Friday, September 20, 2013

Inconsistent play haunting Huskies

The script has looked eerily familiar in UConn's first two games of the season.

Against both Towson and Maryland the Huskies have held their own - for a quarter.

If you look at the numbers and after one quarter both games have been pretty evenly played. Nothing indicates that more than total offense as opponents have run 30 plays for 227 yards and the Huskies have managed 214 yards on 37 plays.

That's the good news as it goes downhill from there. The second and third quarters have been nightmares for the Huskies. Sometimes it is the offense which short circuits (19 plays in the second quarter accounted for 52 yards against Maryland) or the defense lets down (eight plays of 20 yards or longer surrendered to Maryland in the second and third quarters).

Any such issues tomorrow night and things could get ugly very quickly.

"That is the issue in the game Saturday, we gave up that 41-yard run," UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "We blow the coverage and the ball goes 48 yards on a pass down to the 3. It should not have dipped, we shouldn’t have had those plays, there shouldn’t have been that seven-point 41-yard run, those things shouldn’t happen. You hope it doesn’t happen. I am accustomed to when those things don’t happen that is my frustration so that is what we keep working towards but I am still optimistic that it is not going to happen again. I can understand the reality that it happened but in my heart I believe it is not going to happen, that is the way you coach and that is the way you instruct the players to play."

Obviously the UConn players will be fired up for the game. It's not every day a Michigan team comes into town for a nationally televised night game. But Michigan's players are determined to wipe away the bitter taste from a poor performance last week against Akron so the Wolverines will be raring to go for sure.

"We have to play our fundamental technique, do our assignments," UConn senior defensive tackle Shamar Stephen said. "We have to step up all around. We have to eliminate the run and defend the pass. If we do those two things, it will help us."


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