JOE D’S NOTEBOOK
FRIDAY,Sept 7- Time to stop the pre game chatter and get ready for some football as UConn and North Carolina State get together Saturday afternoon at The Rent. If it is anything like the first and only meeting between the schools in 2003, fans are in for a dilly… The Wolfpack won that game on the final play of the game on a Pick-Six against Dan Orlovsky, who had rallied the Huskies with two fourth quarter touchdowns.
UConn spent most of the week practicing inside the Shenkman Center because of rain and soggy practice fields. It’s not the way Paul Pasqualoni wants to get his team ready, not because the facility isn’t anything but a palace but because football is played outdoors and the Coach likes to be outside for practice.
But whether they worked out inside or outside, the Huskies realize they need to step up their performance in Week Two. It is imperative that UConn is able to run the ball, either thru their regular offensive sets or in the Wildcat. Pasqualoni and offensive coordinator George DeLeone are committed to the wildcat and Pasqualoni liked the way Scott McCummings practiced this week. If UConn can’t run the ball, it really impacts the ability of the offense to move the ball. N.C.State may have been torched thru the air in its loss to Tennessee but the ‘Pack has one of the nations best defenders in cornerback David Amerson who will be looking to bounce back from a sub-par effort against the Vols. And boundary safety Earl Wolff had 18 tackles against Tennessee and along with Brandon Bishop gives N.C.State experience in the defensive backfield.
Defensively, it would be impossible for Connecticut to duplicate its performance against UMass. But one thing that effort did was fuel the confidence of the Huskies defensive eleven. Don Brown’s crew attacked the Minutemen and will bring the same mindset against N.C.State. Quarterback Mike Glennon threw four pics against Tennessee and expect the Huskies to bring pressure to try and rattle him. State is a huge offensive line with four players combining for 100 career starts. One thing Coach Tom O’Brien said on the Tuesday teleconference was he liked the way his team ran the ball with both Tony Creecy and Mustafa Greene averaging almost five yards per carry. Containing the run will allow UConn to turn up the heat against Glennon.
It’s a great test for UConn. I think if the Huskies win, it sets then up for what could be a great first five weeks of the season.
Our broadcast day begins with Ray at the Rent at 5:30. Bob and Kevin with the Tailgate Show at 9:30, Bob and Adam with the UConn Football Magazine at 10:30, Wayne, Kevin and me on the play by play, then Bob and Adam with Webster Bank Husky Postgame and then Kevin with Huskies Extra Point, your chance to talk about the ball game.
See you at the Rent!