Print this story

Cochran looks to get UConn into the "W" column.

POSTED November 20, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

STORRS: You have to like the confidence UConn quarterback Casey Cochran brings to the table even on a team that is still searching for their first win.

Cochran has a passion for playing football, plain and simple.

It’s in his DNA, just ask his father, Jack who has worked with his son since the day he could grip a football, maybe a Nerf ball.

When the UConn Huskies travel this weekend to Philly to take on 1-9 Temple it will mark Cochran’s sixth game of the year and second start since taking over for then red-shirt freshman Tim Boyle two weeks ago.

The Huskies lost in Texas by a 38-21 score in a game the rallied to trail by just seven at 28-21 in the third quarter before two key turnovers led to their ninth straight loss.

If UConn is going to avoid the ultimate reverse table run, a great deal of the load will fall on the shoulders of a young man, like so many of his teammates, have never real known what it feels like to lose.

Where do they dig to find that reserve that you’ve never had to go to before?

“We rely on our upperclassmen,” sophomore Max DeLorenzo said at the teams weekly media luncheon. “Some of these guys have been to a Bowl Game since they have been here and are now going through this so it helps we have players who have been around when we were winning.”

DeLorenzo has picked it up, as has the running game in general, the Huskies ran for 158 yards against SMU, Kyle McCombs led the effort with 111 while the former Berlin High School running back gained 64 and scored his second rushing touchdown of the year.

Their head coach is aware of how the weight of this losing streak has affected his team.

“We have to break the losing mentality,” interim head coach T.J. Weist said. “Sometimes you can see and feel it on the sidelines. If we get down, it’s the ‘Here we go again’ feeling.”

When these players were recruited by UConn, they were the cream of the crop at their particular high school, both Cochran and Tim Boyle won State Championships and were rock stars for four years.

Keeping a team motivated and positive is no easy task for any of the Huskies coaches.

“Once the game is on, it’s very difficult to manage,” Weist said. “We try and keep them as motivated as we can.”

Weist was asked about his seniors and if he was worried about losing them.

“That’s the group I am least worried about,” Weist said. “These are their last three weeks of playing college football. They are doing a good job of leading the younger guys through this.”

Three games remain.

One last on the road on Saturday, two more home games upcoming after Thanksgiving against Rutgers on November 30, the last against Memphis on December 7.

Three more chances to get into the left hand side of the record column.

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here