New Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni watched his defensive secondary get picked apart by the Western Michigan quarterback last week, and he hopes that performance motivates them to get better for what they will be facing Saturday at West Virginia University.
"We didn't play well enough on pass coverages," he said Monday during the Big East Conference coaches teleconference. "We have to keep our coverages tighter. Hopefully, we'll do a better job of rushing the passer and getting some pressure."
"It's a big motivator," he said regarding playing against one of the nation's top passers in Geno Smith.
"There is no football player in America who wants to go out there and play bad.
"I would expect us to have a well-focused week of practice"
The emergence of a West Virginia running attack also gives the UConn coach cause for concern.
"The system they're in is difficult enough to defend," he said. "When you are able to run the ball like that, it makes it so much harder to defend."
The game is scheduled for noon and will be televised on the Big East Conference Network. UConn enters the game at 2-3, while West Virginia is 4-1.
It is the conference opener for the Mountaineers.
It is also Hall of Fame Weekend on the Morgantown campus.
Former football greats Canute Curtis and Steve Newberry will be inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.