JOE D’S NOTEBOOK
PREVIEW #3 – With time running out before Thursday night’s opener, I’ll do my defensive preview (and review from Game One) next week. Now, the Huskies backfield.
You don’t have to be Knute Rockne to know that Chandler Whitmer has to be more consistent than last season and take better control of the football. His td to interception ratio was terrible. And yes, he was under pressure in most games, but , Chandler tried to do too much last season to force the offense. His decision making process was shaky at best. By the end of last season, he was punch drunk from all the hits he took. Chandler will be the first one to tell you it is incumbent on him to improve in that area. The times I have seen him in practice, the progress has been minimal at best. That has to change.
Casey Cochrane has made tremendous strides from his injury plagued freshman season. The former Masuk High star is in the best shape of his career and has thrown the ball with some zip. It’s important for Casey to be ready when called upon.
I have also been impressed with Tim Boyle, the former All Stater from Xavier. The best passes in camp have come from Boyle. But he also tries to force the ball in too often and has thrown his share of interceptions. I think Tim will soon understand that some passes that clicked in high school won’t work in college. And I guarantee, that won’t take long.
Lyle McCombs went from a superb freshman season running the football to a mediocre sophmore year. Mc Combs didn’t look as fast, or as quick during 2011. Again, like Whitmer, some of his problems can be traced to the performance of the offensive line. But Mc Combs has to share part of the blame for the downturn in yardage. So far in camp, Lyle looks like the running back who was a freshman star.
Another state player who has had a superb camp is Berlin alum Max DeLorenzo. With the suspension of Mighty Joe WIlliams, De Lorenzo has stepped up to become the backup tailback. De Lorenzo doesn’t have blazing speed but is deceptively quick. Coach Paul Pasqualoni says Max has some “wiggle”. He, like Mc Combs, can also catch the ball out of the backfield.
And it’s hard not to root for Martin Hyppolite, who has bounced back from a bad hip injury from a February auto accident, and is ready to help out the running game. And when the Huskies run out of a two back set, the fullback will be true freshman Matt Walsh from Hand High in Madison. A superb linebacker for Steve Fillipone’s Tigers, Walsh has made an instant impression. He’s tough,smart , and like Boyle, a winner. It’s rare that a true freshman starts in his first college game, but Walsh isn’t your typical freshman.
I’ll preview the opener tomorrow. Our coverage on WTIC begins with the Tailgate Show with Bob,Kevin and myself at 4, and then the netowrk pre game show with Bob and Keith Brake at 6.