Mailbag Aug.30: Did You See Any Of This Leading Up To The Opener?

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Q Des, I think we all knew there was a chance that the O-line could struggle again this season. When he had the time, Whitmer made some nice throws, and Davis and Phillips look like a real solid duo. Beyond that, though, UConn looked like a team that wasn’t ready to play, and that’s the concerning part to me. Drops by McCombs, DeLorenzo, Foxx, and McQuillan. The D-line worked hard, but got their butts kicked by a FCS opponent. No sacks against Towson? Brutal. I expected more from Stewart, and even Smallwood looked a little lethargic. The PI call he got was a bad mistake. That guy probably wouldn’t have made that catch anyway, and Smallwood bailed him out with a push. Byron Jones looked confused more often than not, and Taylor Mack got straight-up picked on. I don’t even remember hearing Ty-Meer Brown’s name, and that’s a concern too. Melifonwu gave reason to be encouraged. He really stood out, but had his rookie mistakes too. Needed to square up on West on that last TD, but just tried to throw a shoulder into his thighs to bring him down. Didn’t work. In fact, there were a lot of guys who didn’t wrap up their guys throughout the night. Isn’t that the baseline for defensive coaches? Even big names like Stewart made that mistake. The D looked confused and under-prepared, and I have a hard time blaming the kids for that. I’m not ready to quit on Coach P, but if this is how UConn shows up every week, it’s going to be a long season. I can live with the physical mistakes, but for UConn to show up unprepared for Towson is unacceptable. Especially on D, this looked like a team that assumed it would dominate, and then couldn’t flick the switch when trouble started brewing. I guess my question for you would be: did you get the sense that this was a possibility in the run-up to the game? And what adjustments do you think the coaches make to ensure this doesn’t happen again moving forward? I don’t imagine motivation will be hard to come by with Maryland and Michigan coming in, but the confusion has to be addressed.  Tim, Lebanon

A: Hey Tim I agree with every single one of your points and the question you have is good, too. I didn’t see this coming from the D line or the linebackers as you mentioned. I didn’t see it from the corners. We really saw little in the way of special teams returns in the preseason. Offensively, I saw the struggles at quarterback. They were there early, the interceptions. Later they were cleaned up some but the misfires were still I. I didn’t see much throwing on the run from Whitmer. I think he has a long way to go in completing those passes. I predicted a 20-point win Tim, so no. I’m not sure what adjustments will be made yet but they shouldn’t just be with personnel but better strategy and putting the team in the best position to win tops the list.

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