An otherwise upbeat Saturday morning practice hit a low point when tight end Sean McQuillan suffered a concussion on a hard hit from cornerback Taylor Mack.
McQuillan, the favorite to start, lay on the ground for about 10 minutes before an ambulance took him to Windham Hospital. His head and neck CT scan revealed nothing out of the ordinary, according to a team official. He returned to the Burton Football complex Saturday afternoon and will go through normal concussion protocol.
It remains to be seen how much time McQuillan, a 6-foot-4, 237-pound redshirt sophomore from Glastonbury, will miss. It could be a crucial injury for the Huskies, who are already thin at the position. True freshmen Tommy Myers and Michael Boland are likely to get reps in McQuillan’s absence.
“It puts a damper on (the practice),” Pasqualoni said after McQuillan was taken away. “I’m optimistic he’ll be O.K.”
On the play, which Pasqualoni described as “bang-bang,” Chandler Whitmer threw the ball to McQuillan in the flat, where he was promptly met by Mack, sitting in zone coverage.
“When you’re playing that type of coverage, (the corner) is playing the ball more than the guy,” Pasqualoni said. “Often times, you don’t even see the guy is what happens. You see the ball. You’re going for the ball and they collide. That’s always been part of (the game).”
Under the NCAA’s new “targeting” rules, such hits will be reviewed and could result in immediate ejection.
“The issue is, with the targeting rule, they want the defensive guys to lower the target,” Pasqualoni said. “So you’ve got to hit him lower. That’s going to be a major point of emphasis early on until they get it established. I think you’re going to see guys suspended.”