McCummings Waiting For Bigger Chance

STORRS - Scott McCummings is the type of person who can crack a smile and laugh about almost anything.

For example, take this October snowstorm that knocked out power to most of the state of Connecticut. McCummings' life hasn't changed much. He has been able to stay warm and take showers on the UConn campus. And he said he isn't worried about his family back in Natick, Mass., because he knows they are hearty New Englanders.

McCummings takes that approach to almost anything, including the quarterback situation at UConn. There's only so much a person can control and McCummings remains optimistic that his time will come.

The redshirt freshman has had some noticeable success as Johnny McEntee's backup the past two weeks, in a win over South Florida and a loss to Pittsburgh. And even though there has a been a minor outcry – from fans and some media members – for a switch at the starting spot, McCummings knows not to become involved in that conversation

"I have no idea what the future holds, I just want to get out there and play as many plays as I can," McCummings said Tuesday. "Obviously I'm going to be a little bit disgruntled if I can't go in there and contribute. But I'm not looking to be any more than I can be right now. The coaches know what I can do and they're giving me plays accordingly."

The UConn coaches have a specific package of plays for McCummings, who is 6-2 and 218 pounds with good quickness. He can run with the ball, he can execute the option, but he admits he needs to work on his passing accuracy.

For coach Paul Pasqualoni and the rest of the staff, the commitment stays with McEntee as the starter because of UConn's desire to play a pro style. Pasqualoni said McEntee's struggles stem from a combination of things.

"He could throw the ball a little better and we could protect a little better," Pasqualoni said. "When you drop two or three balls in the course of a game, those go down as incompletions and those things really hurt. We're a pro style attack. That's the system we're in here. We obviously have the capability of being a spread of ‘wildcat' system if we want to. I think we're making progress, but we've just been inconsistent in one area or the other."

McCummings has rushed seven times for 41 yards the past two games and completed 2 of 3 passes for another 41 yards.

"I'm trying to make myself the best quarterback I can be," McCummings said. "I'm not trying to label myself dual threat or pro style or anything like that. I just want to be able to throw better, more accurately, have better footwork … I just want to be a better football player."

McEntee had a horrible first half against Pitt, bounced back a bit in the second half but still finished 17 of 33 for 193 yards. Internet message boards have taken McEntee to task, saying he shouldn't be the starting quarterback.

During a snowball fight on campus last weekend, McEntee overheard a UConn student accusing another student of "throw like Johnny Mc." McEntee also tries to keep his sense of humor.

"It's all in fun," McEntee said. "My friends send me some of the things that are on the boards. Just to try to get me fired up. I don't really get into it. I understand people are frustrated and want us to win."

Wide receiver Kashif Moore said he has a sense of what McEntee is going through.

"It comes with the job," Moore said. "He's the quarterback and he's the leader. He hasn't changed at all. That's the kid of person Johnny is. He's doesn't let that stuff get to him."

As for McCummings, he admits things have changed since fall camp when McEntee, McCummings and freshmen Mike Nebrich were all in the running for the starting spot. The three used to split practice reps equally. Now McCummings just works on his package – and waits.

"I was kind of upset – not uspet – but I kind of wish I could have gotten out there against West Virginia and played a little. I never really got a chance," he said. "Obviously I would like some more [game plays], but the last couple of games I've been getting a lot of playing time. And I'm happy with it."


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