Bob Diaco recently finished up with the last leg of his summer road tour with a stop at Friends Bar in Boston. A decent crowd gathered to chat with HCBD on the future of the team, general Xs and Os, or any other concerns fans of the greater Boston area may have going into the 2016 season. After touching on several different aspects of training camp for the Huskies and pumping up the crowd about what was in store for UConn football, Diaco met and spoke with every group of Husky fans at the event. We were able to sit down with Coach Diaco and ask a few questions about the upcoming season:
INBWT: Coach, last year what we really liked about your team was that you guys had that “bend but don’t break” defense that really kept the team in a lot of games. You guys were really able to stay competitive in those coin flip, one possession games and you were always really still in it. This season, what differences have you made to the offense to swing it so you win more of those toss up games?
Diaco: Yeah, you mentioned that we’re…we’re really not trying to bend. Our emphasis is on keeping the points down. So in doing that, there can be some sustained drives, because of the priorities from top down about how we coach defense and how we call the defense. It’s all about points for us. So the offense is gonna take another step, and they took a big step a year ago. On the surface you like more points, you like more plays. But they’re trying to serve the overall team understanding of points, and scoring defense, and how we believe we’re gonna win. So the step they’re gonna take this year, is that they’re going to have more third down conversions. We’re gonna have more sustained drives, which is gonna mean more plays run. So a year ago we ran 62 plays. We need to run 82 plays. When you run 62 plays, you need to be perfect to score enough points to win. So if we can run more plays, it’ll be that we’ve had more sustained drives, and if we’ve had more sustained drives, it’ll be that we can get into plus field scoring territory more and we’ll score more. We have great specialists, Bobby Puyol is back and hes gonna pop it through there.
IBWT: This year on the schedule you have some old Big East rivalries with Syracuse and Boston College making an appearance. Obviously everybody is really excited about that on the schedule but do you think those games will have any effect on the intensity of the Civil Conflict?
Diaco: Tomorrow morning’s workout is what we call our rivals workout and it is dedicated to our rival Central Florida. Period. There is no effect. There is a lot of red letter games, there is a lot of very important games to a lot of people. But we targeted that university and that team. Out of respect, and they’re going to be great again. They have great players, they have great infrastructure, and they hired a great coach. So we’ve got the right team, and it’s a fun thing, and we look at the trophy every day and we want to continue to look at it.
IBWT: At media days last year, you and your guys echoed the sentiment that you believed you could go 15-0, and there was no team on your schedule that you guys thought you COULDN’T beat. Now our slogan is “The Home of 15-0”, we believe that if you don’t think you can win every game, why even start. So we wanted to know if you hold the same belief this season?
Diaco: Exactly. If you ask me how many games we’re going to win, how am I going to answer anything other than all our games? It’s a ridiculous question. Especially now that you’re actually asking an apex predator competitor. So I already believe we’re going to win every game. We could play anybody, and you could put anybody on the schedule and I think we’re going to beat them. It’s ridiculous, it’s a dumb question. I love your slogan.
IBWT: Thank you so much coach, we really appreciate you taking the time to sit down and talk with us.
Diaco: It’s been a pleasure to do this interview.
You see that? “You could put anybody on our schedule and I think we’re going to beat them.” All I can say is WE WANT BAMA!
In Bob We Trust.