Defense Continues to Shine - NBC Connecticut
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Defense Continues to Shine

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    NEWSLETTERS

    There are any number of improvements coach Paul Pasqualoni would like to see with his defense (in the running game and consistency in the red zone among them).

    But for the most part, the defense has been as advertised: fast, tenacious and suffocating. There were the letdowns against Western Michigan and Buffalo, but the unit played well in the 19-3 loss to Rutgers last week (seven of those points were courtesy of a Chandler Whitmer pick-six).

    On Wednesday, Pasqualoni talked about the group that's currently ranks sixth in total yards allowed per game (248.8), specifically the worries along the defensive line.

    "Coming in, our biggest concern was replacing Kendall [Reyes] and Twyon (Martin) and I think that (DT) Ryan Wirth and (DT) Shamar (Stephen), although he got hurt, is starting to come back and I thought played pretty well against Rutgers, pretty consistent," Pasqualoni said via the Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner.

    "(Freshman) Julian Campenni has helped us in there (along the defensive line). B.J. McBryde has taken some snaps and is getting acclimated to being an inside defensive lineman as opposed to an outside guy," Pasqualoni continued. "I would say one of our big concerns was those two positions and I think the guys have stepped up there. Angelo Pruitt was part of that. We moved him (to defensive end) with the loss of Jesse Joseph and Teddy Jennings, two big, severe blows to us."

    And while Pasqualoni has been pleased, he's a coach -- there's always room for to get better.

    "So I think from a defensive front standpoint, we're making progress," he said. "I'm pleased there but I think we got to keep getting better. I think the linebackers are playing consistent football. The corners have played pretty consistent football and the young safeties are getting better each week."

    We'd say that the Huskies should handle this week's opponent, Temple, but it seems that UConn plays down to the level of their competition (see WMU and Buffalo for recent examples). That said, if the defense plays like it did against NC State and the offense can limit turnovers, the Huskies should be 4-3 by Saturday night.

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