Iowa State-UCONN Q&A with Sox & Dawgs


In preparation for ISU’s first road game, I took some time to ask Ian Bethune of Sox & Dawgs some questions dealing with the Huskies.  If you want to read more on the UCONN Huskies, check out or follow him on Twitter @Soxanddawgs.

Cyclone Planet:  Last year the Huskies won the Big East and went to the Fiesta Bowl.  A lot of changes have happened to the Huskies since then (coaching change, loss of key players, etc.), what do you expect out of this year’s team?

Sox & Dawgs:  Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect with this team this year. We knew that the quarterback situation  was unsettled and that the defense would be really good.  So far in two games this year, the defense has been outstanding and the quarterback situation is still not resolved. I can say that I didn’t think the team could rely on the defense the whole season. While the Big East isn’t the best of leagues, it’s still got some pretty good teams that you need an offense with.

CP:  UCONN has three quarterbacks that are all battling for playing time.  Last week, Johnny McEntee played most of the game but he only connected 10 out of his 27 passes and threw 3 interceptions in a loss to Vanderbilt.  Zach McEntee will start again against Iowa State according to Coach Paul Pasqualoni.  What QB do you want to play most of the time on Friday and why?

S&D:  While Pasqualoni said that McEntee will start this week, I’m going to probably say that he’s going to have a short leash at the very least. Most of the mistakes he made last week were correctable but if he doesn’t will probably see Michael Nebrich. Of course there’s a chance you see Neibrich out there in the second quarter like Coach P. has done in the first two games. Expect to see Scott McCummings in situations that warrant the wildcat.

CP:  Coach Pasqualoni wants to squeeze all three of his quarterbacks into the game on Friday.  Do you think this is the right idea?

S&D:  After what I saw last week, I said on Twitter that this quarterback rotation has to go. McEntee was awful and  pretty much cost us the game. I do like how’s he using McCummings but if I were the coach, I’d probably take my lumps with Michael Nebrich at quarterback.

CP:  RB Lyle McCombs ran for 141 yards in the opener and 118 yards against Vandy.  Another RB, D.J. Shoemate looks like he will return against Iowa State after he injured himself before Week 1.  How do you think Pasqualoni will manage these two RBs?

S&D:  Pasqualoni told us last week that Shoemate was ready to go for Vanderbilt. All indications were that he looked good in warm-ups. But did we see him, no we didn’t.  We saw a healthy dose of McCombs. But the problem with McCombs is that he isn’t built like Jordan Todman was and can only take so many hits. Hopefully Shoemate is ready to go this week and if that’s the case you’ll see both of them splitting the carries.

CP:  Name one of two UCONN players that Cyclone fans should watch out for.

S&D:  Obviously one of the Huskies to watch on offense is McCombs. If the offensive line can open up some holes, he can run like the wind. On defense, keep an eye out on Kendall Reyes. He decided to stay in school for another year and is an absolute beast on defense. Special teams wise, keep your eyes on Nick Williams. He can break one open at any time with his speed.

CP:  What was more fun last year, winning the Big East in basketball or football?

S&D:  Honestly, it was great and all to see the Huskies win the Big East in football and make it to a BCS game. But you cannot take away the special run that Kemba Walker led the Huskies on during the Big East Tournament and eventually the NCAA Tournament. We may never see something like that again in college basketball.

CP:  Finally, what is your prediction on the game?

S&D:  I am hoping UConn’s offense comes around.  If that’s the case, the Huskies win a nailbiter 24-21 on a late field goal.