There's no silver lining when you're 0-6. Interim coach T.J. Weist understands this. But he also has to find a way to motivate his team out of this mess. It won't get any easier this weekend when UConn faces UCF, a team fresh off a huge win over No. 8 Louisville.
Weist admits it won't be easy.
“We don’t look at it any other way,” he said Tuesday, via SNY.com. “You have to be honest with ourselves and be straight forward with them. We have to tell them when they do bad and tell them when they do good. We have to be positive with our team, but we have to be brutally honest about how we play on the field.”
So what's the plan?
There is no magic pill that undigs the hole the Huskies currently find themselves. In the simplest terms, it's about working hard and minimizing mistakes.
“No. 1, you tell them the truth,” Weist said. “Where they stand, and why they are there and the direction you need to go. Don’t try and B.S. them. They want to hear the truth, whether it is good or bad. ...
“You can’t accept losing, under any circumstance. Once you accept it, it will happen again. We will never accept it. There is a selfishness that comes into a programs, that can happen if you allow players to be selfish and go their own way and not focus on the team. That can happen easily in this situation.”
On area where there's plenty of room for improvement: quarterback Tim Boyle. The true freshman, who will be making his third start this week, struggled in his first two outings.
“He made some mistakes and threw some interceptions and bad balls. He has to learn from it,” Weist said. “Is it accepted? No. You are a football player on this team. You are a player who is a starter and making decisions for all of us. It is not accepted to make bad decisions whether you are a freshman or not. … You take role as starting quarterback and you are held responsible for your actions. If he were a senior we would be treating him the same way from a responsibility standpoint. He has maturity and understands it and works at it to get better.If he didn’t we might have moved on, but he does.”
Exacerbating matters: On the other side of the ball, the Huskies' D hasn't been able to pressure the quarterback.
“We talked about that. (Defensive coordinator) Hank Hughes has talked about getting more pressure,” Weist said. “He has a good plan from there. We are facing a solid team and experienced quarterback. …
“We got the talent there and got to work on the finish of getting to the quarterback,” Weist continued. “We think we got the best personnel starting now, we have to stress to them competing more and more finish. Last finish is to make a sack. Getting hits on quarterback, that’s what we got to put pressure on from that standpoint.”