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UConn football notebook: Marking Trevardo's sack record

Published 5:56 pm, Wednesday, November 7, 2012
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SACK RECORD: Senior defense end Trevardo Williams set a program career record after his second-quarter sack of south Florida quarterback B. J. Daniels in the 13-6 loss at South Florida last Saturday. It was Williams' 8½ sack of the season, giving him 27½ overall, breaking the previous mark of 27 set from 1982-85 by Mark Michaels.

"He's a very explosive player. What I like about Trevardo is he's eager to learn and very eager to become the best player he can become," UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni said Wednesday in his pre-game conference call. "He doesn't go out like he knows everything. He goes out and absorbs everything you're trying to tell him. His big strength is that great burst of acceleration when the ball is snapped. I'm excited for him."

Senior linebacker Jory Johnson was asked what makes Williams so special.

"He's just a great athlete," Johnson said on Monday. "He's one of the most explosive guys that I've ever seen and he continues to work on it, day after day.

"He's just hard to block one on one because he's so much more athletic than the offensive tackles and guards and if they leave him one on one he's going to get to the quarterback. That's the best thing about him. He's so explosive, so strong. Linemen can't block him one on one. He's special in that regard."

Williams played his high school football at Bridgeport Central.

McCOMBS OK: Pasqualoni was asked this week about sophomore tailback Lyle McCombs' health. At 5-foot-8 and just 166 pounds, McCombs has carried the ball 164 times in nine games this season, an average of 18.2 carries, and the question was about the physical pounding he's taken.

"I think (Lyle's) ¦ now, in every game you get a little nicked up, but I think he's 100 percent," Pasqualonmi said.

What Pasqualoni did say about McCombs' drop in rushing production (68.4 yards a game, down from 95.9 last season) was that he might be trying to do too much.

"Sometimes, if Lyle could stay on his feet a little bit. There were one or two (plays) where he tripped and if he hadn't, maybe it's a bigger play," Pasqualoni said. "Sometimes you try to do too much and you're looking for things and you make a cut and you should have stayed inside. Sometimes, backs like to bounce outside and in my mind, when you bounce outside, a lot of times its `buyer beware' because there's not necessarily a lot out there. So I think when you're really trying hard, you try and do a little bit too much."

MEMORIES: This will be the last time Pitt and UConn will play in football unless some non-conference games can be worked out, as the Panthers are joining the ACC next season. With Syracuse heading to the ACC along with Pitt and Boston College already there, what Pasqualoni called "Eastern football tradition" is quickly becoming extinct.

"Playing them for the last time ¦in Eastern football, you go back, the philosophy of Eastern football, which kind of doesn't exist anymore, so many teams in the east don't play in the east," he said. "Pitt is a program with tremendous tradition."

Pasqualoni should know. His first encounter with Pitt football came in 1968 as a member of the Penn State freshmen team, which played one of the last games ever in Forbes Field on Nov. 8, 1968 against Pitt's freshmen team. Apparently, Pitt won.

"My first game in college was against Pitt and I remember getting my butt kicked," said Pasqualoni, who was a linebacker. "I've got wounds from Pitt. It was usually the last game of the year and it was always a big game. The coaches ¦ I don't think they saw straight that week, it was so intense. I can just remember the old Pitt stadium and walking in there and all the national championship signs were on the walls, so they have tremendous tradition."

-- CHRIS ELSBERRY