Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Moving time

This is the end of the wonderful UConn Huskies Nation blog on Blogger. For all five years I've covered the team, this is where I've posted news, notes and ramblings. And I even got a snazzy background image this summer.

HOWEVER...All of the Bulletin's blogs are moving to the newspaper's Web site, and my UConn football blog is the first of mine to make the jump.

So, as of today, you can find me at:

But I'm leaving you with one last poll question. Let me know what you think.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Want some last-minute info on the game?

I will be on WXLM 104.7 FM discussing UConn's game with Temple Saturday morning at 11:15 a.m.

You can listen here:

Friday, September 17, 2010

From the mailbag

It's always good to hear from readers, no matter where they are. This week, Scott from California posed a question about the Huskies' upcoming game against Temple.
Scott writes:
Dear Joe,

Thanks for your great coverage of the Huskies. I was reading before the season about Moorhead installing a new no-huddle, up-tempo offense, and how Frazer was the type of QB who could run that system. Has that been an emphasis in practice? Is that something we would expect to see against Temple? I see UConn has run about 58% of the time for the season.  I appreciate hearing any opinions or insight that you may have on this.
Thanks for the e-mail. Joe Moorhead brought in the no-huddle last season, but it wasn't used nearly as much as people would have liked. Part of the problem was the Huskies really struggled in the passing game and the running attack usually worked.

This year, UConn still wants to use the no-huddle. The media hasn't been allowed to watch practice since before the Michigan game, so I can't tell you what's being worked on specifically. I can tell you this: During training camp, they worked the no-huddle extensively.

Then where is it, right? I think it was difficult to use it against Michigan because the Wolverine's 3-3-5 formation makes passing difficult and that's what the Huskies needed to do to climb back into the game. As you mentioned, the Huskies have run the majority of the time, and I think last week's game skews the numbers. Versus Texas Southern, UConn had to run otherwise it would have been running up the score in a 62-3 game.

Against Temple, which allowed almost 300 passing yards to Central Michigan last week, I suspect we'll see some no-huddle. Look for it on the drives where the Huskies are moving the chains and the Owls are sort of on their heels. It's the ideal situation to use the no-huddle and really crush a defense's spirits.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lutrus out

Senior LB Scott Lutrus will miss Saturday's game at Temple with an upper extremity injury. It's believed to be the stinger he suffered last season, which was aggravated two weeks ago against Michigan.

This was an injury that really nagged Lutrus last season. 

It's time to start wondering if he will play again for the Huskies.

More award updates

  • The Maxwell Award, given to the game's most outstanding player, recognized performances by the following:
Oklahoma sophomore QB Landry Jones threw for 380 yards and four touchdowns. 

Alabama's senior QB Greg McElroy completed 16-of-24 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns.    

Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett completed 28-for-43 passes for an even 400 yards and three touchdowns. 

Oregon sophomore RB LaMichael James rushed for 134 yards on 16 carries including a 72-yard touchdown run. 

Nevada senior QB Colin Kaepernick completed 72% of his passes and ran or threw for 402 yard. He also rushed for 161 yards on 11 carries.

  • The Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player) recognized these athletes: 
Michigan State LB Greg Jones led the Spartans with 11 tackles, forcing a fumble and helping to hold Florida Atlantic to just 45 yards rushing.

Purdue DE Ryan Kerriganhad a dozen tackles, including four for minus yards, and a pass breakup.

Florida senior safety Ahmad Black picked off two passes in Florida's 38-14 win over South Florida, while leading the Gators with eight tackles.

  • The Thorpe Award, presented to the top defensive back, honored Rutgers Joe Lefeged as its player of the week.
  • The award for top center, the Rimington Award, noted three players to watch tis week:
Georgia Tech's Sean Bedford
Mississippi State's J.C. Brignone
Auburn's Ryan Pugh

SNY viewing party

I can't tell you if this will become a regular occurrence for road games, although I believe it is a good idea, but...SNY is holding a student-only viewing party for Saturday's UConn-Temple game.

It starts at 11:30 a.m. at the UConn Student Union Theater, which holds roughly 500 people. There will be refreshments, giveaways and prizes for students who attend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Award updates

It's just the third week of the season, but it's never too soon to start talking about the major college football awards. I mean, heck, Temple is plugging it's running back as a Heisman candidate.  Let's try to sort through the pretenders and contenders. I'll try to give updates every week.

Here's what different committees are saying about their awards:

  • The Davey O'Brien Award (best QB) presents its marquee matchup between No. 9 Iowa and No. 24 Arizona. The game features two top QBs — Nick Foles and Ricky Stanzi.
The folks at Stanford don't want you to forget about Andrew Luck. They send along the following from his most recent game:
  • Completed 11-of-24 passes for 151 yards and two TDs in Stanford’s 35-0 victory at UCLA
  • Also rushed for a career high 63 yards on seven carries.
  • Helped Stanford to its first victory in the Rose Bowl since 1996
  • Stanford is 2-0 on the season and ranked 19th in both the AP and USA Today Coaches’ Polls this week
  • Stanford improved to 10-4 with Luck as a starter
Andrew Luck highlight video from last week

  • Meanwhile, the good folks at the Football Writers Association of America, which I am a member of, named Ohio State CB Chimdi Chekwa as the defensive player of the week.
  •  The Paul Hornung Award, which goes to the most versatile player in college football, selected nine (NINE?) who stood out last week. They are:
  • Kentucky's Randall Cobb, Oregon's Kenjon Barner, Troy's Jerrel Jernigan, Michigan's Denard Robinson, Florida's Jeffrey Demps, Rutgers' Joe Lefeged and  Mohamed Sanu, Stanford's Owen Marecic and Michigan State's Keshawn Martin. 
  • The John Mackey Award, presented to the best tight end, named Notre Dame's Kyle Rudolph its tight end of the week.
  • Last, but not least, the folks over at the Biletenkoff Award (top WR) have provided the top 40 WRs in terms of yardage. No, I'm not listing all 40. But I'll give you the top 5.
Duke's Connor Vernon has 310 yards, Jermain Kearse of Washington has 287, Kealoha Pilares from Hawaii has 280 yards, Bowling Green's Kamar Jorden follows with 279 and Ryan Broyles of Oklahoma is fifth with 266 yards.

      Tuesday, September 14, 2010

      Tuesday's notes

      UConn began its planning for Saturday's game at Temple, a team which has been a thorn in the Huskies' side. The last two games were memorable in that the Owls were cheated three years ago when the officials wrongly waved off a TD pass, ruling that the receiver was not in-bounds. The most recent game was notable because the Huskies played down to the Owls, who weren't good, and had to be saved by Donald Brown with a tropical storm hitting the region.

      • Randy Edsall said there is no rivalry in particular, because "every game is a rivalry. Temple coach Al Golden, who like Edsall, is on the rise on the coaching scene agreed, but added that his team hasn't done what the Huskies have in winning at Notre Dame, having beaten a SEC team and having won a bowl game.

      • Asked to expanded upon his vote of confidence (note: Edsall has no actual say) in adding Villanova to the Big East and whether he'd consider Temple, he said this:
      "I'm not a decision-maker in the process or anything, but when I heard about this even before (recent reports out of Philadelphia), it was something we talked about when we were in our meetings in May. I think because of when you look at the league and you look at the situation (Villanova already a member in basketball), I think it's a natural fit for our league and for Villanova if they feel they can handle it financially and the things that go with making that upgrade (from FCS to FBC). ... I think it would be a good fit, and if it happened I would be very delighted to see them join in football."

      He went on to say about Temple:
      "That's up to the people at the Big East. We don't make those decisions. That's up to the Big East."

      That sounds like a big thumbs down to the Owls.

      He added this about having a ninth team and how it helps scheduling for Big East teams:
      "That's a lot of it, but also in terms of when was the last time we had seven home games here? We haven't even had seven home games and that's the thing I've been trying to get is seven home games because that helps you financially, it helps you because you'd rather play seven home games than six. You have the four home conference games, I think you have a tendency that you might be able to get seven home games more easily hen you are only playing three non-conference opponents at home."

      Edsall said if there were a balanced schedule, UConn would not give up playing one FCS team because that game helps enable it playing seven games at Rentschler Field.

      • Asked about linebacker Lawrence Wilson,  who has been able to remain healthy over his career while fellow linebackers Scott Lutrus and Greg Lloyd Jr., have not, Edsall had this to say:
      "I don't know, you have to ask him that. He goes out there every day and practices and plays. Some guys genetically are made different. Some guys, their bodies are just different. Some guys are a little bit more athletic, some guys are a little bit more fluid, some guys are a little bit more flexible and some guys are lucky. Whatever it is, he's doing it right. Not that anyone is doing it wrong. I think any time you can play injury free for the most part throughout your career, it's probably a little bit of luck more than anything in terms of football."

      • When Edsall suspended Erik Kuraczea and Cody Endres during training camp, the speculation was that they would make their return this week. But when the subject came up, Edsall said it was a subject he would discuss next week. 
      Does that mean they will return for Buffalo? Not necessarily. He did say that they are not back, but things like that can be fluid. It wouldn't surprise ,e to see them in uniform on Saturday.

      On how " 'Bama" has improved and can continue to improve:
      "He's become more of a student of the game. I thin he's learned to dissect the game a little bit more in terms of what people are trying to do. I think there are always things he can try to improve upon on just in terms of being consistent and being more aggressive all the time."
      • Along the lines of linebackers, Edsall was asked about getting playing time for his younger LBs considering all three starters are seniors.
      "I'm not worried about next year. I couldn't care less about next year. You're going to play your best guys. I'm not going to take Lawrence or Greg or Scott off the field just to gain guys' experience."
      • With Ryan Griffin having missed most of the preseason as well as the Michigan game, John Delahunt has stepped in and played well for the Huskies. Edsall had praise for the work he had done.
      "I think the biggest thing is he put more time and effort into it; he's worked hard. I think he made more of a commitment in trying to be as good as he can be. In think he saw he had some ability. What he did was try and go out and maximize his potential. I just saw a guy who went out and tried to work harder, really since last January, in all aspects of becoming a better football player. I'm talking about strength and conditioning, understanding all the concepts and all that we're trying to do offensively. Again, he's always had very good hands. He just made more of a commitment to be the best player he could be."

      I'll say this much: When I spoke to Delahunt, who is from Canada, a couple years ago prior to the International Bowl, I didn't think he would ever play. He was bulky and looked more like an O-lineman than TE.

      • Sophomore WR Dwayne Difton looked lost during August. He missed catches, the route running left something to be desired, and when talk of who was expected to contribute, Difton's name was usually absent from conversation. But now, Edsall has seen some positives and thinks that the small, but the fast WR from  Fort Lauderdale could be a factor. 
      Difton looked good in the second half against Michigan and again in the second half against Texas Southern. He'll probably get more snaps early against Temple, but he will have to make them count if he wants to see the ball in conference play.

      Edsall said they won't hesitate to use him more. That's really not good if you are Isiah Moore.
      "I just think what happens is I don't think it's fair to put some of the hype on these kids as they come out of high school and I think the way some young men are treated in high school, they are catered to and allowed to get away with certain things. When they come to a program like this, they're not going to be catered to. They're going to earn their stripes. The publicity, the rankings that they had coming in here really doesn't mean anything. for some young men, it's an adjustment period. It takes some time for them to really understand that it's all about hard work and going out and working hard and earning your right, not that you're going to be given something. You have to earn it, you have to work for it. And I think that's been part of the process with Dwayne, and I think he's picked it up, and he sees now and he's been better for it and he's doing some good things. He still has to become more consistent when he's on the field.

      What they are saying

      Randy Edsall became UConn's winningest head coach Saturday, but when asked about it, he deflected the praise to everyone else involved with the Huskies. The win put Edsall ahead of J.O. Christian This is what a few of his players said about him.

      “He’s a consistent leader,” said right guard Zach Hurd. “He’s not afraid to say what he needs to say or get done what needs to get done. He doesn’t care of people don’t like him for what he does — he does the best thing for the program. Whatever the program needs he does. His interest is always in the program. He’s just a great person in general.”

      “Right now, he is the program,” said fullback Anthony Sherman. “He’s been here 12 years and he’s done a great job every year that he’s been here. ... His hard work has just rubbed off on everybody else. That’s why we’re a good team, because of him.”

      “He harps on, you come here to play football, but he’s very concerned with your academics,” tailback Robbie Frey said. “He wants you to do well in school. I feel like he’s built a program where he has well-rounded people.”

      Monday, September 13, 2010

      Observations and ramblings

      During his Sunday teleconference, which might have been the shortest in the five years I've covered the team, Randy Edsall said he saw some inconsistent play from the secondary, wasn't happy with Jory Jones' play in place of Scott Lutrus, and found good and bad in Mike Box's play.

      I just watched the SNY pregame and postgame coverage of Saturday's game as well as the game itself (not that I wasn't watching Saturday).

      Some points of interest:
      Athletic Director Jeffrey Hathaway said he likes where the Big East is at, but thinks it needs to explore a ninth team. Published reports out of Philadelphia say that the conference invited Villanova. The studio analysts said the Wildcats were a bad choice. Roman Oben said if the conference lost Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech, it needs to add a school of that stature. Uh....good luck.

      My take is there is a short list of schools that are viable: 'Nova, Central Florida (my choice), Memphis, East Carolina and Florida Atlantic.

      Another subject Hathaway was asked about was playing a team such as Michigan in Week 1. He said he liked it because the team had longer to prepare. Imagine what would have happened if they had just a week? The players said they weren't ready for Michigan and that it was a bad practice week.

      Speaking of Michigan, Dennard Robinson's big game against Notre Dame makes UConn look better than in the immediate aftermath.

      Lost in the Huskies' 62-3 win over Texas Southern on Saturday was that the victory made Randy Edsall the program's all-time winningest coach. He has 67 wins.

      There was a lot of hype surrounding D.J. Shoemate's arrival from USC. Two games in and it's been undeserving. He's been the least effective of the Huskies' running backs and looks tentative. His best moments came against Texas Southern's second string. Not good. He has three games to bounce back or you won't see him in conference play.

      How dangerous is Jordan Todman? Two games in and both teams avoid him on kickoffs.

      About Todman and Shoemate...both lost the ball in a game this season. Not a good trend.

      The games are going to start getting harder. Temple plays UConn tight and Vanderbilt will be an athletic team that's faced better, yet the passing game hasn't distinguished itself. There were some drops at Michigan and just 15 attempts versus Texas Southern, not a real test.

      UConn was unhappy with third down effectiveness in its opener. After a 4 of 11 game Saturday, I am sure that hasn't changed.

      Saturday, September 11, 2010


      If you were at the game, you might have noticed that at its conclusion, the Huskies join the band in singing the school fight song. It's a new tradition started in hopes of keeping fans around a little longer. Today was tough to do so because the game was over after the first quarter.

      The Huskies are 7-1 in home openers. ... They are 3-1 against teams from Texas. ... When Jordan Todman eclipsed the 100-yard mark at the 8:25 mark in the first quarter, he notched his seventh 100-yard game of his career. He has 100 yards in five of his last six games. His three touchdowns move him to within one of the school's all-time top 10 for rushing TDs. ... Michael Smith caught his first career TD. ... John Delahunt's 45-yard reception was the longest of his career. ... Cole Wagner had a punt inside the five-yard line in consecutive games. ... Jory Johnson picked up his first interception of his career. ... Robbie Frey set career bests with a 63-yard TD run and his 101 rushing yards. ... Gerrard Sheppard had his first catch. ... Dwayne Difton's 27-yard reception was the longest of his career. ... Greg Lloyd tallied his first career INT. ... Martin Hyppolite had his first career sack. ... Meme Wylie scored his first career TD. .. Freshman Taylor Mack also had his first INT.


      OK, not really. But here's injury news that Randy Edsall didn't want you or anyone else to know. DT Kendall Reyes, who didn't play in the second half, injured his ankle and it was taped heavily after the game. But Reyes said it's nothing serious and he'll practice Sunday. His removal from the game was precautionary.

      Second half changes

      Mike Box in at QB, Kevin Friend in at RT and Kendall Reyes out with an injury.


      Texas Southern is BAD. It has 56 penalty yards, no points and no first downs.

      Meanwhile, UConn scored on every possession, toys with the Tigers by testing different plays that weren't available last week and leads 31-0 halfway through the second quarter.

      A game within a quarter

      Jordan Todman has 136 yards rushing and the Huskies scored on each of their four possessions to take a 24-0 lead over the Tigers.

      Friday, September 10, 2010

      Listen in

      I will be on WXLM 104.7 FM discussing UConn's game with Texas Southern Saturday morning at 11:15 a.m.

      You can listen here:

      Is Villanova the answer?

      fROM espn.COM:
      PHILADELPHIA -- Villanova is studying a proposal to join the Big East Conference in football, the school's athletic director told the Philadelphia Daily News.

      "The Big East very recently communicated its interest in adding Villanova as a football member," Wildcats AD Vince Nicastro told the Daily News on Thursday. "As a result, we have decided to embark on an in-depth evaluation of this opportunity."

      In a letter to alumni, Villanova President Peter Donohue wrote: "This is a complicated issue with numerous, multi-dimensional factors that come into play, and it is important that we investigate scenarios related to making -- or not making -- such a move."

      The Big East has eight members for football. Villanova is a member of the conference in other sports, including men's and women's basketball. A ninth member would allow the Big East to play eight conference games -- four home and four on the road. Currently, teams alternate playing more home than road conference games each year.

      Villanova currently plays in the Football Championship Subdivision, where it is ranked second in the nation. The Wildcats won the national title a year ago.

      The Big East declined to comment. Sources told the Daily News and that the Big East would like an answer from Villanova by the end of the year.

      One issue for Villanova is its home field, which seats 12,000 -- 3,000 fewer than the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision minimum.

      The school also would need to fund 22 more scholarships for football, as well as a similar number for women's athletics in order to meet Title IX requirements. Upgrades to on-campus training facilities also would be needed.

      Thursday, September 09, 2010

      Lutrus out

      Huskies LB Scott Lutrus has been ruled out for Saturday's game against Texas Southern. The senior is listed with an upper extremity injury. No word on the exact nature, but my guess is a stinger. That's the same injury that sidelined him for parts of last season. He will be replaced by Jory Johnson.

      Reserve RB Jonathan Jean-Louis is also out.

      Looking back

      With the start of the NFL season tonight, let's take a look at the former Huskies who are playing in the league. It wasn't that long ago that there were hardly any UConn players in the NFL. Now there are a few who even have name recognition.

      The program has come a long way.

      Dan Orlovsky, QB, Houston Texans
      Deon Anderson, FB, Dallas Cowboys
      Tyvon Branch, S, Oakland Raiders
      Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts
      Darius Butler, CB, New England Patriots
      William Beatty, OT, New York Giants
      Marcus Easley, WR, Buffalo Bills
      Robert McClain, S, Carolina Panthers

      Larry Taylor, WR, and Cody Brown, DE, are both on the New York Jets' practice squad.

      Last weekend, Donald Thomas, OG; Julius Williams, DE; and Tyler Lorenzen, QB, were released by the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints, respectively.

      Tuesday, September 07, 2010

      Worthy non-football notes about Saturday's game

      Saturday's game vs. Texas Southern will be "Green Awareness Day" at Rentschler Field. For the second-straight year, fans will be reminded of ways to be environmentally friendly when they visit a UConn football game.

      According to the university: UConn students from the "EcoHusky" and EcoHouse" groups will be stationed inside the stadium at recycling areas to educate fans about recycling as part of the "Man the Can" program. Patrons will be able to be “Caught Green Handed” throughout the day as several fans will win prizes when they are recycling at Rentschler.

      Various UConn corporate partners will be assisting in the effort. Coca-Cola, Inc., has donated new recycling containers in Rentschler Field. Viridian Energy will distribute plastic bags to be used for recycling in the Blue lots.

      The game will also serve as Military Appreciation Day. All of the events associated with the game are dedicated to honoring all UConn alumni and current students who have served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces.

      There will being an Armed Forces Alumni Tailgate prior to the start of the game.

      Past and current military personnel and their guests who attend the Alumni Tailgate will have special reserved seating for the game.

      Members of the UConn’s Air Force ROTC and Army ROTC Color Guards will present the flag prior to kick off. At halftime, the UConn marching band will present a special tribute to our armed forces, and those attending the Alumni Tailgate will be welcomed onto the field where they will be honored as a group.

      To participate in the day’s special activities, pre-registration is required. To purchase tickets to the game and the pre-game festivities – or for more information -- contact Kim Lachut, Manager of Alumni Programs at (888) 822-5861 or (860) 486-2240 or Cara Workman, Director of University Events, at (860) 486-1001.

      Injury report

      Randy Edsall said only players who are out or pending surgery as a result of the previous game will be included in the Monday injury report. Otherwise, they will be included in the report released by the Big East on Thursday.

      That report won't get into specifics, but to protect the student athlete, will list injuries in one of five ways:
      Upper Extremities

      News from Storrs

      Not a whole lot today.

      Still no word on Scott Lutrus. For what it's worth, I passed him in the parking lot and he looked OK. That doesn't mean he is or isn't.

      There was one change to the depth chart. Alex Polito is replacing Ryan Wirth at defensive tackle, backing up Twyon Martin.

      Randy Edsall was asked whether there was something for UConn fans to learn from their Michigan counterparts considering the Huskies have their home opener Saturday at noon vs. Texas Southern. His response was to show up early and get to your seats before the team takes the field.

      He also said the Huskies learned from playing the Wolverines.

      “Just the level of competition in terms of having an opener like that,” coach Randy Edsall said. “You’re getting put into a lot of situations. Our guys, we go down 21-0, they could have folded their tents. And you find out a lot about their character, attitude, perseverance -- a lot of different things.”

      Citing past games with West Virginia, where the Mountaineers would score late and the Huskies “just kinda took it,” said Edsall.

      Monday, September 06, 2010

      Big East Conference Call

      On today's Big East coaches conference call, Randy Edsall reiterated that the Huskies failed to take advantage of opportunities against Michigan. Looking ahead to Texas Southern, which he says is one of the faster and better teams from the SWAC.

      The coaches have been asked about scheduling tougher games in the first week. Neill Ostrout of the Connecticut Post asked Edsall of his thoughts on scheduling:

      "We've done it both ways. We've played FBS teams in the first week and FCS in the first week. The schedule is what it is and you take it as it comes. .. To me, you just play the games as they come. It makes no difference in terms of how you do it.

      "Maybe if we play that game at home, it makes a difference."

      Edsall was asked for an update on Scott Lutrus, but he declined, saying it will wait until Thursday.

      From ESPN's Dana Jacobson

      "It wasn't as if (Denard Robinson) did it against a Big Ten defense."

      Sunday, September 05, 2010

      Notes from Edsall's teleconference

      Coach Randy Edsall said that considering how bad they played Saturday, it was disappointing the Huskies didn't take advantage of the opportunities presented.

      He also was upset about the 3rd-down conversion on both sides of the ball.

      There were four drives of over 70 yards in which Michigan scored and that was a result of UConn not making plays.

      The positives: a "bunch" of tackles for a loss; good ball movement.

      On the secondary: "We have one major bust out there and it was on a lack of communication on that big pas splay. If we had communicated better, it would have been completed but not for that kind of yardage."

      On the O-Line: "They weren't very good. I think we got whooped on both sides of the line of scrimmage."

      Edsall said both lines need to get a "lot more physical."

      Leon Kinnard "showed he was a true freshman."

      The Morning After

      There is a lot to digest from UConn's 30-10 loss at Michigan on Saturday. I finally had a chance to watch the game uninterrupted. I don't think if UConn plays the same exact way next week that Texas Southern wins, but there was plenty to work on.

      THE GOOD: Following it first two possessions, the Huskies were able to move the football. Zach Frazer looked more comfortable (as he should) and I was impressed with Michael Smith and Kashif Moore. Both WRs had a more polished look. ... Jordan Todman is going to have a monster season. ... UConn did a better job of hitting and tackling in the second half.

      THE BAD: There was no pass rush from the Huskies, and granted, that losing Marcus Campbell and not wanting to blow contain coverage on Denard Robinson made rushing difficult. BUT...there was no contain, so UConn might as well as try to pressure the QB more. It can't, at least against a much-improved Michigan O-Line. ... During the first two possessions, the UConn O-Line struggled. They can't have that happen again. They have to come out sharp from the start. ... On their fourth possession, the Huskies had a 4th and 3 situation and Kashif Moore went two-plus yards. You have to be certain that you get past the first down marker.

      THE UGLY: Denard Robinson=Pat White=Not good news for Huskies. UConn couldn't beat White at West Virginia and couldn't beat Robinson at Michigan. It's the same offense because it's the same coach. This does not bode well for the Huskies' game versus the Mountaineers later this season. ... The dropped passes. There were six, but the last one, to John Delahunt, was more Frazer's fault. There were two killers: Smith's drop at the Michigan 2 and Isiah Moore's drop on the third possession. ... The WRs aren't to shoulder all the blame. ... Frazer had Isiah Moore wide open down the middle of the field in the second quarter, but overthrew. ... D.J. Shoemate's fumble was inexcusable. He left the ball exposed and it was knocked out by a helmet -- wrap it up. The Huskies left at least 14 points on the field. It might not have changed the outcome, but it would have changed the game. Who knows what happens from there. ... No 3rd down defense. Michigan embarrassed UConn by going 12-for-16 on 3rd downs. The worst example of how bad the defense was came in the fourth quarter. Michigan is at its 11 for a 3rd and 15. Robinson runs up the middle for 16 yards.

      Saturday, September 04, 2010


      I like UConn's ability to the run the ball versus Michigan's inability to stop the run. I see the Huskies winning this, 27-21.

      Friday, September 03, 2010

      UConn, UCF to play in home-and-home series

      The Huskies have agreed to play two games with the Knights beginning in 2014, the University of Central Florida announced Friday.

      Central Florida will visit Rentschler Field in 2014 and UConn will make the return trip to Orlando in 2015.

      UConn opens its 2010 schedule Saturday at Michigan (3:30 p.m., ABC).

      This is an interesting matchup because if the Big East expands, UCF is going to be on its short list.

      Thursday, September 02, 2010

      SNY comes to Eastern Connecticut

      OK, so we've all heard about SNY's deal with UConn as its new broadcasting partner. Well, SNY launches on Comcast in parts of the state that hadn't been receiving it as part of it's package.

      The first Huskies show will be the UConn Huskies Football Season Preview Show at 9:30 p.m.

      From SNY: SNY’s live UConn football game coverage, which features approximately five games throughout the 2010 season, will kick-off September 11th at noon when the Huskies take on Texas Southern. SNY will also air the following week’s UConn-Temple match-up on September 18th at noon. All Huskies football games airing on SNY will be wrapped by in-depth pre and post-game shows.

      Here's where you can find SNY around the state (local areas in bold):

      * For Clinton-area customers in the towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Durham, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook on Channel 58.

      * For Groton-area customers in the towns of Groton, including the Groton Navy Base, Ledyard, North Stonington, Stonington and Voluntown on Channel 65.

      * For Middletown-area customers in the towns of Cromwell, East Hampton, Middlefield, Middletown and Portland on Channel 59; HD Channel 254*.

      * For Vernon-area customers in the towns of Andover, Bolton, Ellington, Hebron, Marlborough, Tolland and Vernon on Channel 68; HD Channel 218*.

      * For Norwich and Old Lyme-area customers in the towns of Bozrah, Colchester, East Haddam, Franklin, Lisbon, Lyme, Norwich, Old Lyme, Preston, Salem and Sprague on Channel 46; HD Channel 786*.

      New uniforms

      No, not for the Huskies, but for several teams including Pitt and West Virginia.

      Check these out and tell me what you think. I like Virginia Tech's design but dislike Miami's a lot.

      Predictions' Mark Schalbach and Andrea Adelson have the Huskies going to the Meineke Car Car Bowl (vs. Clemson) and Beef o'Brady St. Petersburg Bowl (vs. Tulsa), respectively.

      Sporting News' Derek Samson has the Huskies at 28th overall

      CSB Sportsline's Dennis Dodd has the Huskies ranked 22nd. The site projects UConn to meet Colorado in the first-ever Pinstripe Bowl. (Note: Sportsline lists Notre Dame as the Big East's No. 2 team.)

      I have the Huskies at 10-2 and finishing the year with a top-20 ranking.

      Listen if you can

      If you live in the Syracuse/Watertown, N.Y., area, you can hear me today on ESPN Radio 1410 AM or tomorrow the podcast will be available on discussing UConn football.

      Wednesday, September 01, 2010

      A video, for your viewing pleasure

      This is a video produced by UConn's in-house media arm, UConn Today.

      Better late than never

      My apologies...the overlap of baseball and football leaves little time for blogging. Here are a few tidbits from Tuesday.

      Freshman Leon Kinnard made the two-deep as a WR, which led to Randy Edsall emphasizing that Kinnard is "an athlete."

      What does that mean in terms of what he's going to contribute? Look at Kinnard as a secret weapon. They can use him as a straight QB (which is what he was recruited as), he can lineup as a WR, take direct snaps, run reverses and be used in wildcat-like plays.

      Did Edsall say as much? What do you think?

      “He’s somebody we believe has the ability to make plays for us,” Edsall said. “And that’s why you want to get him on the field if you can.”

      Kinnard gives the Huskies some unpredictability, something that has been sorely missing. I promise you that the Huskies will unleash their newest weapon against Michigan.


      There are also two other true freshmen -- both CBs -- on the two-deep.

      This sis what Edsall had to say about Taylor Mack, whom a week ago he raved about, and Gilbert Stlouis:

      “The couple things that I like about them,” said Edsall, “is that they are kids that are physical. They’ll get after you, they have good ability, they’ll compete and go after the ball. They’re going to come up and be physical.”

      I haven't decided yet what this says. Is it that the Huskies are lacking depth, which they are, or are these kids that good. We'll get a better idea in a few days. But Gary Wilburn, who lettered last season, must feel bad since he's not on the two-deep and Chris Lopes was moved from S to CB.


      In years past, the depth chart would be littered with "OR" at many positions, meaning there wasn't a clear-cut No. 1 or No. 2. The only offensive or defensive "OR" comes at running back.

      Robbie Frey, who looked amazing during camp, and USC transfer D.J. Shoemate are "OR" as the backup to Jordan Todman. It's clear that the Huskies see each as situational players. Which ones remain to be seen.


      Everyone is talking about the return of Greg Lloyd, Jr., who went from not playing this year to starting middle linebacker in no time.

      It was Lloyd's hard work -- something questioned by Edsall in early July -- that got the senior back on the field.

      He had clearance to participate in some drills and really pushed the envelope when he knew how much his left knee could handle. Keep in mind he tore his ACL and MCL last year against Syracuse.

      Said Edsall: "Sometimes young people exceed the expectations that you might have for them."

      That says A LOT coming from Edsall.


      Other notes: Mike Box is the NO. 2 QB. We should see him play a lot in the home opener. I also don't expect him to lose the spot when Cody Endres returns from his suspension.

      Edsall said the Michigan game isn't any more or less important than any other game. "It's just one of 12," he said.