Tim Boyle Looking for Improvement

Tim Boyle_722

It's been a rough start to Tim Boyle's career.

The true freshman was elevated to the Huskies starting quarterback two weeks ago, and in that time UConn is 0-2 and Boyle, who starred at Xavier High School in Middletown has yet to look comfortable.

He's completing 45 percent of his passes (37 of 82), has no touchdowns and three interceptions.

But he's not completely to blame. He has been sacked 11 times.

UConn has languished on both sides of the ball in what has turned into a season-long slump.

Still, this is football and right or wrong, the buck stops with the quarterback. Boyle not only accepts this, but he wants to atone for his mistakes and help the Huskies get that elusive first win.

"I put a lot of those sacks on myself just not going through my progressions as fast as I can," the quarterback said of last Saturday's effort (via the New Haven Register). "I think our offensive line did a great job of protecting me, everyone sees the stat of eight sacks and they are in awe. I think a key thing I have to do is keep getting up from the sacks and showing the team that I can take them and keep getting up."

Boyle is also taking responsibiltiy for the majority of his interceptions.

"One interception I left it inside, the one by the goal line was just me being a freshman and throwing the ball up," Boyle told The New Haven Register. "That is something I am going to have to learn from and the last one, I just left it short. I think I could have had a touchdown to Shak (Phillips) on that play but that is something I have to learn from."

Interim coach T.J. Weist agrees. On Tuesday he said that Boyle is no longer a freshman -- just the starting quarterback -- and he needs to be more consistent.

“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.”

Part of getting better means learning not only from his mistakes, but watching how two of the best quarterbacks on the planet approach the game. Weist suggested Boyle pay close attention to last Sunday night's Broncos-Colts matchup between Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.

"You sit there and watch ... Luck and Manning and you watch them step up into the pocket and they are throwing the ball as they are getting hit," Weist said. "I talked to [Boyle] about it and you see them handling pressure because everybody has pressure, you look at the sacks that are happening in any league. You see pressure, how does he handle it? How does he secure the football? How fast does he make decisions? How fast does that ball come off his hands in those situations?

"That is where he has to learn from that last game that he had pressure and he has to learn to make that decision and let that ball go before the pressure closes in on his and how to move around in the pocket with that pressure. The pocket is always changing and any good defensive coach is going to do a good job of learning what our pocket is and how to put different pressure angles on it so that is what he has to do."

But Weist understands that this is a process. A year ago, Boyle was a senior in high school. Now he's playing in an FBS conference.

"The overall speed of the game is what he is learning," Weist said. "It is different from high school because it is always faster and they bring pressure, they bring pressure again and they keep bringing pressure. It is not just handling it once, it is handling it again and again and again."

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