What’s goin on?
No major injuries from the game first of all.
UConn Coach Paul Pasqualoni made a couple points after watching the UConn-USF game film I wanted to punch in here from this afternoon’s conference call.
“…It was a pretty even statistical thing,” the coach said. “We had the ball about four more minutes than they did. It came down to, really, a couple things. We didn’t execute in the early portion of the game on defense as well. We missed a couple of little things and that allowed them to get that run in there. They had a 26-yard run in there [by Demetris Murray to the UConn 5 in the first quarter] and then they hurried us up on the next play and scored [Quarterback B.J. Daniels finished it up]. So there were two, back-to-back plays…the 26-yard run was just, we just barely missed the tackle at the line of scrimmage so there were a couple little things there. And the way we played, we settled down in the second half and played against the run. Had we not given up that run, I’m not sure they would have gotten the ball in the end zone. Now they may have kicked another field goal or so but I thought we played pretty well there. I thought early going in the game, on the other side of the coin, offensively in the first half, the first five possessions, I thought we moved the ball some…
“We didn’t score the points we wanted to score. We only come out with three right before the half which I thought the two-minute thing, those three plays in two minute were really pretty good but we were keeping them pinned down. I don’t think our offense really got a bunch of credit for keeping them down their end of the field and it gave the defense a lot of room to defend. It gave them a long way to go. I thought the second half, defensively, I thought we really settled in and played pretty good. And the last three possessions of the game, there were too many self-inflicted wounds in the last three possessions of the game and that was really…there were only a few plays in that game that decided the outcome and we just had those turnovers. The fumble was just unfortunate. A lot of people contributed to that. The interception, the 29-yard return, the penalties, a lot of people contributed to that and they got three out of the fumble and three out of the combination of the interception – the quarterback is hit – and the penalties and they get three. Otherwise it’s a 7-6 game and maybe the last, the end of the game from the 20, we’re kicking a field goal to win it 9-6 as opposed to what happened. It just, to me, reaffirmed that in a close game like that there’s only going to be a couple of plays that really determine the outcome of the game and the margin of error is just really slim.”
Also, six points in 60 minutes in a must win game. The Huskies had two weeks to prepare for this game. What else can anyone do?
“The shame of it is, in the run game, we’re so darn close from several of those run, we’re just so darn close to really having more production there and overall don’t forget the bad snap cost us (a 19-yard loss after a shotgun snap went sailing over Chandler Whitmer’s head). That’s a minus 20-yard run. That’s a minus 20-yard run. It was first-and-10 on the 30 and we run the wildcat thing and we trip. The quarterback gets tripped and falls down and then they blitz on the second down so it’s third-and-10 and then the ball goes over is head. So we go from 1st-and-10 on the 30 to fourth down on the 50 after the biggest run of the game [a 26-yard rush by Scott McCummings] that gives it to us first and 10 on the 30. We give up three there and we give them three.
“We worked really hard through the bye week and I thought their approach, and I said this, a lot of guys gave effort in that game, played hard in that game to do the right things. We’re very, very close. Now is not the time to No.1 feel sorry for ourselves and No.2, let up. We’ve got a short week and we’ve got a good team coming in here [in Pittsburgh] maybe the best 4-5 team in the country coming in here and we’ve got to be prepared to play and I think our guys will be.”