The goal for the UConn Huskies football team is quite simple. Win their final two games to finish at 3-9 and 3-5 in the conference.
Considering the fact they started 0-9 (0-5 in conference) and the way things have gone, 3-9 might feel like a .500 record. But finishing up the season strong has other implications.
"It gives us momentum in recruiting," said interim head coach T.J. Weist. "It gives us momentum for the off season. It gives us momentum for next season. The confidence it will build in our schemes, in our players, everything."
Weist isn't even guaranteed to have a job at UConn next year but if you listen to the confidence his voice that doesn't seem to matter. He like the players are proud and full of pride, Husky pride.
"Winning is the ultimate... winning is everything we do," Weist said. "The reason we do everything here is to win games. Of course, winning the right way with class, character, discipline, and pride -everything we preach every single day. Winning and winning the right way. Our winning in academics is getting good grades is graduating. Everything we talk about, in a way, is winning. Having a winning mentality in life."
"We know there's going to be setbacks, we know there's going to be adversity and fighting through adversity. Everything in a football game is about an end score. Somebody's going to win, somebody's going to lose. Winning validates everything you're doing, so we're going to do everything we can to fight to win and build momentum for the next game, for the off season, for everything we're doing in our program - for recruiting, for building next year's team. Everything goes together. To me it's part of the system every single season, every single year that I've coached is about yes, you want to finish for the seniors. You want to finish for the program. You want to build for the off season. Obviously you'd like to go to a bowl game, to get more practice, for recruiting. To have that part of a recruiting for a bowl game. But just to keep that momentum going for the off season, for the next season. I think that's our mindset."
If the Huskies can put together two full halves like they did in the second half against the Temple Owls this afternoon against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, they could move one step closer to their goal.
McCombs named Captain
When you see the opening coin toss today, don't be surprised when you see a fourth player there as Lyle McCombs was named a captain before last week's win.
"I think that Lyle has done a good job of leading the team," said Weist. "I want to make sure we put an emphasis on leadership these last games. Our three captains have done a good job of leadership. They've led this team."
"I just felt that Lyle, from a football standpoint and everything else, he's been a leader for us. Every single day he comes out and he's motivated. Every single day he's part of the group that motivates the team. So I made the decision to make him a captain last week and I think our team needs it."
RT Kevin Friend will miss his second straight game with a concussion. Shakim Phillips (ankle) , Sean McQuillan (ribs) and Jhavon Williams (concussion) are all questionable. John Green (quad) and Newington, CT native Spencer Parker (ankle) will play.no comments