Not a lot of news coming from UConn football coach Paul Pasqualoni’s brief Thursday teleconference with reporters heading into the Temple game on Saturday (1 p.m., ESPN 3, no live TV). First, from a injury standpoint, just about everyone is healthy and ready to go.
“I would say that there’s nothing at this point that I would make any statements on,” Pasqualoni said. “As for Mike (Osiecki), we’re still working our way through it.”
Osiecki got banged up last week at Rutgers and was treated by doctors for a possible concussion. Pasqualoni was hesitant on making any kind of statement on his playing status until after Thursday’s practice.
“I’d say if there was somebody in question, it would be Mike,” Pasqualoni said. “I’d usually like to wait until we’re done with today and the trainers have had enough time to do all their testing and so forth, so if there was anyone questionable, it’s Mike.”
Despite the 10 interceptions, including the four last week in the 19-3 loss at Rutgers, despite the disappointing per-game passing average (207.0 yards), despite just four touchdown passes and an average of 16.2 completions, Pasqualoni feels that QB Chandler Whitmer is making solid progress of trying to get this offense on the right track.
“I think he’s doing a very good job of managing the game. The calls, the plays, I think he’s doing a good job with the concepts of the offense,” Pasqualoni said. “The ill-advised throws? He was under tremendous duress last week (the Scarlet Knights defense sacked him three times and chased him around the field just about all game long) all of those things play into it. But I think he’s making real progress and he’s showing some real toughness and some leadership.”
While many of the players talked about a having a renewed sense of urgency heading into the Temple game and taking that urgency to the practice field earlier this week, Pasqualoni said that he didn’t see anything different in the workouts.
“Well, we’ve practiced hard and we’ve practiced well,” he said. “It’s not like we don’t practice hard. You guys have been there and seen it. Every week, when we come in, regardless of what happened the week before, we start over. So it’s often been said if you watch a good team practice, you don’t know whether they won or lost the week before and I think that’s pretty true with our team.”
Pasqualoni, as many head coaches do, toed the company like when he was asked if there was a specific area of his team that he’d like to see improvement from.
“There are three phases of the game, right? And you need to play well in all three phases of the game,” Pasqualoni said. “So for me to sit here and tell you what’s got to go right … you work hard and do everything you can do to in all three areas so things go right. We’re optimistic, as we always are, that we’re going to go out and take care of the ball, play smart, and be productive in all three areas and play a good solid football game.”