At 0-9, the UConn Huskies football team had a plan. That plan was to finish the 2013 season with three straight wins and send the 14 seniors out on a positive note.
Behind a school record 461 yards passing from Casey Cochran with four touchdowns, the Huskies easily took care of the Memphis Tigers in front of 17,086 at Rentschler Field on Saturday afternoon.
The crowd of 17,086 was the smallest in UConn's history at the Rent.
The Huskies finish the season at 3-9 (3-5 American) while the Tigers finish at 3-9 (1-7).
Cochran spread the ball around to seven receivers including Geremy Davis who had 15 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown. He also hit Deshon Foxx 11 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
"Casey went out and threw the ball and guys caught it," said interim head coach T.J. Weist. "Guys were aggressive catching the ball. Geremy really proved that he's a heck of a player. Deshon Foxx really had a great day. You can tell there is a lot of leadership on this team. It gives us great momentum for next year. It gives them confidence."
UConn got off to a slow start in the 1st quarter as they fell behind 3-0. But the second quarter was a different story.
They started off the quarter by scoring in a drive continued over from the 1st quarter when Cochran hit Foxx for an 18 yard score. Then after forcing the Tigers to punt, Cochran led them down the field again for another touchdown when he hit Davis.
On their final possession of the second quarter after stopping Memphis on fourth and five with just over a minute to go in the 1st half, the Huskies drove 63 yards in seven plays culminating with a Lyle McCombs touchdown on a pass from Cochran to essentially put the game away at 21-3.
And if there was any doubt about that, the Huskies took their first possession of the third quarter and went 53 yards in seven plays with McCombs running it for seven yards.
"We wanted to send the seniors off right," Weist said. "We wanted to play the Husky way with great effort, finish, and guys playing together with energy. I couldn't be more proud of this team and the senior class."
As I said above, mission accomplished.
The Huskies now head into the offseason that is full of questions.
The main one to be answered first is who will be the new head coach of the UConn Football team? We should have the answer to that one within the next month and that'll answer other questions as well.
MEM - 05:34 - Jake Elliott 43 Yd Field Goal
CON - 13:10 - Deshon Foxx 18 Yd Pass From Casey Cochran (Chad Christen Kick)
CON - 04:13 - Geremy Davis 15 Yd Pass From Casey Cochran (Chad Christen Kick)
CON - 00:09 - Lyle McCombs 11 Yd Pass From Casey Cochran (Chad Christen Kick)
CON - 09:06 - Lyle McCombs 7 Yd Run (Chad Christen Kick)
CON - 07:20 - Chad Christen 46 Yd Field Goal
MEM - 04:58 - Keiwone Malone 10 Yd Pass From Paxton Lynch (Jake Elliott Kick)
CON - 01:12 - Deshon Foxx 32 Yd Pass From Casey Cochran (Chad Christen Kick)
CON - 09:47 - Martin Hyppolite 1 Yd Run (Chad Christen Kick)
To continue reading, the Memphis Tigers @ UConn Huskies recap, click on the read more button below if you're on the home page.no comments
As we learned the other day, the Boston Red Sox and Edward Mujica had agreed on a two-year deal worth $9.25 million.
Today, they made the signing official.
Here's the release:
The Boston Red Sox today signed right-handed pitcher Edward Mujica to a two-year contract through the 2015 season.
Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.
A first-time All-Star in 2013, Mujica posted a 2-1 record with 37 saves and a career-best 2.78 ERA (20 ER/64.2 IP) in 65 relief appearances for the National League Champion Cardinals during the regular season. He ranked fifth among NL leaders in saves and ninth with 49 games finished.
The 29-year-old Mujica struck out 46 batters while issuing only five walks this past season. His 9.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio led all National League pitchers (minimum 15.0 IP) and was second in the majors only to Koji Uehara's 11.22 mark. He also averaged the fewest walks per 9.0 innings (0.70) among any pitcher who threw at least 10.0 innings in 2013.
A native of Venezuela, Mujica was originally signed by Cleveland as an international free agent in October of 2001 and has appeared in 381 major league games over parts of eight seasons with the Indians (2006-08), Padres (2009-10), Marlins (2011-12), and Cardinals (2012-13), with all but four outings coming in relief. He has posted a 19-19 career record with 41 saves, a 3.75 ERA (183 ER/439.1 IP), 350 strikeouts, and 68 walks.
His 5.15 career strikeout-to-walk ratio is tops in major league history among hurlers with at least 400.0 innings pitched and he also has the lowest average of walks per 9.0 innings among active pitchers with at least 400.0 innings at 1.39.
Since the start of the 2009 season, his 352.2 relief innings rank second in the majors behind Tyler Clippard's 383.1 frames. In that time, he ranks second among major league relievers with 1.35 walks per 9.0 innings, trailing only Uehara (1.07), and is fifth in that group with a 5.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Mujica has appeared in 11 career postseason games, all with St. Louis over the last two years, going 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA (3 ER/9.2 IP).
With the acquisition of Mujica, the Red Sox' 40-man roster is now at 40.no comments
Paw Prints is our daily look at the happenings for the UConn Huskies football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams as well as the other sports the student-athletes engage in. We will do our best to bring you the links from all of the media that covers the Huskies on a daily basis. As always, links can be found by clicking on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
Thank you for stopping by and making SOX & Dawgs your home for UConn Huskies news.no comments
It's Senior Day for the UConn Huskies football team and that means it's time to say goodbye to 14 seniors who have spent the last four-six years of their lives in Storrs.
They are: Jimmy Bennett, Tyler Bullock, Chad Christen, Ryan Donohue, Kevin Friend, Steve Greene, Frank Guardi, Martin Hyppolite, Jesse Joseph, Taylor Mack, Spencer Parker, Shamar Stephen, Cole Wagner, and Tim Willman,
No matter what lies ahead for them and interim head coach T.J. Weist, he'd like to see them leave Rentschler Field as winners of their third straight game today.
"It's unbelievably important," said Weist. "It's critical to send these guys off right, because this senior class has been through the ups and downs. They've had to go through two losing seasons after perhaps the best season in program history in 2010. And then they had to deal with the coaching change this season and the emotional aspect of that."
"Now they've been fighting back and winning some games and we want to send them off with some momentum. I want them to know they were part of something special. It may not be winning a championship or a winning season but I feel they could at least be a part of something that didn't go right, but they made it right."
So if you're heading over to Rentschler Field this morning, close up your tailgate a little early and be in your seats at 12:30 p.m. and give these seniors the salute they deserve.
After all they are a big part of the reason why the Huskies are 2-9 and not 0-11 right now.
"No one may ever look at this team and see anything special about it because of our record," Weist said. "But the respect that the senior class gets for finishing off this season makes the difference."
FRIEND WILL MISS HIS FINAL GAME; WILLIAMS BACK
Unfortunately for senior RT Kevin Friend, his chances of playing today are 0%. He's still battling a concussion and hadn't passed any of the tests. Fellow seniors Spencer Parker and Jesse Joseph will play today. Joseph, who injured his elbow in last week's win, will be wearing a brace on his elbow.
However, some good news for the secondary as freshman Jhavon Williams has been cleared to play after missing the last two games with a concussion.
BENNETT NOT DONE
While it remains to be seen whether or not other seniors will get a chance to show their stuff in postseason All-Star Games, LT Jimmy Bennett will get an opportunity to do so. He's been selected to participate in the Inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl that will be held in Charleston, South Carolina on January, 11 2014.
"I am kind of nervous," Bennett said. "I have never played in an all-star game, I didn’t play in one in high school, even in Pee Wees I didn’t even play in one. I am kind of excited, it is going to be a learning experience just like in college saying ‘these guys are good, everybody is good.’"
SMALLWOOD EXPECTS JOSEPH TO CRY
While you expect most of the tears to be shed by the families of the seniors, I'm sure there will be some emotions from the 14 seniors as their honored today. LB Yawin Smallwood, who by the way could be playing his final game at the Rent as well, thinks that Jesse Joseph will be the one who cries the most.
"He acts like he's tough but he's a little softy deep down," said Smallwood. "It might be worse (in reference to Knowshon Moreno crying). He's been here a long time. He's put a lot of sweat in the bucket. I feel it's going to be a tough thing for him to go out there."
MANUEL TO SPEAK ABOUT COACHING SEARCH
UConn AD Warde Manuel will speak at 11 a.m. this morning about the process for the coaching search. I will do my best to get something posted as soon as I can after the press conference.no comments
It wasn't the most ideal start for the UConn Huskies men's basketball team in their final game before exams. In fact, head coach Kevin Ollie actually had to use two early timeouts to get the ship righted.
But once they did, they broke things open in the first half with a 16-2 run on their way to an easy 95-68 win over the Maine Black Bears in front of 9,681 at the XL Center in Hartford, CT on Friday night.
UConn improves to 9-0 while Maine falls to 1-7.
Lasan Kromah scored nine points, all on three-pointers, with Shabazz Napier chipping with a game-high eight assists to go along with his seven points. Kentan Facey led the Huskies with nine rebounds in just 18 minutes of playing time.
Xavier Pollard paced the Black Bears with a game-high 20 points. Zarko Valjarevic was the only other Maine player in double figures with 13 points. Dimitry Coronel added nine points as did Shaun Lawton who also pulled down a team-high six rebounds (Stefan Micovic also had six boards).
UConn is off for final exams and returns to action on Wednesday, December 18 when they'll host the Stanford Cardinal at the XL Center. Tip is scheduled for 9 p.m.
Here are UConn's postgame quotes.
Here are UConn's postgame notes.
photo credit: john woike - hartford courantno comments
With a flurry of signings on Friday, the Boston Red Sox made a splash of their own as there are media reports saying that Mike Napoli has re-signed with the Red Sox for two years, $32 million.
Of course with the world of Twitter and Napoli being an avid user, we got the personal confirmation from the source himself.
Basically, Napoli ends up getting a six million dollar raise from his original contract of three-years, $39 million that was agreed upon before the diagnosis of his hip last season. He played the 2013 season on a one-year, $5 million deal that with incentives earned him $13 million.
In other Red Sox news, Yahoo Sports! reports that the Red Sox have signed free agent reliever Edward Mujica to a two-year deal.no comments
With UConn Huskies AD Warde Manuel set to speak about the coaching search for the head football position at UConn before the game on Saturday, one of a few different things can happen.
1. Interim head coach T.J. Weist could be relieved of his duties.
2. Weist could be named the permanent head coach.
3. Weist's name could be included in the coaching search.
4. Manuel could name someone other than Weist the head coach.
5. Manuel could just really talk about what the process will be like for the hiring of a new coach.
Given what Manuel had said earlier when Weist was hired as the interim head coach, I'm going with 2, 3 or 5 from above.
No matter what happens though, one thing is for certain and that's where Weist's focus has been this week. And that was on the game at hand, the Memphis Tigers.
"I’m not going to focus on it or stress about it (the coaching decision)," said Weist. "That’s not going to change what we do. We’re just going to continue to focus on this team and try to get another victory and whatever happens, whatever decision they make, they make. It’s not for me to decide. There’s really been no timetable laid out for me or our staff.”
You have to like the job that Weist has done with this team. He and his coaches could have packed it in and gone through the motions. Instead, he along with his staff kept the players movtivated and all of their hard work has shown these past two weeks with two wins.
"Well these situations are always tough on any staff," Weist said. "Our guys have done a great job, both offensively, defensively, and on special teams. Every day, holding it together and motivating our players - it's not just me getting up there and talking to them, it's our whole staff. Buying in, having our whole staff be `all-in' in a tough situation.
"A coach can easily give up, just like a player can, on a season. Our guys have not done that. They've worked hard, they've been loyal to the university, moreover to me and us, to our staff, and to this team. So I'm proud of them from that standpoint. They've done a really good job. We've got one more game to go and then we'll see from there. We're not basing whether we get the job or not, whether I get the job or not, on our effort or our performance in practice today or the game Saturday. That's how we have to look at it as coaches. All the coaches know that if we want to continue working here, the best bet is to do a great job while we're here."
One thing to remember is that the coaches are fighting for their careers. The players, minus the 14 seniors and maybe some transfers out, will be back next season whether or not Weist and the staff are back. For some, it'll be their fourth head coach in their time at UConn and that means they've probably not had the same position coach either.
Weist summed it up best though.
"The ultimate job interview is winning."
A third win in a row might just be the deciding factor that gives him the job at UConn. And if he doesn't get the head coaching job, you hope he'll fit in with the new head coach on the staff.
And if not, there's no doubt he'll land a job somewhere as he's a bright football mind and obviously a great motivator.
photo credit: ian bethune - sox & dawgs
Please take a moment of your day today to remember the people who gave their lives on this day back in 1941 defending our country. If you ever go to Hawaii, I highly advise going over to Pearl Harbor and doing the tour (I've been twice).
It will leave you speechless.
Also please take a moment to read this former reporter's story about Honolulu after Pearl Harbor. This story was written 71 years ago but was never filed.no comments
There will be 14 UConn Huskies football seniors who will play their final game at Rentschler Field on Saturday against the Memphis Tigers. There also is the possibility of another player participating in his last game there as well.
Redshirt junior and team captain Yawin Smallwood said on Tuesday that he'll make a decision after the season is over on whether or not he'll be back for one more year in Storrs.
“It could be, it could not be,” Smallwood said “I’m just going to keep doing what I do every single game and that’s prepare and play my best football game."
Smallwood is projected to be a third round draft pick by many of the scouting services if he decides to leave school early.
There is one thing that may sway his mind to staying at UConn. And that's the fact he hasn't played in a bowl game.
"I've never played in a bowl game. I was there to watch the Fiesta Bowl," said Smallwood. "It's always something I wanted to do. I want to be part of team that gets to bowl game and wins a bowl game."
Whatever Smallwood decides for himself, he can't go wrong.
If he decides to stay, he can be the leader of a defense that loses a few seniors but would very strong and maybe get to play in that elusive bowl game. If he decides to go, he's got the body and the talent to get the job done in the NFL.
But for Saturday, it's all about having fun and sending the seniors off with a win.
"I'm going to go out there and have fun with all my teammates, have fun with the seniors out here and try to get a win.”
photo credit: ian bethune - sox & dawgsno comments