UConn's Bones is Aching

The good news Sunday for UConn was that "Bones" is not broken or cracked. Quarterback Matt Bonislawski, however, is doubtful for Saturday's game against Louisville because of an extremely sore left collarbone --- the same one Syracuse snapped Oct. 7.

Coach Randy Edsall said Bonislawski is "very, very sore," though x-rays didn't reveal any long-term damage to the junior quarterback, who was hurt in the second half of UConn's 15-10 victory over South Florida on Saturday at Rentschler Field.

 

"I think he's just banged up," Edsall said, adding that further tests on Bonislawski were scheduled to be done Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.

 

With Bonislawski apparently a goner for the final game of the season, Edsall said the likely choice to take the starting reins is D.J. Hernandez. The redshirt freshman has been the official No. 2 quarterback for the past two games, both of which Bonislawski started after missing three games with his original injury.

 

Edsall, however, did not write Hernandez's name in stone as the Week 11 starter.

 

"That's probably the way we'll go," Edsall said, "but we'll have to study Louisville more before we make that decision."

 

True freshman Dennis Brown would be the backup if Edsall does indeed go with Hernandez.

 

"Both of them have to be ready," said Edsall, not so much issuing a warning as wearily restating the obvious: UConn quarterbacks have a hard time staying healthy for 60 minutes.

 

Other than Bonislawski's injury, UConn escaped a hard-hitting game with the Bulls unscathed, according to Edsall. Terry Caulley and Marvin Taylor both fell ill in the days leading up to the game, but both made significant contributions to the win and are expected to be healthy well before Louisville comes to town.

 

Bonislawski completed only eight of 26 passes against South Florida, and injury was only partially to blame. Before he got hurt, Bonislawski wasn't throwing with great accuracy or timing. But there were other factors involved before and after Bonislawski got hurt too, according to Edsall.

 

"It's everybody," he said. "There are a lot of people involved."

 

Edsall cited occasional poor pass protection, some dropped passes, poor reads by Bonislawski, and blocks that weren't sustained long enough, presumably by the running backs who stayed in to help with pass protection, as other reasons for the anemic passing attack.

 

Even worse than the passing game was UConn's punting effort Saturday. Edsall said he had no magical cure for that facet of the Huskies' game, which has shown little, if any, improvement since walk-on sophomore Chris Pavasaris took over for slumping scholarship sophomore Shane Hussar two games ago.

 

"I'm going to have to open the competition back up," Edsall said. "I can't pull a rabbit out of my hat. They've got to perform. (Pavasaris) didn't perform yesterday."

 

Despite the fact that UConn probably would finish last in a Big East punt, pass, and kick competition if it were staged tomorrow, Edsall was upbeat Sunday. For that, he could thank his defense. And he did.

 

"I saw a very determined group out there," Edsall said, "a group that was taking pride in what they were doing."

 

To honor the defense's outstanding effort against South Florida, Edsall gave the defensive game ball to the entire unit instead of one individual player.

 

 


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