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.

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