Sunday, September 29, 2013

While others calling for his job, it's business as usual for Paul Pasqualoni

One Internet site lists UConn's Paul Pasqualoni as the No. 1 college football coach on the hot seat and others are taking to referring to Pasqualoni is the past tense and openly throwing out names of possible successors.

However, for Pasqualoni he did not approach this Sunday any different that he did a week ago when the Huskies nearly knocked off national power Michigan.

"I am a very optimistic person," Pasqualoni said on a conference call with the media on Sunday afternoon. "A week ago we are a couple plays away from beating one of the top teams in the country so my attitude and my feeling is the same, it is not different this Sunday that it was last Sunday so I am looking to improve and get the team, get the thing straightened out and get the guys going, get into winning some games. I do this because I love it, I do this because I have passion for the game and the people you are associated with and everything that goes along with it. It hasn’t changed for me ever."

Pasqualoni said that he is not contemplating making changes to his coaching staff and with no game until Oct. 12, he is planning to spend more time focusing on his team than on South Florida.

"I think what they need is to focus on what they are doing and what their job is and making sure that what they are doing is 100 percent before making sure of the other phase of the game," Pasqualoni said. "That will be the lecture if that is the lecture.

"We played very poorly for the get go yesterday for the third play of the game on we didn’t play very well. The ball ends up on the 8 yard line, then we have the pass interference call on the hold, we have the missed alignment , missed tackle on the touchdown. We come back and get a field goal but we don’t really play very well on either side of the ball. We give up a long pass to get another one in and offensively we didn’t have any production. Coming out in the second half when we really needed it we didn’t get anything really done at all offensively. We just did not play in that game really well at all. We didn’t cover kicks well, we didn’t cover punts well so there are a lot of area that need to be addressed."

Pasqualoni said he has not had a conversation with UConn director of athletics concerning his future at UConn. He also knows that as the losses pile up so does the discontent among the UConn fan base on the job he has done in the last 2 1/3 seasons.

"I understand the nature of this game," Pasqualoni said. "I understand the nature of fans and people, everybody has their opinion and are free to express their opinion but that doesn’t discourage me. I understand it is part of it. I have been in this for a long time in a lot of places and it all goes with the territory. It is my job to do the best we can do here, utilize the personnel and trying to move the program forward. That is my job and that is what I am going to do. It doesn’t really discourage me

Pasqualoni said that some of the mistakes that cost UConn in its first four games are of the repeat variety which is obviously not a great sign.

"The strip of the ball on the first (pass) play is a protection issue, that is kind of a repeat of a protection deal," Pasqualoni said. "A missed alignment on defense on the goal line is kind of a repeat of that and some of it is certainly a repeat. Other things, one of the touchdown passes is on a freshman cornerback and I asked him to play press coverage on the guy so they couldn’t throw a hitch on first down so they went on top and he got beat up top. Some of it is young guys in the game. We have a lot of those young guys in the game so it is kind of a combination of a lot of things."

So where does Pasqualoni go from here?

"A week ago I envisioned beating Michigan," Pasqualoni said. "You get ready to play every single week, you do the best you can do. We just went up to Buffalo and did not play well from the beginning, we just couldn’t get any kind of momentum going and they have a good solid football team. They had a week of, they had a couple of weeks to get ready for us and utilized every minute of it and did a good job."



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