"Well Mike played a good game today, " head coach Randy Edsall said. "He's out there running full speed and making things happen. He's sure handed, he runs good routes and you could see today he was a little more healthy and he's a guy we're going to have catch the ball some more soon."
Playing in all 13 games for the Huskies last year Smith had just 136 yards receiving. With Saturday's performance he needs just 54 yards to eclipse that mark.
Career day for Frey
Coming into Saturday's contest third-string running back Robbie Frey had just one career touchdown and 71 rushing yards. In the fourth quarter alone Saturday Frey found the end zone twice and racked up 69 yards, doubling his career scoring total and nearly doubling his yardage in the final 15 minutes of the game.
"It was great to see Robbie Frey come in there and get 69 yards," Edsall said. "It was good that we had more balance in terms of what we were looking for today."
Frey's second score came on the Huskies final offensive drive when he broke several tackles on the way to a 54-yard touchdown run with 2:20 to go in the game. Frey's touchdown was the Huskies' second-longest play from scrimmage this season.
Edsall has still made it unclear whom the starting quarterback will be when the Huskies return to action Oct. 10 at Pittsburgh.
"I don't even know if he [Zach Frazer]'s going to be healthy," Edsall said. "I'm not worrying myself or concerning myself with that right now."
Despite Edsall's decision, redshirt sophomore Cody Endres is making a case to earn the start. Saturday set new career highs for Endres in touchdowns (2), yards (289), completions (23) and completion percentage (76.7 percent). In fact, before Saturday Endres had not thrown a single touchdown despite starting two games for the Huskies last season.
Endres' prettiest play of the day came with 1:56 to go in the third quarter when he got the Rhody defense to bit on a pump fake before zipping a 50-yard touchdown pass to freshman Mike Lang.
"I thought that he needed to put a little bit more air under his passes early and he showed that today," Edsall said. "I think that's part of the development and the growth of Cody as a quarterback. There are times in the first half where I wish he would have thrown the ball instead of taking the sack. I saw a lot more positives than negatives in his play today."
UConn's seven fumbles against Rhode Island surpassed the most they had in any single game last season. Low snaps on punts and Endres holding on to the ball contributed to the seven fumbles of which the Huskies were able to recover three. Still, Edsall was not pleased with UConn's four turnovers against a FCS opponent.
"I don't know how much was them, I think it was more us," Edsall said. "I don't remember seeing them knock the ball out of us. These are things we told them about during the week, things that were going to happen. They need to learn to protect the ball better."
The quotable Randy Edsall
"Pretty smart coaching isn't it?" Edsall said. "That's why I've been around here for 122 games." – When asked about his decision to play Reggie McClain, who had two interceptions, at the nickel back spot.
True freshman Nick Williams, who saw his first reps last week at Baylor, made two catches and saw action on the kick return team … Lindsey Witten left the game due to symptoms from a recurring GI bug but should be fine … Freshman Mike Lang got his first touches of his career, the first resulting in a fumble and the second in a touchdown.