Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:06 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Connecticut football fans have spent much of the offseason debating what their team will look like when they take the field on Thursday to kick off the season against Fordham. They'll have a solid defensive line led by Kendall Reyes, Sio Moore will try to lead a young linebacking corps, D.J. Shoemate will try and fill the shoes of the conference's leading rusher Jordan Todman, and the Huskies return three of their top four receivers.
But we still don't know who will throw them the ball.
The Huskies entered fall camp with four quarterbacks competing for the starting job: freshman Michael Nebrich, junior Johnny McEntee, redshirt freshman Scott McCummings, and sophomore Michael Box. Box, the only quarterback with game experience in 2010, decided to transfer recently narrowing the race to three signal callers. When head coach Paul Pasqualoni met with reporters on Monday for his first game week press conference, he revealed no new information.
"What I would say is that we're going to have three quarterbacks ready to play in this game," Pasqualoni said. "Obviously it's a new staff, new system on offense, defense and special teams. Were very very anxious to get a good week in. I think we've had three good days so far this week and we need to have a real good day [Tuesday]. [Tuesday] is kind of our dress rehearsal for Thursday."
Desmond Conner, of The Hartford Courant, reported last week that Nebrich and McEntee had been receiving most of the reps with the first-team offense. But Pasqualoni believes the three quarterbacks remaining are all ready to go, and even has suggested that his decision won't be known "until pre game warm-ups."
The Huskies will kick off against Fordham at 7:30 p.m. at Rentschler Field.
Posted on: August 22, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 8:41 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Connecticut enters the season returning seven offensive starters from the squad that gave the program its first BCS bowl berth last season. But one huge question mark for the Huskies going into the 2011 season is the quarterback position.
New head coach Paul Pasqualoni did not name a starting quarterback at the end of spring practice, letting freshman Michael Nebrich, walk-on junior Johnny McEntee, sophomore Michael Box, and redshirt freshman Scott McCummings all compete for the job over the summer and into fall camp. With just ten days until the Huskies' season opener against Fordham, it looks like McEntee and Nebrich are starting to separate themselves from the competition.
Desmond Conner, of The Hartford Courant, writes that the two quarterbacks have been the most consistent in camp and - more importantly - have been getting the most reps with the first-team offense. McEntee, known by many as "Trick Shot Johnny" after his impressive YouTube video went viral, is a traditional pocket passer whose accuracy in camp has lived up to his video fame. Nebrich, on the other hand, was a touted dual-threat quarterback out of Virginia who opted to graduate high school a semester early to enroll at Connecticut in January. Conner writes that Pasqualoni has not ruled out the possibility of rotating two quarterbacks, and if he decides to Nebrich and McEntee should compliment each other well.
Just for the heck of it, here's Trick Shot Johnny one more time (over 6 million views and counting)
Posted on: May 16, 2011 12:23 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
As new head coach Paul Pasqualoni continues to get settled into his new gig at Connecticut, the veteran coach has been assembling the pieces to try and repeat the most successful season in program history. With a brand new staff, and missing all-conference running back Jordan Todman, the Huskies' expectations for 2011 have been a bit of a question mark. Another area of uncertainty this offseason has been at the quarterback position, where as many as four different candidates have been considered possible starters in the fall. At the end of the spring practice, Pasqualoni told Desmond Conner, of the Hartford Courant that the position would be decided by alphabetical order for the time being.
He wasn't kidding.
The final spring depth chart was released, and Michael Box is listed as the starting quarterback. Scott McCummings is listed as the backup, with Johnny McEntee in the third position. Michael Nebrich, who was also considered a contender this spring, is listed fourth along with Blaise Driscoll.
So the competition will extend at least until fall camp. Box is the only one of the bunch with any experience from 2010, though his 6-for-17 stat line in three games of limited exposure do not exactly make the job his to lose. All of the quarterbacks struggled during spring scrimmages, which is as much a compliment to the Connecticut defense as it is a serious concern for the coaching staff. The hope is that as these young quarterbacks continue to spend time in the film room and around the facilities they will get comfortable enough to seize control of the offense in August. They might not be the team they were a year ago, but after picking up the Big East bid to the BCS, they will still have a target on their back when conference play begins.
Since we mentioned his name, and things are kind of slow anyway, let us revisit Johnny McEntee's YouTube fame.
Posted on: March 1, 2011 3:34 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
It's clear now that 2011 will be the off-season of the trick shot video in college football, with outstanding submissions by quarterbacks Johnny McEntee of UConn and Alex Tanney of Monmouth. But throwing the ball overhand like that? So played out. So February.
The logical next step, then, is long-snapping, and Zach Enyeart of Washington State is here to school the masses on how to do that properly. It's now time to watch four minutes of long-snapping tricks, because why not? It's the off-season!
There's an endearing goofiness to it, like a PG-rated Jackass episode -- for crying out loud, there's a target hanging between a guy's legs -- but with tricks instead of human misery (the denouement aside, of course). Also, the golf course sequence was particularly inspired, and we'd like to believe that his "putt" was on the first take so it's a legit par. Odds aren't great on that, but this is a trick shot video on YouTube; the end product is what matters, not the process.
One must wonder, though, that if we're already in the long snap portion of this fad and it's been less than a month, where will it go by June or July? Athletic trainer stunts? Check out this person putting an air cast on a shattered tibia in under 30 seconds! Watch as the trainer throws balls of tape into a garbage can from 30 rows up at the stadium! Who can stay in the cold tub the longest without developing life-threatening hypothermia???
Actually, now that I think of it, I really want to watch an athletic trainer trick shot video. Get at it already, Internet!
Posted on: February 17, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 1:40 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Hey, remember this video of UConn backup quarterback Johnny McEntee?
Of course you do, since every sports site on the Internet wound up posting it. (YouTube views as of today total more than 4.5 million.) So you might also still be asking the question nearly everyone asked when they saw it: if he's that good, why isn't he starting?
In an interview with Boston sports radio station WEEI , McEntee answered that question with good humor ... or at least, we hope this first part is humor:
Why isn’t he starting?:Surely, surely, McEntee didn't actually admit that he'd spent too much time fooling around with trick shots to learn the playbook ... right? He said shooting the video took an entire day, but that's just one day. There was still plenty of other time in which a bright kid like this could (and did) get the offense down ... correct?
McEntee added that the hype for the video is "starting to get a little out of hand," so don't expect a sequel for the time being. Unless he wants UConn fans to take the above quote at face value, that's probably for the best.
Posted on: February 9, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2011 12:31 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Villanova has a decision to make: accept the Big East's offer to upgrade their 2009 national championship FCS program and become the league's 11th football member, or remain in the conference in all sports outside of football and continue to compete for Colonial Athletic Association titles in the division formerly known as I-AA. So what better way to educate the 'Nova-affiliated masses on the pros and cons of that decision than a flash-video presentation on YouTube?
Yes, it's on the dry side, but it's also interesting -- from our usual rabid football fan perspective -- to see an issue usually simplified to "well, do you want to really play college football, or don't you?" laid out in such a calm, nuts-and-bolts fashion. (If you don't have seven minutes to spend, I'll sum up: FBS football would offer 'Nova a lot of notoriety. But it would also cost the school lot of money, especially in terms of facilities 'Nova would have to build almost from scratch.)
Of course, what the video above doesn't mention is the many unforeseen, intangible benefits to joining FBS. Take fellow Big East member UConn, for instance; if the Huskies were still fooling around in the FCS, would anyone have noticed this video (which has been plastered all over the Internet today) of third-string quarterback Johnny McEntee performing what's essentially the football version of the McDonald's Bird-vs.-Jordan H.O.R.S.E. contest?
Of course not. It's definitely something else to think about, Villanova decision-makers.
HT on 'Nova video: The Collision Course .