Friday, August 29, 2014

Diaco era at UConn begins with 25-point loss

Bob Diaco was not about to lament what could have been.

He knew his team was going to struggle against a dynamic dual-threat quarterback like Taysom Hill and the Huskies most certainly did some issues shutting him down. Diaco also knew that contending with Bronson Kaufusi would be no walk in the park and the BYU outside linebacker had a bigger impact than the four tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery he was credited with.

While BYU left little doubt it was the better team from the opening kickoff, one does have to wonder what would have happened if the Huskies stopped Hill on a fourth-down play on the opening drive and didn't turn the ball over on the their first offensive play.

Before many of the 35,150 had even got comfortable in their seats, the Huskies were down 14-0.

"You can't start a game like that and think you are going to win," Diaco said after the 35-10 loss.

Even after giving up 329 yards in the first half the Huskies were hanging around but managed just three second-half points despite drives of 64 and 70 yards.

"Five red zone penetrations, we produced points in two of them so you need to have been (success)," Diaco said. "It takes a little more volume to get great in those moments. The field is short, the window become tighter There are a lot of mechanics that go into that scoring zone."

"Definitely that was an area that was a thorn."

Diaco was determined to play lots of players and he did just that. He said that 25 offensive and 25 defensive players got into the game in the first half. A total of 59 players got into the game as Diaco used the game almost as an exhibition game with wholesale substitutions.

As for the numbers, Hill was 28 of 36 for 308 yards with three touchdown passes and had 97 yards on 12 carries with two more TDs.

Casey Cochran was 17 of 31 passing for 171 yards while Chandler Whitmer finished with 113 yards passing. Geremy Davis wasn't involved early but finished with 96 yards on seven catches.

Marquise Vann, Jefferson Ashiru and Graham Stewart led UConn with 11 tackles each while Stewart and Junior Joseph had fumble recoveries.


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