Monday, September 21, 2015

UConn's Diaco: "Best Navy team I have seen"

Bob Diaco did not pull any punches when asked for his opinion on facing triple-option teams with Navy coming to Rentschler Field on Saturday afternoon.

"I don't like defending it," Diaco said on Monday's American Athletic Conference weekly coaches call. "It is a shock to the central nervous system of the program, it is a total disruption of the eye progression for the defensive players from this offense as opposed to the other offenses we are going to see. It has a major impact on the lower-leg extremities for the defensive players. It is a very violent blocking style so it is very disruptive. No, I do not enjoy playing them."

Diaco is no stranger to face Navy's triple-option offense. He was the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 2010-13 and each season the Fighting Irish faced Navy. Navy won the first meeting in 2010 but the Fighting Irish won the games in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In the 2012 season opener Diaco's defense held Navy to one touchdown (through the air) but the following season Keenan Reynolds (the reigning American Athletic Conference offensive player of the week) ran for three scores and threw for another while fullback Chris Swain had a TD run in Notre Dame's 38-34 victory.

"The best Navy team I have seen," Diaco said. "I have been playing Navy for a while now and it is the best Navy team in all three phases that I have seen.

"He (Reynolds) is an awesome player."

However, leading up to the Army game a couple weeks ago Diaco said stopping or slowing down the fullbacks is the key to dealing with the triple-option offense so it is no surprise that he quickly named fullbacks Swain and Quinton Ezell players the Huskies need to contain.

"Right now it is the Swain train and Ezell and the work he does," Diaco said. "You have to start there. They are awesome, the are two of the best fullbacks that I have seen in a while. The combination of those two fullbacks and Keenan, it is a pretty profound beginning of their first two options of their triple option."


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