Huskies Face A Familiar Foe
Huskies prepare to face Edsall for the first time
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 00:09
The UConn Huskies are preparing to face the Maryland Terrapins, as well as their former head coach Randy Edsall, in College Park, Maryland this Saturday.
Edsall coached the Huskies from 1999 to 2010, where he led the school from NCAA Division I-AA play to playing in FBS, as well as the Big East. Edsall’s last game on the UConn sidelines was on Jan. 1st in the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl; the Huskies lost 48-20 to the Oklahoma Sooners.
Twelve hours after the game’s completion, it was announced that Edsall was hired as the next head coach at Maryland. The team flew home, but Edsall was not on the flight and made no comment to his players about accepting the new position–a move he regrets when looking back.
Yesterday in a teleconference with members of the media, Edsall said, “If I could go back in time and change it, I wish there was some way to tell the players face-to-face.”
Last season, Edsall did not enjoy the success he had hoped for, as the Terps went 2-10 in Edsall’s first year as head coach. This season, Maryland has already matched last year’s win total with victories over William and Mary, and most recently against Temple.
Defense ready for Maryland Offense
Head coach Paul Pasquloni will be looking for more big things from this Husky defense heading into Maryland. At the moment, UConn is ranked first in rushing defense and third in scoring defense in the nation.
“The guys up front have given a really good effort. We’re obviously not as talented there as we were a year ago with the loss of Kendall Reyes,” said Pasqualoni. “I think we’re getting good leadership out of Ryan Wirth and I think the other guys are really trying hard for us. In the secondary, Blidi and Dwayne are really compelling at being consistent corners.”
Currently, sophomore linebacker Yawin Smallwood leads the team in tackles with 14. Senior defensive end Trevardo Williams leads the Big East with 3.5 sacks on the season thus far.
This Husky defense will face a Maryland offense that scored 36 points against the Temple Owls one week ago. Temple quarterback Perry Hills was named ACC Rookie of the Week after his two-touchdown performance against the Owls.
“I really think that the offense and the system they are in really fit their personnel,” said Pasqualoni. “I think that Perry Hills the young freshman quarterback fits into this system really good.”
Husky injury update
Junior defensive tackle Shamar Stephen is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against Maryland after suffering a sprained knee, according to Pasqualoni. Also, it is expected that quarterback Casey Cochran will not be available to the Huskies this weekend.
“Casey’s still on the thumb,” said Pasqualoni. “I anticipated the possibility of having him this week, but my sense is it’s still going to be one more week.”
Senior defensive end, Ted Jennings, who injured his left knee in the Aug. 30 game against UMass, will have more x-rays looked at by trainers this week. No return date has been determined as of yet.
The Quotable Paul Pasqualoni
To players about speaking publically on facing Edsall: “Don’t get involved in stuff that really isn’t going to be a factor in the game.”