Even after a season in which the Huskies won just two times and lost the final game to the previously winless SMU Mustangs, coach Bob Diaco sees good things in the program's future.
Of course, he's remained both upbeat and realistic since he arrived in Storrs 12 months ago, but the big difference between now and then is that the players seem to be buying in too.
"Coach Diaco calls it the new team, with all the guys that are coming back next season,” quarterback Tim Boyle said, via UConnHuskies.com. “We are all ready to go and attack the offseason. We are going to try and hang on to this feeling and let it motivate us.”
“There are so many areas that are changing and improving, which is what would lead me to say the tide is on the way back in,” Diaco said. “We just still have a few habits that need to be eradicated. You can’t change a bad habit. You can’t change habits. You just replace them. We have replaced a bunch, we’ve got a few more to go and we will. And the team, which we are now, is resolute to getting that done and we will get it done. No question."
These are just words, of course, and critics might point to the team's two wins -- even Paul Pasqualoni went 5-7 in his first two seasons.
“You can look at the schedule, you can look at the record- I’m sure most people will,” Diaco said. “But we are going to look at the reality of how the games are being played, how the players are growing, how the units are performing and go from there. ...
“The foundation is strong. It is here to stay forever and we are putting and prepared to put layers on it,” he continued. “I’m not just blowing smoke to say that we are at the bend. We are at it. Whether we have turned the corner or not, you might argue that, but we are at that corner. We were a million miles away from it 12 months ago, but we are at the corner now. We are going to begin to take the next step and talk about that next level of winning football games.”