Notebook: Tim Boyle in the spotlight
UConn freshman quarterback ready for his second start
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 00:10
Four weeks ago, Tim Boyle would sit in the cafeteria at the Burton Family Football Complex and enjoy his lunch without being bothered. Four weeks ago, he was still Tim Boyle, the freshman quarterback who turned heads at Xavier that just got bumped from third string to second on the UConn depth chart.
Now, as UConn (0-5, 0-1 American Athletic Conference) prepares to take on Cincinnati (4-2, 1-1 American Athletic Conference) he is Tim Boyle, the starting quarterback for the Huskies. Now he is lucky if he gets 30 seconds to himself.
“It’s fun,” Boyle said of the increase in attention. “I’m just taking it in, trying to enjoy it. But I don’t really think of it as too much a big deal. I’m just here playing football and trying to help the team as best as I can. This whole experience is fun, and I’m just trying to soak it in.”
Boyle’s first start for the Huskies was not what he was hoping it would be. In a 13-10 loss to South Florida, the Middlefield native, who threw for nearly 2,500 yards and 24 touchdowns last season for Class LL champion Xavier, completed only 15 of his 43 pass attempts for 149 yards.
The freshman pointed out after Saturday’s game that he was anxious early on, which led to a lot of overthrows or passes not reaching their intended targets. But he does not blame his entire performance on jitters.
“I need to improve on everything,” Boyle said. “My footwork, accuracy, touch, reading the defenses, being a leader on the field, just every part of my game I need to increase because it got me through in high school, but in college it’s not going to do that.”
Interim head coach T.J. Weist said before last Saturday’s game that Boyle needed to earn the respect of his teammates and that it would not be handed to him. Since the game, coaches and teammates alike have praised their new quarterback.
“I thought he handled himself real well,” said right tackle Kevin Friend, who returned from a high ankle sprain on Saturday. “The biggest thing for a quarterback and the offensive line is trust and respect, and he really earned it that game.”
UConn fans take pride in a Connecticut player making an impact for the Huskies, and as fans of a team that has yet to replace former quarterback Dan Orlovsky, a Shelton High School alum, UConn fans have gone all in on Boyle to be the next big thing.
“It means the world to me,” Boyle said. “Just knowing I have so much support from the fan base at UConn, it’s given me a tremendous amount of support and it’s given me confidence. They don’t know how great a feeling that is for me, knowing that I have so much support behind my back and knowing that every move I make, good or bad, that they’re going to be behind me and supporting me, and that means the world to me, it really does.”