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Another Emotional Week Begins for UConn Football Team

In Miami to Say Goodbye

Everyone associated with the University of Connecticut football program will be at the New Birth Baptist Church in Miami to Monday for the funder of Jasper Howard.   Head coach Randy Edsall expressed concerned about the emotional state of the players on Sunday.

"I’m sure there’s going to be a wide range of emotions," Edsall said. "I think some will depend on whether or not the casket is open or if it is closed as you go into the church.  I’m not sure exactly what’s going to happen. I think it’s going to be a difficult day for some of these young people."

"We’re going to make sure we’re around those kids," Edsall Continued.   He pointed out that the coaches, support staff and school officials will sit among the players during the funeral services. 

"I think this is a life lesson, that these are the things that you have to deal with in life," Edsall said. "But then it’s time now for everybody to continue to move forward, really get back into what we have to do with our everyday lives and in our own way deal with how they want to deal with remembering Jazz."

UConn will host  Rutgers Saturday in the first home game since Howard’s death. 

Rutgers completed one of the easiest non-conference schedules in the country 5-0 with a 27-10 win over Army Friday night.   Even with two Division 1-AA teams mixed in, Rutgers non conference opponents have a combined record of  10-26. 

The two losses for the Scarlett Knights have come at the hands of Cincinnati and Pitt in league play.  Against the five non-conference teams, Rutgers averaged 200 yards rushing per game and forced 18 turnovers while committing two.

In Big East play, the Scarlett Knights have averaged 44 yards rushing and are -2 in turnover margin. 

Schiano watched the Huskies play with spirit and emotion last weekend against the Mountaineers.

"Connecticut has played good football the entire season," Schiano said.   "That had to be an incredibly emotional situation.  

"It really was a good showing for the Big East Conference although it was a tragic event," Schiano added.  "I think it brought together the two teams  and it brought together the entire league." 

Schiano watched UConn quarterback Cody Endres threw for 378 yards and two scores during the loss at WVU. 

"Their passing game is more prevalent and they thrown the ball more effectively, Schiano said,  "Still their heart and soul is the running game.   They have those two really good running backs running well a very good offensive line." 


South Florida Slips Out of Title Contention

The Bulls got pounded 41-14 at Pitt last week and the Mountaineers visit Friday night, it will be the third week in a row South Florida faces a ranked Big East Conference opponent. 

On the surface, it appears to be another South Florida October swoon. 

Pitt in the first half Saturday afternoon scored on it first five possessions while rolling up 297 yards of total offense with no turnovers. 

In 2007, South Florida was  6-0 and ranked No. 2 nationally. The Bulls lost their next three and finished 9-4.  

Last season, the Bulls were 5-0 and ranked No. 10 nationally.   South Florida lost four of five to finish 9-4 again. 

This season, the Bulls again started 5-0 as they rose to No. 21 in the polls.    Since then, Cincinnati and South Florida have outscored the Bulls 75-31.   The No. 20 ranked Mountaineers are headed for Tampa Friday night.  


Cincinnati at Syracuse

The Bearcats will try and match the start of the 1954 team that won the first eight games of the season.   The last time at the Carrier Dome,  the Cincinnati offense rolled up 52 points.

Last week, Zach Collaros filled in for the injured Tony Pike at quarterback as he went 15-17 passing for 253 yards and three touchdowns.   Collaros also ran for 52 yards as the Bearcats blew out Louisville 41-10

"I think we can be cautious with Tony now," Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly said.   "If Zach went in there and didn’t play very well, it would put the pressure on us to get Tony ready again.   But now it gives you a sense that the kids will play hard for who ever the quarterback is.

"And with Tony now he feels like he has to do what ever he has to do go get back in there," Kelly said. 

"He is going to be cleared in a position that there will not be any doubts that he will be the starter again," Kelley said.   But the coach would not say for sure if that was going to happen this week.

Kelly wouldn’t commit as to who would be the starter this week saying Pike would be evaluated again mid-week

Cincinnati has now won 13 consecutive games.

Syracuse, at 3-4, needs one more win to eclipse the win total from all of last season.

"I think after the year I will look back to see where we are," Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said.  "I am fighting to improve this team every day.   I think the players are fighting to try and improve themselves.   Sometimes the philosophy of hard work is not enough sometimes.  You can’t confuse effort with results.   

 "We have really been on the players about what type of product  we put on film," Marrone continued.  "This product goes out and it is everywhere in the country.   What do you want people to say about you?"

Saturday’s game against Cincinnati will be the last of six consecutive home games for the Orange.   Syracuse has won three of the first five during this stretch.    


No. 17 Pitt Gets a Week Off

The Panthers have played eight consecutive weeks coming out of a physical pre-season camp.  

"We have some guys who are beat up and we haven’t had a break yet," Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. "I think for our team, for our coaches, this bye week really came at the right time for us and we will get some rest. We’ll take a few days off then get back to work [Wednesday] and go for a couple days then get started working on Syracuse.

"We do have about ten players that are playing banged up and hurt right now," Wannstedt continued.  "This will be a good time to rest them.  At the same time, we need to keep our momentum up so we will work them three days this week and then give them a couple of days off this weekend." 

Pitt has raced off to a 4-0 Big East Conference start and their next game will be against (3-4, 0-2) Syracuse.   That is a huge game for Pitt because the Panthers will close the season against Notre Dame, WVU and Cincinnati.  Those teams are currently a combined 18-3.  


Offensive Struggles Continue for Louisville

 The leading passer for the cardinals in the Cincinnati game last week was walk-on Will Stein with 98 yards.  Stein was in the game following the injury/ineffectiveness of the Adam Froman/Justin Burke duo. 

Froman was knocked out of the game with an injured elbow.  Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe says Froman should be back as the starter this week.    

The Cardinals, 0-3 in Big East play will take a week off from conference play to face a bad (2-4)  Arkansas State team. 


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