October 15, 2009
Quarterback Decisions AboundUConn's two defeats have come by a total of five points, each loss sealed in the final minutes.
Entering Saturday's Louisville at Connecticut showdown, the Cards and the Huskies have one thing in common: a quarterback controversy.
For the Cards, Justin Burke started the first three games of the season, only to be supplanted by Adam Froman after suffering a chest injury. Froman, a junior-college transfer, has fared well since taking the reigns and led the team to a 25-23 victory over Southern Miss in the Cards' last outing. Louisville's 439 yards of total offense was the highest total of the season.
Heading into Saturday's game at Storrs, UofL coach Steve Kragthorpe has yet to announce who will be starting under center. Last week, Froman said he didn't find out he was going to start against Southern Miss until Friday; the day before the game. Froman is the projected starter against UConn, but don't be surprised to see Burke on the field if the offense struggles early.
UConn finds itself in a similar quarterback dilemma, but it seems Coach Randy Edsall has already made his decision to stick with Cody Endres as the team's starter over Zach Frazer. Endres took over the starting role, when Frazer hurt his knew in the second game of the season against North Carolina. Frazer, a transfer from Notre Dame, is now healthy, but will remain on the bench.
The numbers on the two quarterbacks certainly give an indication as to why Edsall is putting his faith in Endres. In his three games of action, Endres has completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 663 yards and three touchdowns. The key is that he has yet to throw an interception. In Frazer's two games, he completed just 51.2 percent of his passes and was intercepted four times.
Endres acknowledged the quarterback situation has been difficult, but notes that its part of the game.
"It's a tough situation to be in, but this is a performance-based profession, and whoever goes out there and does the job is going to be out there on the field and has got to continue to play well," Endres said. "That's the No. 1 goal: Win games, and hopefully things turn out that way. That's all you can ask for."
Husky linebacker out against Cards
It has been a case of bad luck for UConn starting linebacker Scott Lutrus. After missing four games with a stinger in his left shoulder, Lutrus returned to action in the Huskies' game last Saturday against Pitt. His return didn't last long. Lutrus went down in the second quarter on Pitt's third offensive drive. The hit came when he blitzed Pitt's Ray Graham. The good news is that Graham was stopped at the line for no gain. The bad news is that Lutrus came up from the pile, grabbing his left shoulder. The latest injury is expected to keep him off the field for a while.
In his weekly teleconference, UConn coach Randy Edsall said of Lutrus: "I don't think he's going to play on Saturday. I wouldn't think that we'd see him any time soon".
New left line
There will be two new starters on the left side of UConn's offensive line Saturday. Coach Randy Edsall revealed that redshirt frosh Erk Kuraczea and sophomore Mike Ryan have taken over the starting jobs from Matheiu Olivier and Dan Ryan.
New deep threat
Prior to Saturday's game against Pitt, senior receiver Marcus Easley had not caught a pass the entire season and had never scored a touchdown in his career. Easley came through for UConn in the first half when he reeled in a 79-yard touchdown pass from Cody Endres. Easley finished the game with two receptions for 100 yards. Not bad for a guy who had just 130 career receiving yards entering the game.
Louisville also had a big threat receiver emerge in its last outing. Senior receiver Scott Long led the effort in the Cards' come-from-behind victory over Southern Miss. With the Cards trailing late in the third quarter, Long turned a 50-yard catch into a 92-yard touchdown. The touchdown put the Cards ahead 22-16. Long finished the game with five catches for 146 yards.
Did you know?
Coach Randy Edsall's team fell to 5-14 all-time in Big East road games
For the second straight game, the usually run-heavy Huskies had more passing yards than rushing yards.
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