Albany gets onside kick. Saunders sacks espo on first down. Long pass to McCarty on 2nd down. Espo run on 3rd down. 4th down at midfield. PICKED by Rose on 4th down. Central wins!


Albany scores with 59 seconds left, needs 2. Last year, Central missed the tying 2pt conversion with 55 seconds left. This year Albany called for OPI. on the 2pt. Ray Saunders sacks the QB on the second try, Central holds with 59 seconds left!

Down the stretch we come

UA hit a fourth down and is now driving, 1:47 left, they're up to Central's 28 or so.

It all comes down to this

CCSU punts, Albany will have a chance with 3 minutes left. Remember, they need the 2-pt conversion too. It's 31-23.

A little luck is nice

A long KO return gave Albany great field position, but the Danes miss a fg! 6:06 left, CCSU up 31-23

Big kick coming

CCSU's drive stalls in the red zone, Izzo from 28, he makes it, CCSU up 31-23 with 9:17 to go.

A couple good omens

CCSU is 35-1 when leading after 3 since 2004. Also, they've won their last 4 when trailing at half.


Aubrey's 50-yard strike to Josue sets up a Mallory score from the 1, 28-23 Central late 3rd.

Don't go anywhere

Mallory from 17, Central trails 23-21 late 3rd. GREAT show of courage. I thought they'd roll over after the last fumble. Instead they're a stop from going for the lead.

They're alive

Alondre Rush with a big pick on the ensuing drive. Central threatening.

well, the drive was nice

Central got that long drive I talked about, going nearly seven minutes, but Aubrey fumbled in the red zone.
CCSU converted three third downs on the drive. The offense looks good. just have to stop fumbling.
Meanwhile, Albany just picked up a big 3rd down. The tide is turning. CCSU NEEDS a stop or this one could get away.

Halfway home

Well the Devils were hurt by that fumble, but are still just down nine at half. The Devils have the ball to start the second half, and they will NEED to get something going early. Even if they don't score, they need some yardage to get some Mo back.
The bigger key will be stopping Vinny Esposito. The UA Qb was lethal in the opening half, torching CCSU through the air.

Turnovers hurt

McCarty, who is finiding his legs as the game goes, scores from 10 yards 23-14 UA less than 2 minutes left in the half.

Uh oh

Josue fumbles ensuing kickoff, UA driving now.

UA answers

long pass to Bush sets up UA's answer, and they now lead 16-1 4:28 left in the half.
Esposito is 11-for-13 for 151 yards in the half. Outch.

CCSU rallies

Central, highlgithed by that long pass and a reverse oto Martin for the score, goes up 14-9. Less than 7 left in the half.

The Empire State strikes back

Albany's latest march nets them a FG (bad penaltiy stopped them from having 3rd and goal on the 1) 9-7 UA, early 2nd. But Aubrey just hit Nick for 45 yards, CCSU inside UA's 30.

Starts and stops

Central did well on the ground, getting past midfield, then struggles through the air before punting.

The 1st stop of the day

McCarty was in, but stuffed twice as UA goes 3 and out starting on its own 45 and after getting 9 yards on 1st down.
CCSU ball on its own 25.

Well how's that for a response?

Mallory goes 79 yards on the first play! 7-6 CCSU. 9:04 1st. He went right up the middle and wasn't touched once he got past the 2nd level.

Good and bad news

Albany marches down the field for a 12-play TD drive tos tart, but the Danes botch the snap on the XP. 6-0 Danes, 9:22 left 1st qrt.
Aubrey on the field, CCSU starts at its own 22

First big note

It looks like McCarty won't see more than limited time, if much at all. Gannon looks good early though. Albany driving to open the gam.e

Here we go

Hope you all read my my extensive preview of this one. I'll be checking in throughout the game with news and notes. Remember per NCAA rules I really can't do play by play.


Back to the coverage debate.
So I admit I haven't been reading the message boards and comments as frequently lately (been busy with other things), or I'd have seen that a couple people knew about Hunter before I did.
Mac had told me on Saturday (by phone) that there was a big injury, but he couldn't get into details until they were sure.
So when I did my usual Wednesday practice visit, I saw him in a sling.
As for what gets covered when: I went into detail about my schedule earlier this week. And it gets crazier next week when hoops starts. Remember, at a place like the Courant has specific guys for each sport. My good friend Mike Anthony, for example, worries primarily about UConn men's hoops.
This week I will be writing stories about football, women's soccer, men's soccer, and both basketball teams. Also, I have to do high school stuff on occasion. So that's why I'm not at football practice every day. I'm a fat guy, but there's not enough of me to go around!
Hud, I didn't forget about reasking your TEs question. But between Hunter's injury and the Albany game itself, it wasn't the right time to bring the argument back up. I will though, I promise.
As for media creating interest, both sides are right. Hud, you're right that the media creates interest, but that's at the national level. ESPN has MADE the country care about football (along with gambling) more than the other sports. But that doesn't work at the local level.
That's where 4-3 is right. The crowds for both soccer programs are growing greatly over the last two years. But I can't make you guys care about soccer if you don't. I'm not important enough. Though I warn you now, I'm going to be IMPLORING you all to get to the NEC tourney in New Britain. The women are good and should be earning a title. It's the first time their tourney has been here since 2005, and I still remember the students lining the fence all the way around the field that day.
By the way, speaking of fans needing to step up: your butts better fill Arute Field Saturday. If you ever want CCSU to be taken seriously outside of New Britain, you NEED to make this game an event. This is the biggest football game in years in that building. FILL THAT PLACE. Make the tv stations care.
As for volleyball... I have the same scheduling issue every year where I see them at the start and then never get there again once soccer and football are in full swing, so my plan this year is to hold off until they get to the tourney, then do a big feature. Or have someone do it if I don't have time.
Ronny: Getting an honest answer out of a coach can be a chore. Mac knows when to not say something. And if you noticed what I blogged the other day in response to Hud's question, I mentioned that the answer he gave was kind of dancing around the question.

Sad news

I do want to give some feedback on the board thread that mentioned me, and I will, but I have to run, but I do have I believe breaking news, since I haven't seen this anywhere else.

Hunter has an injured left collar bone and is likely out until at least the postseason.
I talked to him and to others at length about him today, and I wanna say one thing before I run off for the night. (Much more about this in Friday's paper.

I've picked on Hunter Wanket's fumbles and I've even suggested at times that I'd start Aubrey at QB for various reasons. But none of that was ever meant personally about Hunter. I've had the pleasure of talking to him for 2 years now, and what I already knew was reinforced this week. There aren't too many classier kids or better leaders at that school or on this planet.

I'm heartbroken for a terrific young man, fumbles, criticism be damned.

That said, quick housekeeping before I go for the night: Aubrey to QB, Steve to the backup, and more Josue and Richie to cover for Aubrey's absence from the WR position. Those are the only changes. Boddie will be a game time decision, everyone else should be a go.

And one more word of thanks to the Blue Devil football team, which let me crash its locker room today during a pair of lightning storms. I try and stay out of those rooms, and the team rooms down stairs, as the players deserve places that are "theirs," but they covered for the fat old guy today.

Anyway, much more on football to come.

And as for the other thing, this quick thought: remember that I do as many of the other sports as I possibly can, that's one of the reasons I don't get to them till later. Also, I try and save stuff for closer to the games, as that's when it's most interesting. Remember that I can't be at practice every day to get stories like Dez does with the Courant for UConn, as I have to do desk stuff in the office, where I am now, and get to the other sports. Heck, I usually do this blog from home after I leave the office at 10:30-11 at night.

Also, I try and get an occasional day off. Today on my "day off" I went to football practice and a meeting. Now I'm gonna go out to a birthday dinner, but please remember one thing. You can rip my writing and especially my opinions, but please appreciate that I try and get as much info as I can for you guys.
That said, I love my job, I'm not complaining. Just saying, I am only one man guys!

Flood my inbox and I will ask your questions if you don't like mine. mstraubblog@hotmail.com.

NBA Picks

my yearly look at my NBA Picks, which will be good barring injury.
I'm an NBA nut, and this is a good place to keep them recorded for public viewing. Lemme know what you think. CCSU info below, my plan for the week is there.

Anyway, onto the picks:

1: Boston. I think they could seriously win 70.
2: Cleveland: Shaq will be better than people think. He loves when people doubt him. Their swingman is pretty good, too.
3: Philly: Size and speed will serve them well.
4: Orlando: This might even be high. HATE their moves.
5: ATL: Not that good, but a tough matchup because of their athletic size. Will win some games taht way.
6: Miami: Another better than people think team. Wade in a contract year, too.
7: Detroit: Chemisty hell, but too much scoring to be bad.
8: Chicago: Will take some time to figure it out, byt once they do watch out.

Non playoff teams in order: Toronto. Indiana (they could sneak in), Milwaukee, Charlotte, New Jersey, Washington, New York.

East Playoffs: Boston over Chicago, easier this time. Cle over Detroit, easier this time. Philly over Miami, their size is too much. Orlando over Atlanta.

East 2nd round: Boston continues the revenge tour and stomps Orl. CLE beats philly.

East Finals: Boston over Cleveland in 7 hellacious games. Rondo beats Mo in Game 7.

1: San Antonio: Best team on paper. Will health hold up?
2: LA: The champs are here, but they won't be champs again.
3: New Orleans: Okafor will help, and CP3 is there.
4: Denver: Because someone has to finish here.
5: Utah: Coaching and PG is a good combo.
6: Portland: I don't buy the hype.
7: Dallas: This scares me. I don't like.
8: PHX: If Amare is healthy this is low. If he's not, this is high. So we'll split the difference.

Non playoff teams: OKC, Clippers, G State, Houston, Minnesota, Memphis, Sacramento, who could break a record for worst team ever.

Playoffs: SA over PHX, LA over Dallas, NO over PTL, and Utah over Denver.
2nd round: SA over Utah, LA over NO.
Finals: SA over LA.

Finals: Boston over SA in 5.

Ryan Pipke's picks:
East: Cleveland, Boston, Orl, Atl, Chi, Philly, Toronto, Miami. West: La Lakers, SA, Utah, Prtl, NO, Minny, Denver LA Clippers.

East Playoffs: First round winners: Cleveland, Boston, Orl, Chi.
2nd round: Cleveland, Boston
East Finals: Cle over Boston in 7.

West Playoffs: First round winners: Lakers, SPurs, Wolves, Hornets.
2nd round winners: Lakers, Spurs.

West FInals: Lakers in Six

NBA Finals: Lakers over Cavs in 6.

Back at the keyboard

After doing some TV and other stuff, I'm back with you guys here. Look for news tomorrow from the football team, and of course, much about hoops coming soon.
Also, big weekend for women's soccer. Home with the chance to lock up the league Friday/Sunday. Will be fun.

Mail time!

I love these, please keep the questions coming. Post them here or at mstraublog@Hotmail.com

Let's get right to it. I'll paraphrase slightly when necessary on the questions, as sometimes they're not written in straight question form. This is in order I got them, so we'll jump around a bit from sport to sport:

Q: Can you speculate on Ken Horton's injury?
A: I try hard not to do that, as speculation is an dangerous thing. But here's what I can piece together: I don't want to speak too much about the conversation I had with him, not because we talked about anything substantial but because it wasn't an on the record interview and I try to be careful about that, but I'll say that I left our chat at the run thinking he'd be fine. Also Howie, while his quote was understandably scary, didn't give the impression he thought it was very bad, either. Just that they'll check him again in 2 weeks. I think they'll be cautious, too. They don't need him in October. In theory, they really don't need him until December.

Q: It's so refreshing to see a CCSU hoops article, as many of us are chomping at the bit. One question though: Is there a reason Jonathan Tull was never mentioned? Is he considered a "project", more of a swingman/Aaron Hall type player? All the articles I read about him seemed to be so positive...he was one of the top rated Canadian players.

A: 1) I don't always use every quote I get for a story, so I might have skipped over something I didn't think was interesting at the time.
2) Howie might have just forgotten him, he was listing players off the top of his head, his remarks weren't prepared. It also doesn't mean that, if he's not ready now, that he won't be a factor later. Sometimes Howie likes to reserve talking about a guy until he feels he deserves it. Tull was at the run, so it's not like he was gone.

Q: Coach Mac sends confusing signals to the fans in his Open Mac spots. He (and CCSU) seem to be suffering an identity crises when it comes to his Open Mac's and first half vs second half performance.
A: I cut out a part of this question for length, but it was a good one. The edited parts mentioned quotes where Mac said he was going to open up the offense, the famous Florida trip, etc.
Quite frankly, I think Mac believes everything he says at the time he says it. I think he's working on expanding the passing game, which statistically he has. CCSU averaged 18.3 passes a game last year and is at 20.8 this year. But I think fans tend to extrapolate what he says into their own wishful thinking. Opening up the passing game doesn't mean being a pass-first offense.
And to be fair, they do run some of the Florida stuff. There's a bit of a misperception that Florida is a passing team. In fact, the two teams are remarkably similar. UF has run it 269 times and passed 141. CCSU is 300/125. Percentage wise, Central runs 70 percent of the time and Florida runs it 66 percent of the time.
But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is this: I believe that Mac, in his heart, is always going to be a smashmouth football kind of guy. Defense and running the ball will be what matters to him. He'll say those things about the passing game and means them at the time, but when he gets on the field his instincts take over. He is always going to try and grind the other team down by running the ball, then, when the defense is drawn to the line, pop a couple of big pass plays. That's what he means by passing more. That's not ever going to change. The old strategy was run until the defense is tired then run some more. So that's progress, right?
And you know what? Say what you want about its predictability, but it's worked for the most part.

Q: Does Mac take the play calling away from coach Likens when we pass the ball?
A: No. Mac does occasionally call plays, but head coaches generally leave those things to the cooordinators. That's their job. The head coach is more of an overseer. They all work together to form a game plan, then the coordinators run that plan and pick the plays to execute it.

Q: Why doesn't Central throw to its tight ends more?
Here's the one I was talking about yesterday. Mac had literally less than 5 minutes to talk yesterday, so I didn't get the chance to ask as many followups as I'd have liked, but here's what I did get. And I promise to ask it again when I get a chance.
Here's Mac's quotes.:
My question was about opening things up by getting more people involved, especially the tight ends. His response:
"I think it's about moving the football. We want to get more weapons and more people involved. For us to win championships we had to be more multiple. If we had been one dimensional Saturday (at DU) we'd have gotten beat. And for us to ever win an NEC championship that's what we have to do."
I kind of rephrased it and he added:
"We are spacing it out more. Some of it is quarterback reads."
So basically, he says he's trying to get it to everyone and sometimes the TEs (and Nick) have been open and missed. Which isn't a shot at the QBs, it happens to everyone.
Anyway, I hope this has been informative, and I'd love to do more, so please keep the questions coming.

Mailbag briefly delayed

Writing this in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Ending up writing a bunch of stuff for the paper after spending the afternoon at practice, so the mailbag will go up Thursday late afternoon/evening, maybe earlier if I get a shot around lunchtime. I've done it save for the question I asked Mac Wed. at practice, so I just have to throw it on here. I didn't want you guys to think I forgot u.
Hud, I earned my Pepsi and asked your tight end question, but because we were rushed I didn't get to do my usual followups. (I'll stick up for Mac only on the point that he's never completely ducked a question, and I don't think he did this time, I just didn't get to go too in depth.)
But I will post what I got and ask it in a more in-depth way the next chance I get.

Tight ends

Hud and all
You will have an answer to your questions in Wednedsday's mailbag coming here. I'm working on it tonight and tommorow. Got a bunch of good questions! Keep them coming, I'll do this as often as I get questions for!

Change of direction

I was going to post some football thoughts today and respond to a comment on here, but the day's events make all that seem out of place. Yes I covered a soccer game today because the girls deserve it, but arguing about things like playcalling can wait a day.
I know many of you who read this blog think of UConn as the "evil empire," but I truly hope you're understanding today. Remember that what happened today goes beyond rivalries and sports jealousies. What happened today is about a life that should have had 50-plus years to go ending over something we'll never understand, even if the "reason," as if there can be such a thing, comes out.
Also remember that football teams, particularly college ones, spend as much, if not more, time with each other than they do their own families. They ARE families. What those 104 other kids are going through, and what Jasper Howard's blood family is going through today is unimaginable.
And yet, the games must go on. And so I propose two things:
1) First, hard as it may be, try and remember that these are just games kids play. Life is more important. When they set up some kind of fund for Jasper's unborn child, think about chipping in. If you read about his family, they seem like a great group. His sister overcame menengitis.
2) Remember the 104 kids who will try and play a football game Saturday. I can't ask Blue Devil Nation to root for Huskies. I'm not asking you to root for a uniform. I'm not asking you to root for the scoreboard to say anything in particular come Saturday. But root for those kids. Root for them to find the strength to get through a week no one should, let alone 20-year old kids. Root for them to play with the passion and skill necessary to pay brilliant tribute to their friend.
Root for Jasper Howard's families. Both of them.


Great job by Hunter to lead Central to a huge win. Another gritty effort in the second half. Don't sleep on Bryant next week. Another tough road game for a Central team that has to be fatigued from expending this 2nd half energy every week. They NEED an easy one. Not sure you'll see one this year.

Big Blue

That, my friend, is a wildly simplistic, and quite frankly, silly statement.
This isn't pro wrestling, where you plan the big comeback for the end to rile up the crowd. Falling behind early isn't CCSU's "philosophy."
And as nice as it sounds, winning in football isn't about attitude. You don't dominate because you want to. It's insulting to the kids to imply that they aren't trying to win from the jump. Also, adjustments have nothing to do with a lack of preparation. You have to see what works against your opponent. You can't just decide ahead of time something will work. I PROMISE you they're trying to get things to work at the start of the game just as much as at the end.
What it is is using the run to set up the pass, and wearing down the opposition. It's actually a pair of widely used approaches. And no, I don't think it's going to work in 2 weeks, but trust me, if Central can break it open early it will. A lead wouldn't go against the Devils' philosophy.

here we go again

Central has completely taken over, it must be the second half. Fans must have been nervous after that quick score early in the half, but it seems like the Devils are on their way to taking the lead back late third.

Oy yoy yoy

So if you saw my pick in the paper today, I had Central winning big.
Seriously, i'm going to have to stop picking them, apparently I am bad luck.
About 9 minutes in, CCSU has had the ball for less than 2. But it's still just 7-7.

You asked, so I asked

Ok, while I've talked to Mac a million times this year, today I had a chance to get him with some rare down time and so I asked some of the "other" questions I've gotten from you guys that I said I would ask him.

Hud, I think this was yours, and Mac said it was a "great question." I wish I had asked it myself now!
Q: In order to create a spark, why not take the ball first since you've won every toss this year?

Mac: "That is a great question. I had a coach ask that. I like getting the ball first in the second half. How many pssessions have we scored on the first possession of the second half in the second half and scored?"
(Note from Matt: The answer is every game except William and Mary if you count Paul's kickoff return vs. SHU and 3 of 5 if you don't, as CCSU didn't score on its first offensive possession of the half.)
"I'd rather have the ball first in the second half to make halftime adjustments. You get that extra possession, supposedly, in the second half. ... I just feel like, if we're slow starters, why would I want to go three and out to start the game?"

So that's his theory. Not saying you have to agree with him, but give him credit for answering. A lot of coaches get mad when you dare question their strategy. Mac goes over it when asked.

Now, about Nick C, who Mac said he gets asked about all the time.
Mac: "Nick's doing great. Nick plays 20-30 more snaps than the other guys. Richie only plays in certain personennel groupings. Nick plays in all the personnel groupings. Fisher only plays in certain personnel groupings... Last week we tried to get the ball to Nick five times where he was the lead guy. It just didn't happen. You don't just say 'throw it to Nick.' It has to happen in the offense.... Sometimes they play cover 2 and put someone over the top on him. We have reads and if it's not there we throw it to someone else. It's not done on purpose. He'll get his share.
Nick does so many little things for us. He's our holder and he's an A at it. We couldn't win games without him. Just catching punts is so huge. You could go a lifetime without someone who catches the ball as well as him.... The guy helps us win games in all kinds of ways."

Off tow rite more about the hoops stuff (it will be more about their attitude and the style of play than the rotations, that won't be decided for some time), but I wanted to give you guys your answers.

Any more questions, you know what to do. mstraubblog@hotmail.com or comment on here.

Tough beat

Sacred Heart has landed New Britain point guard Steven Glowiak. While he's not the player his brother was, his improvement over the summer helped him rise to the level of DI. I asked my colleagues here and no one here had him at that level, but Anthony saw him over the summer and thinks he's a player.
It's a steal from your rival's home town, but my guess is Central didn't think as highly of him.

Thoughts from the run

Wow. Chris Baskerville, who lagged behind the pack last year, won the race today and looks to be in phenomenal condition. Howie praised the work he's put in physically and in the classroom, and said he could get "significant" playing time. If he can use his strength and add a running game to it, he could become a dangerous 4-type for Central. Simmons, Chris and Kenny could be a very good front court.
Horton didn't run, but he told me his injury was minor. Dickenman said it will be a couple of weeks at least, however, so we'll see. Again, Kenny didn't seem at all concerned. Unless he's a great actor, you shouldn't be either.
Joe was in what Howie called "the best shape of his life," and I fully expect him to have a bounce back year in his last go around. Robby also looked good. Shemik told me he rehabbed at home over the summer and thinks he's ready to go.
Lots more over the next couple of days, including an interesting story that could be a harbonger of how the back court will work this year.

A couple of responses

Going through the board today and saw lots to comment on, but here's a couple for now while I write today's story and watch the Sox.
1) It's fun to think of football movies, but it doesn't work like that often in real life where the coach makes some incredible halftime speech that rallies the boys... certainly not four weeks out of five. He might say a couple things, but most of those talks are general, about staying patient for example, and making adjustments.
2) To that point: The second half outbursts aren't because they're "waiting" to break out good plays. It's because they make adjustments and yes, wear the opposition down. It's an ugly way to win, but it works when you can run the ball this well.
3) And they did run the play action pass. It worked twice really well in the second half Saturday.
4) Coach Likens is still calling the plays, even in the 2nd half. At the home games he's in the next box over from the press box and we can see him. And a head coach would either take over calling the plays for a year or for a play or 2, he wouldn't do it for the 2nd half every week. If he did, the OC wouldn't be the OC anymore.
5) Speaking of Likens: Lemme preface this by saying I often disagree with his calls, so I'm not sticking up for him in that way. But I will say this. Watching him through the year, he does work hard. Saying he doesn't isn't fair. He's lost a ton of weight during the season from just working all the time. (I wish that worked for me!). I had a good chat with him the other day, and I assure you he's working his butt off.
Do I wish he'd let Hunter throw more? Yeah. But it's not because he's not trying or doesn't work hard.


Saunders with a stuff on 4th down and Central will hang on for a win. Fowler as I was typing just went many, many yards for a TD run. 60 in fact. CCSU 35-14.

PA pass

After pounding it on the ground all day, play action works for 2nd time. This time it's hunter to Fisher for 40 yards and a 28-14 CCSU lead with 4:17 left.

Weird wild whacky stuff

So far in the 4th we've had CCSU drive and not make it on 4th down, RMU drive after its starting QB left with an injury, and CCSU recover a fumble. And it was Gibson, who got carried off the field earlier. Crazy.

Looking good, I think

Josue's run was the only score of the 3rd, but Central feels in control now. Lomax's second pick of the day has the Devils in RMU territory as the 4th begins. The Devils controlled the play in the 3rd, but didn't get any offensive points to show with it.

Quick start again

I was just getting ready to say that Central needed to get going after the half, and they did. Josue Paul ran the kickoff 95 yards for a score. Flag on CCSU on extra point. Mal runs it in for 2.
21-14 CCSU.

Another quick turn

Central scored, but a missed XP proved costly when RMU went right down the field (must have been a blown assignment on 26-yard TD) that gave RMU a lead, 14-13. Central was driving back, but Hunter just got picked off. The Blue Devils went for it again on a 4th down, this time long counting for an offside that gave the Devils a first. Coming up on the warning, 14-13 RMU.

Nice drive

and a good job uilding on momentum. CCSU drives right down after Mallory's 2nd blocked punt, with the march keyed by a spinning completion by Aubrey to GG. Hunter looks to be ok, though he left on that drive with an arm injury.


Mal blocks another punt on the first play of the 2nd quarter, then goes off for a big run. Central looks like it has a chance to get the ball rolling here.

Take it however you can get it

Central's defnese started poorly, but it was te offense I thought would struggle. I wasn't against the 4th down call, but I would have tried a more advanced play, maybe Mallory. Though Fowler for 1 yard should work.
Anway, HUGE momentum turn on the blocked punt. Mallory enjoys playing special teams he says, and Mac loves him for being willing to do it. Also glad to see Nate Pagan, adjusting to new roles, getting the hang of things.
7-7 now. As my friend Tom Yantz would say... "how bout a stop?."

Catching up

So I used a slow week here in Devilland to get a bit of a break, but we'll catch up on football here for a minute. First off, tomorrow will be an interesting adventure. RMU is struggling mightily, and has blown through 4 QBs. You think CCSU shuffles them in and out?
The good news for the defense is that their system doesn't change depending on who's in the game like Central's does.
Mac didn't want to give away info, but there could be some interesting lineups Saturday. I'll have more as to why if it comes up.
To the anonymous commenter (and for the record, I wish you'd at least use a screen name so I can talk to you by a name): I don't think it was that conservative a plan, at least by Central's standards. They should let Hunter go deep more if he's going to play, I'll say that. I felt like he was running Aubrey's offense. The real problem is that this team doesn't do ANYTHING early. That's in part coaching and in part a bad job by the players. The coaches have made tons of adjustments and the players have stepped up when they needed, but one of these days they're going to fall behind by a number they can't rally from.
Look for Central to press early trying to do too much. I think that because they spent the whole week talking about starting fast. After early mistakes, they'll recover and win 27-13.
Btw, I'll try and live blog from the box tommorow, so check it out please.

Quickies on the QBs

Much more to come in the paper this week, but I wanted to give you guys two quick thoughts, one from me and one from Mac.

Mine: I thought both QBs did a great job today. Hunter was accurate and Aubrey changed the pace. Today I really felt like they hamstrung Hunter, however. When he's in there, they should let him fire the ball. I felt like he was playing Aubrey's offense, particularly early. Though I think the two get stereotyped too much. Hunter is a much better runner than people think, and Aubrey is a much more accurate passer (look it up, I'm not making this up) than people give him credit for.
I admit I was surprised Hunter played so much, but not because I'm anti-Hunter or thought it was the wrong move. Mac told me during the week that they were "going to go with the hot hand and do what's right." He hates naming one, so you have to kind of guess a little, and I took the "hot hand" comment to mean Aubrey, going by the second half against Columbia.
After 15 games or whatever it is by now with the 2-headed monster, I'm officially done guessing. They'll both play I assume. As another reporter said during the game about Mac's process: "do you wonder if he's just flipping a coin and sending the winner out there?."

Anyway, none of that should overshadow a gritty effort. Yes, this game should have been won more easily, but you have to give CCSU credit for finding a way. Good teams do.

Now the Mac story. I'll let him share it. This is in the locker room at half, after CCSU had made a host of adjustments to the offense. Mac told Aubrey he was going in, and here's what happened.

Mac speaking: “I’ll tell you the truth. We went in and made the adjustments and Aubrey said ‘coach I think Hunter is better suited for that.’ I’ll tell you what, they’re class guys. I love those guys. They root and cheer… I might not ever have two guys like this again. We just have to hope and pray I make the right decision.”

Now, the cynic reporter in me says he's covering for Aubrey there, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were true, knowing the kids. Hunter would do the same thing I think. Anyway, time to get a couple hours of sleep before soccer.

better to be lucky than good!

Well with SH driving to win the game, Dorsey picks it and goes 100 yards to seal the game. Gotta go down for press stuff, will update later.

Hanging around

As my friend Bart Fisher just said "I guess this is what you call chipping away."
Central got a stop, drove close and ended up kicking a fg to pull to within 12-10 after 3. The defense has begun to settle in, but the offense just hasn't gotten together all day, save for a long run by Fowler. SH is battling on defense, but there's no excuse for this. Just a bad job all the way around. But wins don't have to be pretty. Now it's time to step up and finish the job and save the season. For now.

more ugliness

after a hideous 2nd quarter that ended in disaster, Central went down the field and finally scored. Baker hten picked off a pass and ran it back, but a penalty on Nate Pagan killed it. Central just can't get any momentum. Certianly my 56-20 is out the window. Now BD Nation just clings to hope for a win. I'll update after the third.

a yucky first quarter

Ok, so another prediction blown to bits.
After the first quarter it's 0-0. Not sure why, if Hunter's going to play, they don't let him fling the ball. If you're gonna run and do option stuff let Aubrey play. Hunter can throw it, let him.
The defense is starting to give up some deeper stuff, I'm starting to get worried.