Thursday, August 28, 2014

UConn's Diaco not focusing on BYU suspension chatter

Over the last month of so there have been plenty of rumors circulating about which BYU players would be suiting up in Friday's season opener at UConn.

Top tailback Jamaal Williams and Devon Blackmon, expected to be one of the Cougars' top four receivers, made it official by announcing on their own that they were suspended for the UConn game due to a violation of BYU's strict "honor code." There's been plenty of speculation that since starting cornerbacks Rob Daniel and Jordan Johnson have spent the entire fall camp working with the second-team defense that they will no play. Add nose tackle Marques Johnson (who is not even on the current two-deep chart) as another player who could miss the game. Then there is the offensive line situation. Offensive tackle Michael Yeck is on the Outland Trophy watch list but he doesn't even show up on the current depth chart and neither does Solomon Fua, a starting guard on the post-spring depth chart although I have not seen any reports that suspension issues have anything to do with the shuffling of the offensive line rotation. Injury will keep receiver Nick Kurtz out of the UConn game and some other key BYU players have been limited by various ailments during camp.

So how much time has UConn coach Bob Diaco been spending trying to read the suspension tea leaves? Not a heck of a lot.

"We are doing our thing; they are doing their thing," Diaco said. "They are making decisions they need to make for their program; we are making decisions we need to make for our program and to go tit for tat on each guy, we probably win that side of the ledger."

Diaco does have a point as leading rusher Lyle McCombs, game-breaking receiver Shakim Phillips, former starting safety Ty-Meer Brown, Xavier Hemingway (who started at right offensive tackle in the 2013 season opener), former reserve cornerbacks Tyree Clark and David Stevenson and former highly-touted recruits Joe Williams and Kivon Taylor are among the players no longer part of the UConn program for a variety of different reasons.



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