Breaking Bread with Bob Diaco

UConn Huskies head football coach Bob Diaco held his weekly pregame press conference on Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of Saturday game against the Memphis Tigers and talked about a myriad of things.

Diaco started things off by congratulating the 2014 UConn Huskies field hockey team on their second straight NCAA Field Hockey Championship. He said it’s a lesson of depth and strength.

He went on to congratulate Cincinnati for the job they did. He stated they blocked well, tackled, ran to the ball and catch the ball. He said they played fundamental football.

He said 34 of Cincinnati’s 41 points came on scoring drives of less than 60 yards.

He said they are excited to be playing a meaningful game on Saturday with the Memphis Tigers playing for first place. He said it would be a great challenge.

He was asked about Tim Boyle and what he saw and stated that he liked the sights and sounds from bowl. He sounded like an owner, not a hired worker. He said he had good mechanics, there were no formation issues and only one offensive penalty.

He said as the game went on Boyle got better mechanically. He said Boyle’s best football is in front of him.

He stated the offensive call patterns have been to help the offensive line growth. We haven’t seen as many strikes down field because of this. Tim and Chandler Whitmer didn’t throw any INTs due to the system and call patterns.

He said Andreas Knappe and Richard Levy look nothing like they did earlier in the season. He said Boyle can stretch the field vertically.

He stated this was not the offensive system he wants to run. It’s more out of necessity. He wants it to be heavy run, motion, swing passes to running backs, etc.

He talked about how Ryan Crozier has done a good job and looks like a good guy. He still needs to develop skill and strength but you can only do one of those at a time.

While the defense did give up 41 points, he wasn’t displeased with their performance. He said he may have overcoached them on Cincinnati’s screen game.

He talked about the tough time Justin Wain had punting the ball early on. He’s still learning new fundamentals. They got him fundamentally back on track. He’s been very coachable and his brothers on the sidelines helped him get back on track as well.

He said Memphis is a completely different team than last year. They are in year three. He said the AAC is planning on having the trophy there. He said that all the Memphis players love each other, play together, believe in the systems and play as one.

He wants the team to go on the road and play well as they’ve been inconsistent there. It’s about learning lessons.

He said he’s much better as a head coach than he was when he took over. Still has very far to go.

He said he’d think he’d like to play for himself.

He said it was great to hear Boyle step up with his postgame comments after Saturday’s loss. It’s an incredible feeling.

He stated Boyle could start but it was only Tuesday and too early tell (note: during Boyle’s interview after Diaco spoke, Boyle did say he was the starting QB).

He said they’ll go into spring camp with every position open for battle. He said Boyle will have the leg up but will have competition from incoming freshman Tyler Davis and redshirt sophomore Bryant Shirreffs. He said Shirreffs is good with his feet and reminds him of BYU QB Taysom Hill.

He said that Jefferson Ashiru decided he didn’t want to be on the team anymore. He said he wishes him well with whatever he does.

He said he wants to see effort in all three phases of the game, passion and smart football over the final two weeks. Higher level execution in all three phases.

He stated that Memphis QB Paxton Lynch is a great QB, he’s fun to watch. Lynch shows he clearly in charge. He said he can throw on the move, run the ball. He said they like to run the option with him at times. He said their running back is a make you miss guy. He said their offensive line is solid.

Diaco loves the structure of the Memphis D. He said they have a great fit and integrity in the front.

He said they have a kickoff specialist who has at least 40 touchbacks.

He talked about Tyler Davis some more in that he turned his high school program around. He was part of a locker room of something exciting that was going on. He’s a big guy who can run.

He said the greatest disappointment right now is that he and the team feel bad about the record for UConn Country, the former players and alumni.

We’ll be back throughout the week with videos leading up to the game on Saturday.