McEntee Named Starting QB

Here's a milestone for the Paul Pasqualoni era at Connecticut. The first-year head coach of the Huskies has publicly announced a starting quarterback in advance of a game for the first time.

It's still Johnny McEntee, who will be making his fifth start of the season Saturday against Western Michigan. But it has a more official feel to it this time around.

"Johnny will start – that's for sure," Pasqualoni said Thursday afternoon during his conference call with local reporters. "He'll start and we'll see how that goes. As I've said each week, all three will be ready to go. We'll reserve the right to go with any and each of them that we feel we need to go with."

McEntee, the "trick shot" YouTube sensation, separated himself from Scott McCummings and Mike Nebrich with a productive performance in UConn's 17-3 victory at Buffalo last Saturday. After the game Pasqualoni immediately acknowledged McEntee took a step forward by passing for 213 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

But he hadn't used the words McEntee and starter in the same sentence until Thursday.

Another key for UConn (2-2) in its final non-conference game of 2011 will be the ability to establish a running game. Tailback Lyle McCombs may not need to carry the entire load this week – as he has been.

Pasqualoni is hoping D.J. Shoemate and Martin Hyppolite can help in that area and give the Huskies some balance. Shoemate has been slowed by an ankle injury and Hyppolite has just returned to full contact coming off a knee injury suffered in the spring.

"We're working on that each day this week," Pasqualoni said. "That's something we're hopeful of and we'll try to work out. I'm anxious to see Martin. I'm anxious to see all of those guys back there and see what we can put together for Saturday.

"We'd like to have balance [running]. We sure would. At the end of the day, if one of them has got the hot hand, then … When we started this in the early going, Lyle was hot and making yards, so we kind of stayed there. We'll see. We'll have them ready and we've got to do what we feel we can get done. We'll try to figure out the best approach."

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