Missed defensive opportunities hurt Huskies
Published: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 15, 2013 23:09
For the second straight game, the Huskies failed to get a stop shortly after the halftime break which created a two-score hole.
Against Towson the UConn defense managed to force a three-and-out and get the ball back for the offense just 1:27 into the third quarter.
But on the Tigers’ second drive, the Huskies had no answer as they yielded a 13-play, 95-yard drive that pushed the score to 19-10.
Saturday’s second half against Maryland followed a similar script.
After forcing a fumble during the first drive of the half, UConn’s defense was picked apart by the Terps the second time around as they stretched their lead to 20-10 with a 4-play, 80-yard series.
“That [second] drive, we had a hard time stopping them,” UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “You know, on that [second] drive they got a couple things going and it was hard to stop.”
Deshon Foxx gets in on the action
During his mid-week press conference, Pasqualoni made a point of saying that he wanted Deshon Foxx more involved in his offensive gameplan against Maryland.
Foxx, a junior wide receiver, had just one carry for 12 yards in the season opener.
But the Huskies were able to work him into the scheme with two carries for nine yards and four catches for 54 yards – including a 28-yard grab that helped set up a tying field goal in the second quarter.
“I thought that Deshon, for his second game, … he had some good production,” Pasqualoni said.
The man who was distributing the ball, quarterback Chandler Whitmer, was happy to take advantage of the skill-set Foxx provides.
“He’s a fast guy, shifty, hard to tackle, so just get him the ball in space,” Whitmer said. “I think we did a better job of that tonight but just continue to look at that and try to spread the ball around a little more.”
Michigan, which will visit Rentschler Field on Saturday, narrowly escaped an upset bid from Akron this weekend.
Trailing 28-24 with under three minutes to play, the Zips drove down to the Wolverines’ one yard line before failing to score and allowing The Big House crowd to exhale.
It remains to be seen how Michigan, currently ranked No. 11, will respond in East Hartford, but Whitmer has an idea of how things might look based on what he saw from the slim victory.
“I was doing my own thing, but I saw [the score],” Whitmer said. “I saw it was a close win by them, so they’ll probably be fired up to come back in and make a statement, so we’ve got to be ready.”
The fact that a team like Akron, which has now lost 28-straight road games dating back to 2008, was able challenge the traditional powerhouse does nothing to change Whitmer’s mindset heading into the game.
“That’s the great thing about football, anyone can win on any given Saturday,” Whitmer said. “So we’re not defeated, we’re going in there as confident as we can and we’re going to try our best.”
Pasqualoni echoed those sentiments in his post-game press conference.
“It’s a great oppourtunity,” Pasqualoni said. “We’ve got an outstanding team, outstanding program in Michigan coming in. I look at it as another great opportunity.”
Kickoff against Michigan has been scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday night. The game will be televised regionally on ABC.