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Whitmer and company improve despite road loss

Associate Sports Editor

Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08

The UConn football team will look to get back on track this weekend, as the Buffalo Bulls come to Rentschler field, after the Husky offense had one of their best performances so far this season.

Sophomore quarterback Chandler Whitmer had a career day against Western Michigan. In addition to throwing for three touchdowns, Whitmer threw for 333 yards, and completed 28 out of 44 pass attempts. Head coach Paul Pasqualoni is happy with the progress that Whitmer has made since becoming a starter earlier this year.

“I think he’s doing a real good job of being tough and sitting in the pocket, throwing the ball and going through his progressions,” said Pasqualoni. “You guys see him in the pocket and he’s looking one way and then he’s keeping his feet alive and getting the ball to the rusher. He’s doing a real good job with the concepts of getting more comfortable of where the ball goes.”
Running back Lyle McCombs rushed for 119 yards against Western Michigan and is averaging 3.8 yards a carry so far during the 2012 season. Listed at 5’8”/166lbs, McCombs does not possess some of the size that other backs in the Big East have, but Pasqualoni believes that McComb’s size is not indicative of his performance this season.

“Lyle is not a real big guy, that’s his style,” said Pasqualoni. “I don’t know if Lyle will ever be the guy that’s going to flat out run you over. I think he’ll hit you and explode on you I don’t think there’s any issues there. It’s just a size thing but he’s one heck of a productive guy.”

Special teams show improvement after Maryland game

After allowing Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs 98 yards on kick returns and 68 yards on punt returns, the play of the special teams unit tightened up against Western Michigan. After making some minor changes and corrections on special teams, Pasqualoni was satisfied with the unit’s performance against the Broncos.

“As I said, I didn’t think we covered punts or kicks well at Maryland,” said Pasqualoni. “I thought we probably underestimated Stefon Diggs, the freshmen returner. What I liked what we did last week is we got the problem corrected, because again we had a pretty good guy returning punts. Ironically the ball was punted and caught in some of the same places.”

Junior kicker Chad Christen went 1-2 kicking field goals, the attempt he did make was good from 32 yards. So far this season Christen had made five out of the seven field goal attempts he’s tried, with his longest being a 47 yarder in UConn’s home opener against UMass.

Huskies face familiar opponent out of the MAC conference

This weekend, the Huskies will face their third opponent out of the Mid-American conference this season. UConn opened up the season against UMass and faced Western Michigan last week. This weekend’s game will also be the last non-conference game on the Huskies schedule before they face Big East foe Rutgers on October 10th.

The last time Buffalo and UConn met, the Huskies prevailed 17-3 at UB Stadium in Buffalo. UConn holds a 15-4 edge in the all-time series with the Bulls as the Huskies have beaten Buffalo seven years in a row. This contest is also the first football game that UConn athletic director Warde Manuel has faced against the Bulls. He was the athletic director at Buffalo for six years.

The quotable Paul Pasqualoni

Coach Pasqualoni after being asked if he’s ever walked off the field and felt that everything went right during the game: “You’re always practicing or preaching to play a perfect game. It’s on rare occasions that you walk off that field and say boy we did everything and we did it all right today. What you try to do is find a way to win the game and when you win, everything’s great.”


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