Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tough day all around for UConn

When the day began the biggest news was the departure of juniors Jefferson Ashiru and Kamal Abrams.

It wasn't long before that was replaced by 60 minutes of miscues and one of the worst losses in UConn football history.

Three of Cincinnati's scoring drives in a 41-0 win started in UConn territory meanwhile the Huskies were shut out at home for the first time since 1978 and the 129 yards of total offense matched the lowest total since UConn began playing at the FBS level.

"You can't do that," UConn coach Bob Diaco said. "They are going to move the ball, you have to make them move the length of the field. Short fields and turnovers, that is the hallmark of how you get beat."
UConn coach Bob Diaco shook things up by giving sophomore Tim Boyle the start at quarterback while true freshman Ryan Crozier got the call at left guard for his first career start. The only seniors to start on either offense or defense were receivers Davis, making his return after missing the last 2 1/2 games, and Deshon Foxx and defensive end/outside linebacker Reuben Frank.
The Huskies, coming off their two best rushing games of the season, were held to minus 10 yards on the ground in the first half and finished the first half with nine yards of total offense. Cincinnati had nine double-digit yardage plays in the first half and finished with 248 yards of offense in the first two quarters.
Before the game it was confirmed that junior receiver Kamal Abrams and junior linebacker Jefferson Ashiru have left the team continuing the attrition within the program.
Eight different players who started games and with remaining eligibility are no longer with the program. Going one step further, 12 other scholarship players with remaining eligibility who were on the roster at the end of the 2013 season are no longer with the program.
Quarterbacks Kivon Taylor and Scott McCummings, running backs Lyle McCombs and Joe Williams, defensive backs Ty-Meer Brown, Tyree Clark and David Stevenson, tight ends E.J. Norris and Quinn Thompson, offensive lineman Xavier Hemingway, defensive lineman Michael Boland and receiver Shakim Phillips join Abrams and Ashiru as the players on the roster for the 2013 season finale against Memphis who are no longer with the team. That doesn't include injured former starters Byron Jones, Casey Cochran, Dalton Gifford and Angelo Pruitt with Gifford the only one expected back for the 2015 season. Diaco said that 35 players from the last four recruiting classes are no longer a part of the program. Some of that is his doing but much of it happened before he arrived.
"Everybody's got their own reason why, we are just trying to grow and build our culture," Diaco said.
"We want to teach and develop. Do you have a picture of it? I am honored to coach this team. I am honored to be here. If I had to make this choice again 200 times, I would make it again 200 times. I love the guys that are in that locker room, I want to serve them. I also analyze the signing classes of 2010, '11, '12 and '13 and there are 35 players that showed up for active ready duty for UConn Husky football, be student-athletes at the university that are no longer here, that is a fact or no longer able to participate. I don't know the stories."
Sophomore fullback Matt Walsh did not play but he is not among the departed Huskies according to Diaco.
"We had some very slight corrective conversations here and tomorrow he is with the team," Diaco said. "He is a great kid, a great teammate and he is going to do a good job and fulfill his potential."


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