Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cochran is UConn's new starting QB

Former Masuk High star Casey Cochran has been named UConn's starting quarterback for Saturday's game against Southern Methodist.

Cochran has appeared in four games, all in relief, and has completed 17 of 28 passes for 183 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He has the highest QB rating (132.04) among the three quarterbacks who have played for the Huskies this season.

"I had no idea I was going to play against Buffalo, no idea I was going to play against Cincinnati, no idea I was going to play Louisville but the best advice I got from Coach (Shane) Day (UConn's quarterbacks coach) was you never know when you never know if you are going to get your shot, there are games in college and in the NFL where four quarterbacks get hurt in the game and the fifth guy gets in so you never know when your opportunity is. Even back in January I looked at it that some point you are going to get your shot so you have to be ready.

"We are here 24-7 and it is non-stop football and I think at that point during camp when it is grueling, the biggest thing is to push through it, push through that wall and ever since camp we developed that mindset no matter what those circumstances are, even if I wan’t getting reps in practice or during games, the biggest thing was mentally being able to see the game."

Boyle had no touchdown passes and eight interceptions in the last three games and with Boyle continuing to struggle against the pass rush, Weist made the decision to turn to Cochran.

"He has made very smart decisions, he has shown the ability that he can handle pressure and handle them efficiently and really make good decisions," Weist said of Cochran. "As far as Tim is concerned, we are giving him time to develop. He has really done a good job from a focus standpoint and we are no way giving up on either one of our quarterbacks, Tim still has to get himself ready to play all the quarterbacks know they are one play away, one snap away especially if you are the second-team quarterback to playing the whole game.

"Casey is a very smart quarterback and he is probably one of the hardest working players on our team, he comes in and watches film more than any other player than we have, he is very smart. We went with Tim with the onset, when we made the decision, because we thought Tim had a better skill set for us and it came time for Tim to really prove himself on the field. Same thing for Casey, Casey has to go and prove himself on the field against the No. 1 defenses, the pressure situations leading this team so he will get his shot."

Boyle has the best arm among the three quarterbacks who has played this season and he is also the biggest of the three. But the feeling is that Boyle got flustered after the struggles he had in recent weeks.

"At the time we felt that Tim threw the football better with more velocity, more accuracy at times," Weist said. "There was time in the spring and in camp that Casey really showed that he threw the ball better, he threw the ball more accurately. Casey had a little bit of a slump when he wasn’t making the best decisions, he wasn’t playing up the level that he played before and that came into the play with the decision for us going with Tim at the time. Since then Casey has kept working hard, kept showing us in practice that he was making better decisions, sounder decisions and when he moved up, when he played the last two games he has made really good decisions and fast decisions. When he was second team he has done a good job of handling the offense which is why we feel better about him. It is less about his skill set and more about his decision making more than anything."

Cochran's teammates rave about his football smarts and work ethic.

"Casey really knows what he is doing, he is a real student of the game he knows the playbook, he knows what the defense is going to do and that is something that really benefits him," UConn senior offensive guard Steve Greene said. "He came in on the last two games and had two touchdown drives and that is really what you can ask him to do. We are excited for him that he is getting a shot this week. A lot of it has to do with film study, staying after, working on timing and receivers and just making sure he is doing everything he can to put himself in the best position."

As ecstatic as Cochran is, Boyle is understandably disappointed. It was an interest scene inside the Burton Family Football Complex. Five weeks ago Boyle was swarmed around by the assembled media in the first access since he was named the starting quarterback. Cochran sat in the same seat as Boyle did five weeks ago and got the same treatment while Boyle was a couple tables away and only fielded questions from a couple of reporters.

"I am not going to give up by any means, I am going to keep pushing," Boyle said. "I will use it as motivation, whenever I do get my next shot I do want to be prepared and have a game plan going in. This is definitely a learning experience for me and what is in the past is in the past

"I was obviously disappointed because I want to play. I came here to play quarterback, I don’t think I did too good a job when I was in but that is an experience I am going to try to put behind me and learn from. My second reaction is don’t give up because a lot of players in that situation would just fold and throw in the towel but I am not going to do that by any means and I am going to use this as motivation to get better."



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home