One week. A week from today we'll get our first taste of what the 2011 season holds for the UConn football team. By then, the Huskies will (presumably) have a starting quarterback, and we'll see just how dominating this defense will be.
And while we've beaten the life out of the "UConn's defense is critical to any success they'll have in '11" storyline, one thing we haven't considered, perhaps because we didn't want to jinx it, are injuries and there effect on game plans, schemes and, ultimately, final scores.
The Connecticut News' Neil Ostrout writes Wednesday afternoon that one of UConn's best players, defensive end Jesse Joseph, didn't practice, and not only that, it doesn't look like he will for some time.
This is a troubling development.
“We expect to get him back,” Pasqualoni said, according to Ostrout, but didn't an estimated return date.
Joseph, who led the team with 8.5 sacks a season ago, was seen wearing a large black brace on his right knee. The Huskies could certainly get by without Joseph early in the season, when the schedule isn't quite what it will be in conference play, but ideally, you'd always like to have one of your best players on the field for as many snaps as possible. For now, we wait.
We mentioned the quarterback situation above and Ostrout writes that "It’s a safe bet the coaching staff has made its decision in regards to the competition" before adding what we already knew: Pasqualoni ain't naming names until next Thursday, hours before the Huskies host Fordham.
“I’m not going to make any kind of announcement until we get into the stadium for the game,” Pasqualoni said after practice Wednesday. “That’s for a couple reasons. I want to be sure, No. 1, of what we’re doing. And No. 2, why give out information when you don’t have to? I’d rather collect it than give it out.”
Fair points, all of them. And truthfully, we've waited the spring and summer to find out the Huskies' QB. What's another week?
Ostrout adds that even though Pasqualoni said he and the other coaches "haven't finalized" their choice, the four-man race is now down to three; Michael Box is the odd man out.
"It still looks as if true freshman Mike Nebrich is the man to beat, with McCummings and McEntee behind," Ostrout wrote Wednesday. "That is just an educated guess on my part, but we’ll see."