Shoemate, Bennett Done for Year

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Connecticut football team had already received a double dose of bad news before it took the field for a 38-31 loss to Western Michigan Saturday at Rentschler Field.

UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said after the game that senior tailback D.J. Shoemate and junior tackle Jimmy Bennett will miss the remainder of the season because of injuries. Shoemate, who missed the first two games of the season with a sprained right ankle, sustained a dislocated shoulder against Iowa State on Sept. 16. Bennett twisted his knee late in practice Thursday and the ACL injury will keep him out.

"It's a shame because Jimmy is playing the best football of his career," Pasqualoni said. "He was really starting to come on as the left tackle. Just very, very unfortunate. It was his good knee, not his bad knee. He had the other one done [in 2009] and he just twisted it. … Pass protection and blew it out."

Shoemate, a transfer from Southern Cal, was expected to be UConn's starting tailback until he sprained his ankle just before the opener against Fordham. Pasqualoni had said previously Shoemate was trying to get back to 100 percent, but there had never been any mention of his shoulder injury. Results from a MRI showed Shoemate should shut it down.

"D.J. Shoemate took one heck of a shot in the Iowa State game and dislocated his shoulder," Pasqualoni said. "He hasn't had the strength in his arm since the Iowa Sate game and he's playing a harness and strap to keep it in. The MRI clearly showed it needed surgery so I just didn't feel that at his position, as much as you have to use that arm and that shoulder to hold the ball, to catch the block, to do all those things, that he was going to be able to manage the season."

Pasqualoni said Shoemate qualifies for a medical redshirt year, based on the number of quarters and plays he has played. UConn will apply for the redshirt to the NCAA. Shoemate will have surgery soon and faces a six- to nine-month rehab.

"It's tough at the end of the week to be reorganizing the lineup and then go play a good team," Pasqualoni said. "But it is what it is and you've got to go do it."


UConn finished with a season-high 10 penalties for 95 yards. The previous high had been five penalties for 40 yards against Vanderbilt. For the season, UConn only had 15 penalties in the first four games.

Linebacker Sio Moore's personal foul late in the second quarter helped Western Michigan on a drive that resulted in a 39-yard field goal by John Potter to put the Broncos ahead 17-7 at halftime.

"We knew these guys were chippy," Moore said. "Coach always tells us to keep our cool. Something happened. I was pushed. It doesn't matter what happened. It's always the second man that gets caught. That was my bad. I've got to know to keep my cool and have faith in the refs to see what they see."


Wide receiver Kashif Moore took his turn as UConn's biggest offensive weapon. Quarterback Johnny McEntee found Moore eight times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. The longest play was a 47-yard connection.

"I knew there were some plays for me and I was just ready," Moore said. "Today my number was called and I felt I was productive.

"I think [the offense] grew and I think we are going to continue taking steps forward with this offense. Johnny had a great game. But there were times when everyone didn't execute. That's part of the problem."

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