Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Boyle trying to deal with the pressure

Nobody ever promised freshman Tim Boyle that taking over as UConn's starting quarterback was going to be a walk in the park.

After nearly coming away with a victory against South Florida in his first career collegiate start Boyle ventured into rougher waters in Saturday's loss at 2012 co-Big East champion Cincinnati.

Boyle threw three interceptions and was sacked eight times in the 41-16 loss.

Boyle took responsibility for the mistakes that he made against the Bearcats.

"I put a lot of those sacks on myself just not going through my progressions as fast as I can," said Boyle, who was 22 of 39 for 310 yards. "I think our offensive line did a great job of protecting me, everyone sees the stat of eight sacks and they are in awe. I think a key thing I have to do is keep getting up from the sacks and showing the team that I can take them and keep getting up.

"One interception I left it inside, the one by the goal line was just me being a freshman and throwing the ball up. That is something I am going to have to learn from and the last one, I just left it short. I think I could have had a touchdown to Shak (Phillips) on that play but that is something I have to learn from."

Boyle didn't have to deal with a ton of pressure from opposing teams during his days at Xavier High. His tendency to step up right into the area where the defensive pressure is coming from is just one of the areas where Boyle knows he needs to improve.

"It’s a double-edged sword because I feel like if I make a lot of mistakes, I learn from those mistakes but at the same time I don’t want to make those mistakes and do the right thing," Boyle said. "It is hit or miss, either I do the right thing and it looks really good or I don’t do the right thing and I learn from it. I think I did more bad than good in the game and that is something that Coach Weist (has talked about)."

When quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck were squaring off in a highly-anticipated showdown on Sunday night Weist called Boyle and suggested that he not only watch the game but also see how the two quarterbacks are able to step up in the pocket and make throws down the field.

"You sit there and watch the game the other night with Peyton Manning, you watch Luck and Manning and you watch them step up into the pocket and they are throwing the ball as they are getting hit," Weist said. "I talked to him about it and you see them handling pressure because everybody has pressure, you look at the sacks that are happening in any league. You see pressure, how does he handle it? How does he secure the football? How fast does he make decisions? How fast does that ball come off his hands in those situations? That is where he has to learn from that last game that he had pressure and he has to learn to make that decision and let that ball go before the pressure closes in on his and how to move around in the pocket with that pressure. The pocket is always changing and any good defensive coach is going to do a good job of learning what our pocket is and how to put different pressure angles on it so that is what he has to do."

UConn is last among 123 FBS teams by surrendering 5.17 sacks per game and future opponents are going to see how Cincinnati was able to harass Boyle and attempt to do the same thing.

"When we didn’t handle it earlier, they kept bringing the pressure," Weist said. "The overall speed of the game is what he is learning. It is different from high school because it is always faster and they bring pressure, they bring pressure again and they keep bringing pressure. It is not just handling it once, it is handling it again and again and again. That is what he learned in this game, that is where he was deficient in this game than against South Florida. He didn’t handle the pressure as well and it happened in some critical situations, down in the red zone. Some of the sacks were due to him taking one more step, not throwing the ball on time. He has to trust that when he lets that ball go that the receiver is going to make plays. He held the ball a couple of times which cost us and other times we went empty and we had hot throws that he didn’t really see and he has to work on. He will get better at that."

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