A RANDY REUNION
UConn heads to Maryland to face the Terrapins and former coach, Randy Edsall
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 23:09
UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer drops back to pass during the Huskies’ 10-7 loss to the N.C. Stat
The UConn Huskies will head down to College Park, Md., for their first road game of the season to take on former head coach Randy Edsall and the Maryland Terrapins.
Last weekend, UConn suffered a 10-7 loss to the North Carolina State Wolfpack, in a game where sophomore quarterback Chandler Whitmer threw three interceptions and was sacked three times. Head coach Paul Pasqualoni felt that Whitmer played a good game against N.C. State, despite his mistakes.
“At the end of the day, I thought Chandler played pretty good,” said Pasqualoni. “He hung in the pocket, took some whacks, got hit and delivered the ball. I thought Chandler really showed some toughness last week. I thought he really hung in there, and other than a couple of things, I thought he played well.”
So far this year, Whitmer has thrown a total of five interceptions with no touchdowns in his first two games as UConn’s starting quarterback.
In the backfield, sophomore running back Lyle McCombs has two rushing touchdowns on the season. Last weekend, his 43-yard reception was one of the only highlights for the UConn offense, as it set up the Huskies only touchdown of the afternoon. Pasqualoni said he would like to see his offensive line open up more running lanes for his running back this weekend in Maryland.
On defense, the Huskies hope to continue the dominance they have displayed in their first two games. Sophomore linebacker Yawin Smallwood leads the team in tackles with 21, after a 14-tackle performance last week against N.C. State. Senior defensive end Trevardo Williams leads the Big East in sacks, with 3.5 on the season.
The Huskies have enjoyed success this year against their opponents’ run game. In two games, UConn has only allowed 57 rushing yards total and zero touchdowns. Pasqualoni attributes this success to mixing things up on defense to confuse opposing offense.
“We mix it up a lot, we bring some extra guys in there,” said Pasqualoni. “Most of the time, or part of the time, we got one more guy in there to make the block, and that’s been pretty good for us.”
Maryland is coming off a 36-27 victory over Temple, and the Terps are off to a 2-0 start on the season. Maryland quarterback Perry Hills has thrown for 335 yards on the season and as two touchdowns, along with three interceptions.
In the Terrapins’ backfield, sophomore running back Justus Pickett has found himself in a comfortable role as a starter. He scored the eventual game-winning score in Maryland’s first game against William and Mary. In the game against Temple, Pickett rushed for 69 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown, to help seal the victory for the Terrapins.
Pasqualoni has been impressed so far by the strength of Maryland’s program, especially among the wide receivers and running backs. “Their wide receivers fit the job description of what they’re asking them to do,” said Pasqualoni. “The backs are good backs. Brown was a highly recruited kid. He’s getting some touches and he’s pretty athletic.”
The Huskies will kick off against Maryland tomorrow at 12:29 p.m. from Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md.