Huskies ready to take on Cardinals
Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Updated: Friday, November 18, 2011 00:11
After a week off from action, the UConn football team hits the field on Saturday against Louisville with a new life in the Big East.
If the Huskies win their remaining three conference games they will clinch a share of the Big East title and could possibly clinch a berth to their second straight BCS bowl if both Pittsburgh and West Virginia lose a game each.
"The Big East is crazy," said senior defensive tackle Kendall Reyes. "One second you are out, then you are right back in it. We have to win one game at a time though. It's anyone's in the league to win."
Winning one game at a time is exactly what head coach Paul Pasqualoni wants the team to focus on.
"There is no sense in looking at anything beyond this week because it's not going to matter," Pasqualoni said. "We've got to pay attention to Louisville. Our approach has been, ‘Let's get done what we have to get done today.'"
The Huskies will have to be focused if they want to come away with a win on Saturday, especially on defense as they face Teddy Bridgewater, one of the rising stars of the Big East.
"Teddy is a special freshman," Pasqualoni said. "He's 6-foot-2," nearly 200 pounds and he can move. I see him as being a really good quarterback in this league."
Bridgewater proved he can hurt you on the ground last Saturday against Pittsburgh when he carried the ball 10 times for 54 yards with a long of 26. The Huskies have struggled with running quarterbacks in the past, such as Pat White, but Bridgewater is not on that level.
"He can hurt you running the ball, even though, to me, he is a true, drop back, pocket passer," Pasqualoni said. "His skill set is a big time skill set."
The Huskies have a threat at quarterback to run as well in Scott McCummings and due to his success against Syracuse, 13 carries for 59 yards and two touchdowns, he will keep getting opportunities.
"We've had some success with the two quarterback system," Pasqualoni said. "We've had the same number of plays for Johnny and for Scott and that is not going to change much."
Last year the Huskies lost 26-0 at Louisville but the Huskies get the Cardinals at home this time where they haven't lost a conference game since 2009.
"It is definitely an advantage," said red shirt freshman running back Lyle McCombs. "Two out of these next three games are at home. We have to pull out the two home wins so we can go to Cincinnati with our heads high."
McCombs could have another reason to hold his head high after the game Saturday as he is just 19 yards away from reaching the 1,000 yard mark on the season.
"Lyle McCombs has grown a great deal," Pasqualoni said. "He has meant a lot to us. We're doing a good job of running the ball right now in the Big East and he's been a big part of that."