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October 20, 2008

No update yet on QB Frazer

UConn head coach Randy Edsall offered no update on the condition of quarterback Zach Frazer on Monday, two days after the quarterback was initially described as "fuzzy" by UConn officials after the Huskies' 12-10 loss at Rutgers.

It is believed that Frazer suffered a second concussion late in the game. His first concussion came on a hit midway through fall camp and left him sidelined for nearly a month.

Edsall said he would likely not have an update until speaking with team doctors late Tuesday afternoon. He did not go into specifics on whether or not Frazer participated in Sunday's practice, instead saying on five separate occasions that the quarterback "was out at practice [Sunday]."

Redshirt freshman Cody Endres, who entered the season as the third-string quarterback, would be next in line for playing time should Frazer not be able to go against Cincinnati on Saturday.

Endres would be making his first career start after seeing action against Hofstra and Virginia earlier this season. He completed four of his five passes against Hofstra for 49 yards but did not attempt a pass against Virginia.

Among the other highlights:

  • Edsall on playing a third-string quarterback: "You try to just prepare all of your players who are in the two-deep or, for the quarterback situation, the three-deep, and hopefully, they're all paying attention in the meetings and on the field so when they get those reps, they're ready to go. There's not a whole lot, to me, that I think you can do, other than coaching them up at the meeting and getting them ready. When somebody goes down, somebody's got to step up and take advantage of the opportunity. As a coach, you can't lose sleep over it. It's part of the game. You just take the guy and get him ready and he goes in and he plays and does the best he can to lead the team to a victory."

  • Edsall on Jasper Howard's attitude after the return blunders Saturday against Rutgers: "Jaz will be fine. I talked to him after the game and I talked to him yesterday when he came in here before we went to practice and before we had meetings, and Jaz understands. It's just one of those situations. Sometimes young guys get in there and something happens to them in a game, maybe not once but twice, and then they get a little gun-shy. He dropped those two and he had his heels on the 10 and went back and fielded it on the 3, and he was probably just thinking, 'Hey man, I've got to make sure I catch this' and totally lost his composure, basically. But again, he'll be better for it. He'll be fine. But again, I'm not worried about Jaz. Jaz is one of those guys who will bounce back. He understands what happened, and he's in his first year as a punt returner in his seventh game. It was just one of those situations that he'll learn from."

  • Edsall on how important it will be for Howard to return kicks against Cincinnati's Kevin Huber, an all-America selection last year who is averaging over 47 yards per punt: "The thing that will be different for Jaz this week is he'll see the ball coming off the punter's foot from the left side, and the spin from a left-footed punter will be different than from the right-footed punter. That's the thing that will be different. We don't have a left-footed punter for him to simulate that, so that will be the biggest difference for him this week."

  • Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly on what UConn's loss to Rutgers means for the Huskies this coming weekend: "Obviously, I think it's pretty clear now that the Big East is going to be a battle right through November, and this is just another one of those tests that you're going to have to pass if you're going to be Big East champ - going on the road against a team that obviously feels like their back is up against the wall. They've got to win. They're at home. They've got one of the longer winning streaks at home, and I'm sure Randy talked to his football team about how they let one slip through their hands. We know the task at hand. It's going to be a great battle being on the road, but one that we're excited about as well."

  • Kelly on whether or not he changes his offense to compensate for a new quarterback, and if so, what kind of things he's done specifically: "Absolutely. We ran a lot more two-back against Marshall. I felt we were a lot more conservative in our play-calling. We punted the ball nine times: something that I don't like to do - nobody does - but we played the field position. But I think you have to. You look at your quarterback and you look at what he's capable of doing. We've got enough in our offense that we can line up and play a two-back offense and huddle up, or we can open it up and spread it and throw the ball every down. I think you've got to have that balance, which we have, and so to answer your question, we tailor it to the quarterback."

  • Kelly on how that changes the outlook for the rest of the offense: "Well, I mean obviously, the receivers are the guys that have the long face when you start going more two-back, but again, they understand that we're going to do what's necessary to win the game. There are no style points - well, I guess there are style points sometimes now because of the BCS - but you just try to win games, and that's always been my philosophy."


    Zac Boyer, the editor and publisher of UConnReport.com, covers UConn sports on the Rivals network. He can be reached by e-mail at zacboyer@rivals.com.
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