Tuesday, October 20, 2015

One change to UConn's depth chart, another one is coming

The move to get more snaps for true freshman receivers Tyraiq Beals, Hergy Mayala and Aaron McLean ahead of veterans Thomas Lucas and Brian Lemelle has been rather noticeable in the last couple of weeks.

Mayala started each of the last two games and while I did not break down the snap counts for the receivers in the USF game as I had the week before, if Lucas (a former starter) got onto the field on offense it couldn't have been for more than a play or two.

The shift in playing time was finally reflected on the depth chart as Beals and Mayala are listed as the co-starters opposite of Noel Thomas at receiver.

"They are impact players, they are young so we deal with that," Diaco said. "Right now we have some limitations with certain formations, alignments or tempos that we can either do or not do based on their aptitude so that is an issue too but they are talented players, better than the rest and that is why they are playing and will continue to play if they continue to maintain that same performance level."

Brian Lemelle is still listed as Noel Thomas' backup but Diaco said that Lemelle "has a lower extremity issue that is going to prevent him from participating for an undisclosed period of time."

Lemelle's likely absence could result in Madison's Nick Vitale moving into the starting punt returner role.

Few things tend to annoy Diaco more than some of the undisciplined penalties the Huskies have committed this season.

As frustrating as the seven pre-snap penalties were in the win at Central Florida, it's quite possible the 15-yard taunting penalty called on Jazzmar Clax on a 45-yard kickoff return by Arkeel Newsome late in the third quarter. Instead of starting the drive at the USF 40, it began at the UConn 45. While it is a reach to say the drive would have proceeded the same with the different starting point, it should be noted that drive ended when Bobby Puyol's 44-yard field goal hit an upright and was no good.

"To get another flag for taunting or a blatant block in the back, that is just stupid, that is just bad," Diaco said. "As a program, we have moved on from that. No we haven't, we still are right there. How do you take care of that? Well, you need identify the guys you really aren't reaching and don't let them play anymore so that is easy."


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