Wednesday , March 3 2021

Defensive struggles could put UConn in NCAA record books




STORRS – The clock fits into the final practice of Tuesday's 2018 season for the UConn football team.

There has been little chance of smiling in the last few months, but if a group of players ever needed a few hours of pay, it would be that team.


Fun times began when senior defense technician James Atkins passed to the court. Atkins, who joins Ryan Crozier as the only players participating in the program for the past five years, had mandatory quantitative methods in the social research class that were in conflict with UConn's practices on Tuesday and Thursday. With school not at the session, Atkins took part in his first practice on Tuesday from the fifth semester he started. Of course, he heard the "slower than ever" jokes of his teammates. UConn coach Randy Edsall asked jokes about Atkins if it was okay to participate in three straight practices.


Fast forward for a few hours and a field goal drill was put to an end in practice. After the defense blocked a few hosts, a final defensive stand led to Tyler Coyle's secondary security to fight under the field for a touchdown after another FG trying to throw himself off the line. Young Onill Robinson brought Coyle to the final and some other teammates followed his lead.

In addition to a bag ending the game in a victory over Rhode Island, the celebrations were few and far away for UConn's supernatural defense.

The NCAA record books tend to exacerbate the positive, so there are not many entries for defensive futility. If it existed, this UConn team would be on the verge of breaking down most of these signs.

The NCAA publishes team statistics dating back to 1989 at the level of football division, and dating back to that year, UConn is at a rate that has allowed most yards, points, rushing yards, yards per effort hurry, yards per pass aggressive game is allowed and the highest sign for defense success pass title to the Saturday's finale against Temple (3:30 pm, ESPNU).

"I can not see our numbers this year, it's definitely scary, but we have to focus on the opponent," said Coyle, who leads UConn with 102 events.

"I'm sick to lose." Growing up, I've never really lost, I'm going to Windsor, it hurts, it certainly hurts, but we have to come back with a different mind, Everyone has to do everything in this offseason, what do we have to do. "


If there is positive for the defense, it is that most of the group could be back. The only elderly for defense is the second top aggressive Santana Sterling, Atkins and Carlton Steer. It is likely that many of the four-year-olds will not return. Still, eight of the 20 UConn players with at least 10 events this season are real newcomers and 16 are first and second. UConn has more controversy than real newcomers and classroom students in general than any other football subdivision this season.

"These numbers are what they are, but if we did not do what we did with all those newcomers, the numbers would be worse in my opinion, so we did what we had to do to be the best we can this year and move forward next year, "said Edsall.

With just nine elderly scholarships, there are some tough decisions that need to be made on junior redshirt so UConn can bring on some reinforcements and have a regular size recruitment class.

Attack with Matt Peart and tight end Tyler Davis have said they intend to return for the 2019 season. Edsall was not ready to reveal the names of the youths who will play for UConn for the last time on Saturday but the list is expected to be announced in the next two days. Players who have fought to see the match this season are unlikely to return. Running back, Donevin O'Reilly, who lost the entire season with knee injury, knee injury and transformed Marshe Terry, defensive Kevin Murphy and kicker Michael Tarbutt would be among the other top retired candidates.

UConn coaches have seen improvements from individual players, even if they have not been translated into team success. James Hargrave held the UConn record for most opponents by a real newcomer during the FBS season with 45 in 2002. Robinson, Kevon Jones and Travis Jones all made the title. Terrance Smith set the actual debut record to record a record of 60 in 2000, so Robinson needs five stops to put this mark on.

"What surprised is that many new guys, I will not tell them this, but they grow big for me and have grown so much this year," Atkins said. "I know they have a lot of challenges to spend, it's the first year they play soccer college so all is much quicker." "I'm really impressed with how they have grown this year." I can not wait to see what they are doing next year.

UConn has 14 real defensive players for young people facing this season. The next step in their development is to become bigger, faster and stronger in the offseason, but that's just part of the solution.

"We have to learn to return and improve the basics," said UConn defense co-ordinator Billy Crocker. "We fight for the fight, you see it in practice. We do not get alive, but it looks like this, because sometimes this is the only way we can make a guy.

"We are trying to tell these guys that you can not stop your feet when you go to face these types and are so afraid to lose their feet and create more space between them and the player ball and it's not about winning the matchup. We have to eliminate this space, be aggressive. "


[email protected]; @ NHRJimFuller


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