 2013

Huge test for UConn's corners

When Dwayne Gratz and Blidi Wreh-Wilson played their final game there were plenty of questions going around concerning how UConn will fill the void at cornerback.

For better or for worse, many answers will be provided tonight as Taylor Mack and Byron Jones will be asked to slow down Maryland's dynamic receiving tandem of Stefon Diggs and Deon Long,

"It will be a good challenge," Mack said. "No. 1 (Diggs) and No. 6 (Long) are both good receivers and they like to look for them in the pass game deep shots and unders and stuff like that. I think we have a pretty good game plan right now. In the back end minus those two plays, I feel like Byron and I had not an overly bad game (against Towson) and we are going to make major improvements and it is going to be a big challenge but we are looking forward to it."

UConn only gave up 13 catches against Towson but there were enough big plays surrendered for it to be a concern heading into tonight's game.

"We just need to stick to our technique," Jones said,. "The deep ball when the guy caught the ball on me, I didn’t get my head around.

"It is always a learning thing. It is my first year of being a starting corner and using what I am learning and take it to the next game

"I can’t wait. It is going to be a good challenge for both Taylor Mack and I think we are going to do well."

A bigger concern might be the play of the nickel cornerback after David Stevenson was suspended indefinitely. Redshirt freshman Jhavon Williams figures to slide into that spot while Tyree Clark could also see time when the Huskies use additional defensive backs.

"We're very confident that Jhavon and Tyree," Mack said "I know Jhavon will come in and not miss a beat, he has confidence and I know he will play and keep the ball rolling. It is going to be sad missing (Stevenson) but I know Jhavon can make plays. He has been making plays since he has been here. I think he does, you guys have seen him practice out there making picks. I know he is exciting to come out and make a lot of plays. He is a good player."

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