Friday, September 12, 2014

Boise State's Ajayi a problem for UConn tomorrow

When I spoke to Boise State offensive coordinator Mike Sanford earlier this week he mentioned that there has been some chatter about junior tailback Jay Ajayi being overworked in the first two games of the season.

After getting 53 carries and catching the ball 16 times in games against Mississippi and Colorado State I would have to think that the UConn defensive coaches would be absolutely thrilled if there was a plan to limit the touches of the powerful and elusive Ajayi. Perhaps UConn can get the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive game plan implemented, you know the one that gave all-everything tailback Jamaal Charles seven carries in a season-opening loss.

The Huskies have fared relatively well against convention run plays in the first two games of the season but they have not seen a back anywhere as good as the one they will line up against on Saturday.

"He's an excellent back, hard to tackle, fast, aggressive, he has short-pace quickness," UConn coach Bob Diaco said, "He has a nice spin; he has a complete game. He catches well, they use him to check the ball down to. He is a predominant performer and a very productive part of their offense."

The biggest difference in Ajayi from last season to this year is the way he is utilized in the passing game. He came into the season with 23 career receptions and he also has 16 in the first two games including 12 against Mississippi.

"As it relates to us we need to execute our defense," Diaco said. "Just do your job, know your job, read your key and execute on defense. How that fits into the style of offensive plays is how it fits into it. We need to work on block instruction, we need to work on tackling, effort to football, our jobs and key progression and keep the focus there."

Keeping tabs on Ajayi coming out of the backfield will be no easy task for UConn's linebackers and safeties.

"He is averaging 150 yards per game, second leading receiver," UConn linebacker Graham Stewart said. "He is about 80 percent of their offense so if we can eliminate him we have a better chance of winning."


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