ZIPS LEFT FAR BEHIND IN 2ND HALF
J.D. Brookhart knew playing yet another non-conference game would be a tall order for the Zips - he was right, reports the Beacon Journal.
The Zips had no answer as UConn rolls away, article in The Plain Dealer’s Big College Sunday.
Huskies Start Second Half with a Bang
UConn senior cornerback Tyvon Branch was looking for payback against Akron, reports the Hartford Courant (he got it!)
The Akron game as seen through the eyes of UConn’s Andre Dixon.
UConn running back Donald Brown on was crutches after the Akron game, reports The Courant.
Big Second Half Lifts UConn over Akron, reports the Connecticut Post.
UConn Football Notebook, Connecticut Post
Huskies devour Akron
Tyvon Branch said he needed a big play against Akron, and he got one with a kickoff return, reports The Bristol Press.
AKRON-UCONN POST GAME QUOTES
University of Akron
HEAD COACH J.D. BROOKHART
On the difference between the first and second half performance of his team:
“For one, we played a good football team - obviously. We missed some opportunities and I think the momentum kind of shifted with the way the first half ended and that was disappointing. When you’re playing a team of this caliber, you have to play a lot better. You can’t make the mistakes and have the penalties that we had which killed drives. You got to play solid football and for the most part, we did in the first half and that’s why we were in it. I thought they wore us down a little bit in the second half. They’re a physical football team. I said in the beginning that they’re lot like a Big 10 team, and that kind of proved to be true in the second half. Coach Edsall has done a very nice job getting this program on track.”
On the disputed out-of-bounds play by QB Chris Jacquemain which ended the first half, nulling a possible scoring opportunity for the Zips:
“I think it affected the momentum of the game. Absolutely. I think these games are like that - there are swings in momentum that make a difference. Yeah, it does affect you and it certainly will affect you mentally. They shouldn’t - but they do. [Chris] was instructed clearly before the play that if its not there for a touchdown to throw it away. He didn’t understand that starting the tackle in bounds, means your in bounds and to get out of bounds you would have to get out clean for the officials to call it that way. That’s part of being an immature football player that he’s got to get better with. He has to follow instructions better, too.”
LB BRION STOKES
On the second half explosion of UConn RB’s Andre Dixon & Donald Brown:
“We’ve seen both running backs on film. They got us and I’ll congratulate them because both of them are good backs. They’re well-coached and they have a good team. We got to play better. In the first half, they only rushed for 18 yards. In the second half, they tried to come out and establish the run and they did.”
QB CHRIS JACQUEMAIN
On the play that ended the first half for Akron:
“I thought I’d made a mistake by not throwing the ball away on that play. I thought I got out of bounds to stop the clock but apparently I didn’t. Its one of those things I’m going to learn from and get better. Coach told me that I should’ve thrown the ball away and there really wasn’t a throw there. I thought I might be able to run it in and then I realized I couldn’t and tried to get out of bounds. [Coach] was just upset that the clock didn’t stop and we didn’t at least get a field goal out of the drive.”
On completing his first 10 passes to start the game:
“The first half, I was feeling good and I got a rhythm going. The first game of the year I played every snap of the game pretty much until the end and I felt I got a good rhythm going. I don’t know what the reason was for our downfall in the second half. We just didn’t execute and it didn’t play out the way we wanted it to.”
University of Connecticut
“I’m very pleased with the win today. I thought our kids hung in there really well during the first half. We didn’t play as well offensively in the first half as we would have liked to with the field position we had especially in the first quarter. Then, we made some adjustments and said we felt we would throw the ball more to loosen the running game up. Tyler [Lorenzen] I thought executed the passing game really well.
“Defensively, I thought we played well pretty much the whole game. There were a couple of plays but we kept them out of the end zone for the most part and that’s always good. That’s the thing you want to do on defense. “
“Special teams, there are some concerns there. We missed the extra point, our kick coverage team was poor, and we have to get better at that. We’ll work on that this week and going into the bye week we’ll take a look at ourselves through the first five games, see what we did well, see where we could improve on, see where we need to go from here, get our guys healthy, and continue to make progress.”
You have to be encouraged that you haven’t played your best yet and you’re 5-0.
“We haven’t put it all together in all three phases, but again, realistically, I don’t know if anybody ever puts it together in a game for all three phases. I think there are things that happen but we’re striving to do that – we’re striving for perfection each and every game and each and every week – and we’re not going to be satisfying until we get it. It’s great that we’re winning, but it’s also great that we still have a lot of stuff we could improve upon.”
On Tyvon Branch’s kick return:
“I thought it was a big momentum swing for us. He has those capabilities to do that and we saw this week (in practice) that we thought if we could just secure the blocks long enough and get him a seam then he would be able to do that. That was big because again they scored, then we got back ahead, and I think that was good. We’ve been able to do that this year. We’ve been able to put ourselves in situations where we get behind and somebody scores and we go right back and answer. We just did it in a different way this week.”
What got the running game going in the second half?
“I think the fact that we threw the ball. We threw the ball and loosened them up and I think, and I don’t know I’d have to watch the film, but one of the things is because of us throwing so much I think they got a little tired. I think making them run side-line to side-line, the verticals down the field, getting them to have to run as much on defense, I thought that loosened it up a little bit. Sometimes you have to do that. Sometimes you have to throw the ball to be able to run it and we probably waited a little bit too long today to do that. That’s all me, that’s my fault.”
Tyvon’s return came after he just gotten beat for a touchdown catch. What does that tell you about him that he can come back like that and give you such a big play?
“I’d like to be able to tell you that he listens to his coaches when we say that when one play is over you move on to the next. I don’t know if that’s the case or not. I think it’s him being a senior and him being in the battles that he has been in and knows that, ‘Hey you can’t live with one play if you make a mistake.’ Jabari Arthur is a good receiver. We pretty much knew that that is what they [Akron] probably wanted to do down there and I thought that if he [Branch] were to turn into the guy he would have been better off instead of turning back inside. If he would have went into it and snapped his head I think he would have been able to play it better. Again, I think that’s the maturity level that we’re starting to get with these guys - guys that have been around and don’t panic, they don’t get flustered. I should have told him, but he owes me one after that anyway, but again I think it is the maturity level with Tyvon.”
Can you talk about the spark you gave this team today both running and receiving?
“Whatever my task is or whatever I am called to do, depending on the play call, I go out and do what is asked of me every play. When my number is called I go out and do my best.”
What made the running game so effective in the second half?
“The offensive line. They really came together there is a lot of chemistry up front. That really helped us out.”
You were a spark for your team today, do you like to be the spark for your team?
“I feel like I spark the team in practice, during the games, and in the weight room. I like to be high spirited in everything that I do. I think that helps because our team is very enthusiastic.”
Did you perform this way because of the opportunity that you got to play?
“No, I always perform this way, but the opportunity came now, so I took advantage of it. I have always given 110% in everything that I did and that is what set me up to do what I did out there today.”
Coming into today there were 23 teams undefeated, four of them unranked, one of those teams is UConn, are you guys getting the respect that you deserve?
“I don’t even care about what is going on with that, we just want to play our type of ball every game, every play, every practice, do what we do and all of that will take care of itself. I don’t care about rankings or AP votes we just have to do what we need to do.”
Can you talk about the spark that Andre Dixon gave to you today?
“He has a lot of energy and just so much passion for the game. When he gets into the game it as an extra boost. He just runs the ball so hard and if he gets hit is always gets right back on his foot and is ready for more.”
You guys are playing great, 5-0, do you think the bye week has come at a bad time?
“I think you can look at it at coming at a good time because we have a lot of guys that are banged up after five straight games and it will give them a little time to heal. At the same time we want to keep rolling, but it might be hard to stay focused, especially for the young guys.”
Do you think Akron got tired because of you guys passing the ball so much?:
“In the first half we only ran like 25 plays on both sides of the ball, which really isn’t a lot and we were well rested. In the second half we started pouring it on and getting some longer drives which is where the conditioning comes into play. I think that we are a very well conditioned team and we are able to wear our opponents down.”
On being 5-0:
“It feels good to work all summer and then come out and accomplish the goals that we wanted. It feels good.”
On the bye week:
“This bye week is coming at a perfect time because we have some guys that are banged up today. We have extra days to recover and get ready for Virginia. We are going to watch them tonight and it just gives us more time to study them and for our bodies to recover.”
On the defense:
“I think that when we settle down we are a great defense; we swarmed to the ball and tackled. We were just going out and having fun and that is what football is about having fun and making plays.”
On the defense playing to expectations:
“We try to limit big plays in the game and today they got a few big plays on us. When we limit the big plays to zero then our defense will be up to our expectations.”
What opened up the running game?
“The passing game was awesome this week; Tyler did a great job, and the offensive line did a great job of protecting. This opened a hole for the running game tremendously.”
On the running game:
“Akron did a great job of shutting down the run in the first half; I think we only ran the ball a few times in the first half. After we started airing the ball out, the running game opened up.”
“It is just an ankle sprain and they are treating it conservatively so I will be back next week. It happened in the third quarter; it got twisted up a little bit but I will be alright.”
On the momentum swing:
“Tyvon Branch took one back for a touchdown which gave us momentum. We try to feed off each other and play as a unit and get it done.”
On passing game:
“When they tried to crowd the box and do things like that to stop our great running back we have to put it in the air. It is our job as wide receivers, quarterbacks, offensive line and even running backs to execute the pass. I thought that we did a pretty good job. We have to give Akron a lot of credit because they really came after us and played well.”
On kickoff return after giving up touchdown:
“I never get down on the field; the boys always rally around me to pick me up. They told me that if I make a big play, the offense will get going and everything will get going. So I had to go out there and set the tone for the offense and bounce back from the play that I just gave up.”
“I always told them if they gave me a seam that I would break one. They gave me a good seam and I made a cut and then it was off to the races.”
On bouncing back:
“It is always good to bounce back after something like that and the boys fired up. It feels good to bounce back.”
(source: Akron Media Relations)
(photos: Bob Child/AP)
Miami beats Syracuse, Army drills Temple and Kent State beats OU in Athens - complete MAC results for week #5.
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