Huskies Getting Healthy

Not much news from Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni during his Thursday conference call with the beat writers. The headline would have to be the injury report, which was good for the Huskies.

Safety Ty-Meer Brown (shoulder) and center Alex Mateas both emerged from the Western Michigan loss with injuries. Pasqualoni said they would be watched closely in the early part of the work week and by Thursday it seems everyone is ready to go against Buffalo Saturday (noon, SNY) at Rentschler Field.

"Everybody's practicing," Pasqualoni said. "We're working our way through it. And we're optimistic the injured guys will be available."

Pasqualoni has been pleased with the mood in practice this week. It's always a concern coming off a loss, but the UConn coach said he would have been surprised if the players had not been "upbeat and focused."

"Every week, our job as coaches is to get them ready to play," Pasqualoni said. "And at the end of the week, I always want to feel like there's not anything else we could have done from a preparation standpoint. I never want to get to Friday night and feel like we should have done this, that or the other thing. I think our staff and players work very hard to prepare and I think we do a good job of that. You don't want to leave any stone unturned."

SMALLWOOD ADDED TO LIST

UConn linebacker Yawin Smallwood was one of 12 players added to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award on Thursday. The Bednarik award goes to college football's best defensive player.

The 18th Bednarik Award will be presented by the Maxwell Football Club.

"The original lists were comprised of 65 players, who were selected based on their performances during the 2011 season," the club said in a release. "As the 2012 season has progressed, the Club believes that several additional players warrant attention because of their noteworthy play."

BUFFALO RB STILL OUT

It seems likely Buffalo will be without star running back Branden Oliver on Saturday. The Bulls have listed Oliver as day-to-day because of a leg injury suffered against Kent State on Sept. 19. The Buffalo News reports that Oliver didn't practice again Wednesday and Brandon Murie took most of the reps at running back. Buffalo may be forced to pass more without Oliver.

COACHES WEARING PATCHES

The coaching staffs from UConn and Buffalo will be wearing special arm patches to raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy as part of Coach to Cure MD week on Saturday.

This is the fifth year of Coach to Cure MD, a partnership between the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Parent Project MD. The program has raised more than one million dollars in donations this season for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. ?Fans are encouraged to donate five dollars by texting the word CURE to 90999, or they can donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org .?Out of 124 FBS teams, at least 120 coaching staffs are participating including several teams who are idle this week but will wear the patches for other games. All Big East coaching staffs will be wearing the patch

CONNECTICUT DAY

Saturday will be "Connecticut Day" at Rentschler Field. Here are the highlights of the celebration, from UConn athletics communications:

* The UConn men's basketball team will sign autographs at the "Fan Fest" from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. "Fan Fest" is located between Gates C and D. The 2012-13 Huskies will also be introduced during the first quarter of the game.

* Participants in the "Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities" (EBV) will take part in the pregame coin toss and will be recognized at halftime. The program is an initiative designed to leverage the resources of UConn and other universities to offer training in entrepreneurship and small business management to veterans with disabilities resulting from their military service in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you want to know more about this program, please read the feature intern Carmine Colangelo contributed to our site. The UConn team met with veterans from this program Tuesday. "The message was, in difficult times you have to take care of each other and be there for each other," Pasqualoni said. "Protect each other, trust each other and be loyal to each other. That's what it is all about and I thought it was a great message."

*The Trinity College women's lacrosse team that won the NCAA Division III Championship last spring will be honored between the first and second quarters. UConn traditionally honors collegiate teams from the state of Connecticut that have won NCAA team championships.

* The New Haven-based Walter Camp Football Foundation will be recognized during the second quarter with many of their officers and members present. Each year, the Foundation names a College Football All-American team and their team is the oldest in the United States – first given 120 years ago in 1892. The annual Walter Camp Football Foundation Weekend is January 10-12, 2013 when all of the greats of the college football world converge on New Haven.

*Local Boy Scout troops have a parade at halftime around the field. These scouts are also having a campout at Rentschler Field on Friday night.


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