BY PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press
STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut is two games into the season
and still has three players competing to be the team’s No. 1
UConn Coach Paul Pasqualoni had hoped one of them would separate
himself by now, but said Monday that all three: junior walk-on
Johnny McEntee, redshirt freshman Scott McCummings and freshman
Mike Nebrich will again see action Friday night has the Huskies
(1-1) take on Iowa State (2-0).
McEntee got most of the work during Saturday night’s 24-21 loss
to Vanderbilt in Nashville. But he completed just 10 of 27 passes
for 99 yards and threw three interceptions.
“I haven’t lost any confidence in Johnny,” Pasqualoni said
during his weekly news conference on Monday. “I haven’t lost any
confidence in Mike. I haven’t lost any confidence in Scott. I
decided to just stay with (McEntee) from a continuity standpoint,
from a flow of the game standpoint.”
Nebrich, who played the entire second quarter in UConn’s
season-opening win against Fordham, came in again during that
quarter against the Commodores. But he was pulled after just one
three-play series, completing one of two passes for five yards.
The more mobile McCummings seems to be settling in to a more
defined role. He was sprinkled in throughout the game as
change-of-pace quarterback, running an option-style package, but
was unable to get the Huskies into the end zone on a key possession
near the goal line.
Vanderbilt held the Huskies to 193 yards of offense, and 115 of
that came on runs from tailback Lyle McCombs.
“None of the guys who were going to play (quarterback) in the
game had played a meaningful snap against a I-A opponent, let alone
an SEC team on the road,” quarterback coach Joe Moorehead said.
“There are circumstances that can certainly give reasons as to why
some things happened, but we’re certainly not going to use them as
McEntee blamed himself for the loss. He acknowledged he had a
hard time dealing with the Commodores’ blitzing defense, but said
he remains confident in his ability to lead the team.
“It’s better to just try and forget about it and move on,” he
said. “I’m pretty confident that it’s correctable. I think some of
the physical things are correctable. A couple of the mental plays
out there that I made bad reads on, that’s not acceptable, and
that’s something I need to work harder on during the week so I can
recognize it out on the field.”
Pasqualoni has not committed to giving McEntee his third start,
and said Nebrich could earn the job with a great week in practice.
“To me it doesn’t matter who starts the game,” he said. “The
three of them are going to be ready to play and when they get in
the game, they’ve got to be productive. That’s the bottom line.”
Moorehead said the team will prepare two sets of plays for
Friday’s game. One package will be run by McEntee and/or Nebrich.
The other plays belong to the more mobile McCummings.
As in the past few weeks, McEntee and Nebrich will get an equal
amount of time running the team during practice, and a decision on
who plays and how much will be made before kickoff Friday.
“We’re moving forward with that same approach,” Moorehead
said. “We’re going to put the guy in there who is going to give
the offense the best chance of success relative to what the we want
the team to do.”
McCummings said he’s still not sure what he needs to show to win
the job outright. But he said all three quarterbacks know their
performance as a group on Saturday created more questions than
“Everything is scrutinized that we do on the field,” he said.
“So when everyone has a bad game, it doesn’t really help the
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)