Williams, Christen earn Big East football honors
UConn defensive end Travardo Williams and kicker Chad Christen earned Big East player of the week honors after their performances in the Huskies' 23-20 three overtime victory over Louisville.
Williams recorded seven tackles against the Cardinals, which included an impressive three sacks. He now leads the Huskies in total sacks on the season with 11.5 and is now the school career leader in sacks with 30.5. Williams' seven tackles matches his season high tackles in a single game, as he recorded seven tackles in UConn's 24-17 victory over Buffalo on Sept. 29.
Christen was a perfect 3-3 kicking field goals in UConn's victory over Louisville. His longest of the afternoon was a 39 yard field goal in the first quarter of the game. So far this season Christen has made 14 of 21 field goals he has attempted. Head coach Paul Pasqualoni said in his weekly press conference that the cold temperatures of playing football this late in the season have not affected Christen's game and that his kicker has been able to put rough outings behind him.
"He's doing good," said Pasqualoni. "He had that one off day but Chad is a tough guy and he put it behind him the way you have to. He has a routine that he goes through every week and he has been kicking really well."
Chandler Whitmer Update
After suffering a head injury in the beginning of the fourth quarter against Louisville, sophomore quarterback Chandler Whitmer is indefinite for Saturday's game against the Cincinnati Bearcats and will see limited action in practice this week, according to Pasqualoni.
"Chandler Whitmer is doing pretty good, he's going to see limited work today and he will be evaluated each day," said Pasqualoni. "We are optimistic that he will work through the week, Chandler will be available but this is a day to day process."
In Whitmer's absence, senior quarterback Johnny McEntee finished the game against the Louisville Cardinals. McEntee threw for 20 yards and completed just two of the seven passes he attempted. However, he also threw a touchdown pass in the second overtime to give the Huskies a chance to win the game. Pasqualoni has confidence in his backup quarterback if Whitmer is unable to start on Saturday.
"Johnny has handled everything terrifically and Johnny is a team guy," said Pasqualoni. "John's interested in doing what's in the best interest of the team, and he has not been anything but a team guy since day one."
This Saturday's game against Cincinnati may be the last game in college football that UConn will have the chance to play in. The Huskies have an overall record of 5-6 and need another victory to become eligible for a post season bowl. The 16 members of this senior class were contributors to the 2010 Big East Championship as well as three bowl games, including the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Pasqualoni has been pleased with the efforts from the senior class despite the adversity that have faced on the field this season.
"As everybody knows, we have lost some close games this year and haven't accumulated the number of win that we wanted to have but this senior class is very resilient and tough," said Pasqualoni. "There is excellent leadership in the group, guys like Ryan Wirth show a lot of toughness."
The Quotable Paul Pasqualoni
"They may forget their wife's birthday but they will never forget that win in Louisville." Coach Pasqualoni on the importance of the win over Louisville to the graduating senior class.
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