UConn D Suddenly Struggles With Big Plays

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The Huskies have yet to win back-to-back games since the 2010 season but they'll have that opportunity this Saturday against a 4-0 Rutgers team. It's a tall task, but in the wake of beating Buffalo 24-17 over the weekend, UConn remain in the bowl hunt. Specifically, according to ESPN.com Big East blogger Andrea Adelson, the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl which will pit the Huskies against a Conference USA team. She does note, however, that "UConn … (is) going to have to scratch and claw for six wins."

No one disputes this, especially given how inconsistent the Huskies have been this season. While the offense appears to be settling into a rhythm, it's the defense that suddenly has a proclivity for giving up big plays. They were embarrassed against Western Michigan, and Buffalo ripped off several big plays that can't happen to good teams.

After the Bulls win, coach Paul Pasqualoni had only laudatory things to say about the defense. "(Our D) plays the run pretty good, you know, and fundamentally, they're working hard every day to get better," he said. "We've got some athletes, we've got a few guys who can run. But mostly they just try hard, they give excellent effort and they play up to their talent level. It's a good group of kids."

But one of the unit's best players, linebacker Sio Moore, knows that they have to get a lot better if they're going to compete in the Big East.

“In one aspect, being detailed, there is a way you want to win games,” Moore said according to SNY.tv's John Silver. “We like to win games where we shut guys out and get after them…We got this win, but there is a lot we can improve on.”

As for winning two in a row for the first time in the Pasqualoni era, Moore was realistic.

“We got to take it as the week comes,” he said. “That’s all we have to do is take steps in the right direction and build on wins now.

“We had two (losses) we weren’t supposed to let up. It’s big for us to be able to take this win and learn from it and getter better for the next one. We’ve been win-loss; we have to start putting them together.”

Making things more difficult: the Scarlet Knights are next.

“(Rutgers)is a good team and are 4-0," running back Lyle McCombs said. "They will have confidence against us and are looking for revenge. They came here and lost a big game and they will have fire in their hearts and they are a confident team right now.”

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