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Almost Perfect

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Ready for a great stat of the day to wow your Bearcat loving friends?

 

If you use the complicated NFL passer rating system, a perfect score for a quarterback is 158.3.

 

In his first two starts at Cincinnati, sophomore Zach Collaros has a rating of 156.9.

 

Pretty impressive huh?

 

I attended practice on Thursday and can tell you that Tony Pike took part in some 7-on-7 drills.  While there have been published reports that Collaros is likely to start, Pike is clearly getting get close to returning and Coach Kelly told us on his radio show that Tony definitely will be in uniform this week.

 

When Pike is ready to play he gets his job back - it's as simple as that.  But what about the next two years?  I asked Coach Kelly if it's too soon to say that he's found his next starting quarterback.

 

"Well it certainly is a good start - let's put it that way," BK said.  "I don't want to take anything away from the young man because he's been outstanding.  He's allowed us to run our offense - that's been the biggest thing.  We haven't had to go back and cut down our offensive system so anytime that you can be seamless puts you in a pretty good position for the next couple of years."

 

While Tony Pike will almost certainly be back in action soon, UConn lost its starting QB Cody Endres for the rest of the season when he separated his shoulder last week against Rutgers.

 

Enter Zach Frazer - the Notre Dame transfer - who visited Cincinnati a few years ago before deciding to play for Connecticut.

 

Frazer started the Huskies first two games of the season before suffering a knee injury and lost his job to Endres.  He saw action for the first time in six games last week, and passed for 333 yards against Rutgers.

 

"Live arm," Coach Kelly said.  "Likes to throw the football and can make all the throws.  He was a national recruit and has all of the physical tools.  He's made some mistakes and turnovers (3 TD, 7 INT), but if he continues to improve, they've got another really good quarterback at the helm."

 

* * * * *

 

Connecticut enters Saturday's game with a 4-4 record and all four losses have been excruciating.

 

Week 2 - UConn led North Carolina 10-0 entering the 4th quarter and wound up losing 12-10 when they were called for holding in their own end zone for a safety with 1:32 left.

 

Week 5 - UConn had a 21-3 lead late in the third quarter at Pitt, but lost by three on a field goal as time expired.

 

Week 7 - Less than a week after the death of Jasper Howard, UConn took a 24-21 lead at West Virginia with 3:50 left on an 88-yard touchdown pass, but allowed a 56-yard TD run by Noel Devine less than two minutes later to lose by four.

 

Week 8 - Took a 24-21 lead over Rutgers on a 2-yard run with 38 seconds to go, but allowed an 81-yard touchdown pass 16 seconds later to lose 28-24.

 

That's four losses by a total of 13 points - all decided in the last 2:10.  But the Huskies continue to show tremendous resilience since the stabbing death of Howard.

 

"It starts at the top with great leadership from Randy Edsall during these trying times," Coach Kelly said.  "He'll have his football team ready to play and I know they're excited about the opportunity to play a top-ranked team at Nippert Stadium.  I think they've overcome a lot and when you have a leader like Randy, he's going to get those kids settled in and ready to play and they'll play extremely hard."

 

* * * * *

 

The Mountain State Cougars from Beckley, West Virginia are off to a 4-0 start.

 

Why does that NAIA program get a mention on the blog?  Because its roster includes Alvin Mitchell and Nick Aldridge.

 

Mitchell had 31 points in Mountain State's last game and is averaging 18.3 through four games.

 

Aldridge opened the season with a 40 point/10 rebound game and is averaging 24 points. 

 

Sure it's NAIA competition, but Alvin and Nick have some ability.  They both blew great opportunities to play at UC and I'm guessing that Coach Cronin requires less headache medication these days.

 

I'd love to hear from you.  The address is dhoard@pawsox.com.

 

And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard

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