One of the many issues facing UConn as it prepares for Michigan this weekend is that it's not just one unit that's struggling. Offense and defense both deserve blame for the 0-2 start. And while coach Paul Pasqualoni can do the roster equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, the reality is that the buck stops with him. The Huskies need a win and, unfortunately, the timing couldn't be worse with the Wolverines coming to town.
Still, UConn's third-year coach is trying to take the glass-hall-full approach despite an 0-2 start and staring 0-3 in the face.
"I'll talk to them about let's watch the film but let's understand that we're doing some very good things in these games but we're not doing enough consistently and we've got to be more consistent," Pasqualoni said during his postgame conference call Sunday, via the Hartford Courant. "My thing is, more consistent in the run game on both sides of the ball; both sides of the ball."
Two years ago, the running game was UConn's only offense, although it fell off a cliff in 2012. And last season, the Huskies' defense was one of the best in the Big East. Now it can't stop anybody.
"The big runs are killing us more than the explosive gains," Pasqualoni said. "The plays that killed us were the flat-out big plays, and for the most part, they were self-inflicted. We came up with some turnovers. They fumbled the ball twice, there's an interception, two fourth-and-1 stops and a field goal. You start to add these things up, you're supposed to win the game when that happens. But you're not going to win those games if you give up those other [big] plays."
Of course, there is no magic answer. No amount of arm-waving that can fix all that's wrong with this team. So, for now, all Pasqualoni can do plug along taking it one game at a time.
"There were some opportunities that we left on the field," he said. … But I think it's like a lot of things. It's not all just one area, but we certainly have to do a better job in the consistency department. We're going to go out and work hard on what the runs are and making sure that the backs are seeing the same things they need to see and doing a good job with the line."
And if that fails then … well, we got nothing.