Joseph Making Progress

Connecticut defensive end Jesse Joseph is making progress but may not be ready to play until the Buffalo game on Sept. 24, coach Paul Pasqualoni said Wednesday. Earlier in the week, Pasqualoni had indicated Joseph would "be back very soon" but it doesn't seem likely he will be ready in time for Friday's game against Iowa State.

Joseph, who led the Huskies with 8.5 sacks last season, has been sidelined by a right knee injury. He was wearing a brace and doing rehab exercises during camp in August and has been trying to get back in playing shape. Joseph missed the first two games against Fordham and Vanderbilt.

"He was out there yesterday and he's working, but I think realistically it would be more [possible] next week," Pasqualoni said Wednesday. "We're going to work through this week and see what the outcome is and see exactly how he's doing on Friday. But my sense is it may not be until next week."

Redshirt junior Teddy Jennings has played well in place of Joseph. Jennings has 12 tackles, five tackles for loss (25 yards), 1.5 sacks and one pass breakup in two games.

Here are the other highlights from Pasqualoni's conference call with reporters:

-Pasqualoni said tailback D.J. Shoemate has had a good week of practice, but did not indicate that the senior transfer from USC is ready to play against Iowa State. "Today will be a really important day for him. Tomorrow will be important for him. He got some work in yesterday. I just want to see how he comes out and responds today. But I think he's headed in the right direction." Shoemate injured his right ankle in practice on Sept. 1 and has missed the first two games.

-The plan at quarterback remains the same, but it appears the coaching staff will be quicker to make a change if things aren't going well. UConn will enter the game with Johnny McEntee, Scott McCummings and Mike Nebrich all ready to play. "Each of them played the first two games," Pasqualoni said. "We anticipate no change there. We'll make decisions based on how we're doing and what kind of production we're having and how the game's going."

-Alex Mateas, a 6-3, 302-pound offensive lineman, has transferred to UConn from Penn State. UConn had previously offered Mateas a scholarship out of high school in Canada. "I like him very much," Pasqualoni said. "He's a big offensive lineman. He's very talented and has very, very good feet. So, he's another positive addition. He's here and learning the system." Mateas, linebacker Ryan Donohue from Maryland, and wide receiver Shakim Phillips from Boston College are all at UConn. They can practice with the team but won't be eligible for games until next season. Donohue was voted scout team player of the week by the coaches during the Fordham week.

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