From UCONN's " Daily Campus" by Colin McDonough, senior staff writer.
I have no affiliation with The Daily Campus, I only attend UCONN as a freshman, and am a die-hard Michigan fan.
Friday, Semptember 3, 2010
BRINGING DOWN THE BIG HOUSE
Huskies to Face Wolverines in Front of Record-Breaking Crowd
The UCONN football team will run out of the tunnel of a newly-refurbished Michigan Stadium this Saturday in front of what is expected to be the largest crowd in college football history.To say the atmosphere may be a little rowdier than last year's opener at Ohio University may be an understatement., however, coach Randy Edsall and the Huskies are trying to treat their match-up with Michigan just like any other contast.
"It's the first game of 12," Edsall said. "Every game you play is just as important as any other game you play."
Although fans and the media have hyped up UCONN's opener in the Big House, Edsall is trying to keep his troops focused.
"We are starting this season a little bit differently, playing in the largest stadium in college football," Edsall said. "We have to put all the distractions behind us and just focus on what's going on between the white lines."
USC transfer D.J. Shoemate will make his debut in blue and white Saturday and may feel more excitement about playing the Wolverines than his new head coach.
"It's what everybody dreams of," Shoemate said. "The prestige they have is the thing I've been hearing about. You can feel the chills a little bit going into this game."
While Shoemate is looking forward to the clash with Michigan, other Huskies have echoed Edsall's sentiments.
"It's no different than any other game," said Moe Petrus. "We have to make each one of them count. We're preparing for this the same way we will prepare for the next game."
UConn's defense will breathe a sigh of relief after it was announced that Greg Lloyd Jr. will not redshirt the 2010 season due to a knee injury as was expected earlier in the week.
"I felt he was ready to play, he felt he was ready to play," Edsall said. "My job is to put the people on the field who can help us win. Sometimes young people exceed expectations. That's why our depth chart is what it is."
On offense, Zach Frazer will be the starting quarterback for UConn, and with back up Cody Endres suspended indefinitely, redshirt freshman Michael box is second on the depth chart behind Frazer.
"I feel comfortable with him as a backup," Edsall said. "He's a lot like Dan Orlovsky, but a much better athlete than Dan."
Another change at the quarterback position was announced in the depth chart. Freshman quarterback Leon Kinnard has been switched to wide receiver for the 2010 season. Edsall called Kinnard an "athlete," and may have a few tricks up his sleeve on offense Saturday. To finally beat Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, the Huskies may have to pull out all the stops.
Edsall will look to beat Rodriguez for the first time ever as a head coach. Rodriguez's spread offense gave the Huskies fits during his tenure at West Virginia, where the Mountaineers defeated UConn in all four meetings.
"It's not so much the scheme, it's the people playing the scheme," said Edsall. "That's the big thing in any sport, it's the players."
Rodriguez may not have Pat White under center for him anymore, but Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson could both make plays on the field for the Wolverines.
"We've seen both on film," said Edsall. "There's things that each of them do that are a little bit better.