UConn Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni
Coach Pasqualoni statement: Just a statement about the game. I thought we did really good, and we did some things not so good, dug ourselves a hole. Seventeen-nothing. Probably the way the kids hung in there and fought back, we had a chance at the end to possibly tie the game. At the end of the day, in a game like this, we turned it over twice, they did not. I thought we ran the ball better today, I thought (QB) Chandler Whitmer did some good things. Throwing the ball, I thought Geremy Davis did some really good catches. But, we didn't play well enough, consistently enough, dug too deep a whole and just couldn't climb out of it, would shoot ourselves in the foot again and make the hole a little deeper. So, I think at the end of the day, that's the deal.
Paul, for the second straight year Carder came by and he really chewed you guys up, especially underneath-- Considering what your defense did to the first 3 games, tell us what was happening out there. Well, we weren't generating the amount of pressure, he wasn't uncomfortable as we would of liked to see him, he is a hard guy to make uncomfortable. I thought they did a good job in their protection, their scheme and the execution of their scheme early in the game. There is no question, he is a very good quarterback. We knew that coming in, we knew that from last year, but we just didn't play well enough at times in the coverage and didn't get to him, and didn't make him uncomfortable. When your playing against a senior, who is a top flight guy, that's a problem.
Paul, you had [no tackle] for losses, until Trevardo Williams sacked Carder. As I said, they did a good job in their protections, they made some blocks. When you got a guy like this QB, he gets the ball out pretty quick, now, there was a couple of times if we could of just made him pack the ball once, not even a full second, a fraction of a second, there was a couple times where Trevardo was going to have the chance to make a pretty good play. But he gets the ball out, he knew the deal, he knew he could not hold onto that ball. At times we didn't get there, and at times he got it out pretty quick. Again, at times they did a good job with protection. With me, It's all of the above.
Paul, how would you assess your offensive line today? I like the time of possession, I thought we did a good job running the ball as I said, I'm clearly not happy with the sacks. The sacks at times were a product of not getting the protection re-directed fast enough, they would show blitz on one side. They did a good job of showing one thing and giving us another. You gotta adjust. They did a good job, I thought we made some adjustments as they game went on and I thought the kids handled it better as the game went on, but we gave up 6 sacks. One of them at the end was a strip sack for a touchdown. It's one of the most devastating plays in football.
There are four games in the books now, just talk about your team moving forward. That's what I just said to them, this season is going by very quickly, we have 8 games left and for the seniors it is going by very fast paste, and we still have the chance to be a good team. I told them this team can be a good team but we just gotta play better. We need more consistency and can't make mistakes. So where going to treat this game just like we treated the last one, just like we treated the one before that. We grade the film, we come in tomorrow, we watch the film, we give the kids their grades and we move on to the next game. It's what we do, and we're moving forward, we learn from this what we can, its still early in the season, we can still accomplish some things early in the season and get back on track.
Looks like Chandler took a step forward today, is that a part of defense? I think Chandler is getting better, I think he is getting better each week. This defense is a good defense and the Western Michigan defense, it's an odd trunk. They change what they do they pressure a lot, its very very hard, they disguise upfront with who they're bringing. When your in this 3 forward thing, or this 3-3 stack thing and your balanced each side, what you do on the right, you can do on the left, you can do in the middle. Their defense is a good defense. I thought Chandler hung in there, I thought he threw the ball out of the pocket and I thought he did a good job. We were 4 for 5 scoring in the red zone but the one we didn't get really, really got us. We were 4 for 5. The one down in the red zone was a miscue, it wasn't all Chandler, it usually is not all the QB. But I thought he took a step forward today.
Paul, what happen on the fumble return for a touchdown today? Yeah, I saw it when it happened. They blitz two guys, they blitz to the inside linebacker, and the outside linebacker and we picked up one, and one was free, and he hit him, and the ball came out. When those things happen all you can do is protect the ball and get down on the ground and it happened so fast. Chandler was trying to make a play to help us win the game on that. I wish I could have back the play, I might have changed the protection, but you can't take those things back. We were just trying to win the game at that point.
Head Coach Bill Cubit
Opening Statement: It was a great win. That was a team that was top five in a lot of categories and I think our guys really played well. We just had some mishaps defensively but we came up with some big plays.
On playing a BCS team: Our kids went out there and played hard. That was a BCS opponent that was 2 and 1 coming in. They are hard hitting, big and physical but our kids stayed with them toe to toe.
Senior wide receiver Josh Schaffer
On playing through injuries this season: I have been kind of injured but I'm getting back. This week Coach challenged his receivers to step up. It feels good to be out there in it. I'm still probably not 100 percent but I'm getting there. It definitely showed today.
Junior LB Desmond Bozeman
On his TD in today's game: This week in practice Coach said we have to hit it so that's what I went out there to do. I have to thank the whole defensive line because they were doing their job all game. I couldn't really believe it. It was a special moment for me and for the defensive line.
Senior quarterback Alex Carder
On he felt throughout the game against UConn's defense: They showed exactly how they looked in film. We were as prepared as we could have been. It was a great job by our coaches breaking down the film and giving us the opportunity to prepare through out the week. We knew about their great athletes out there but we just had the upper hand out there today.
Take a look at the game statistics and play-by-play here.