UConn motivated to face former coach on the road
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Maryland football coach Randy Edsall expressed some regret Tuesday over the way he left the University of Connecticut more than a year and a half ago without saying goodbye to his players.
Edsall had just led the Huskies in a 48-20 loss to Oklahoma in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, the program's first BCS bowl game, when he took a plane to Maryland for his job interview rather than fly home with his team.
Many of the players learned of his departure from the program from the media or through text messages from family and friends.
"If I could do it over again, I wish that there was some way that I could see the players and tell them face-to-face that I was going to leave and come to Maryland," Edsall told the Connecticut media on Tuesday. "But do to the circumstances surrounding that, I wasn't able to do that and that's something that I've gotta live with."
Connecticut (1-1) visits Maryland (2-0) on Saturday in what will be the first meeting between Edsall and his former players, who have not forgotten how he left.
"It's not going to be hard to get fired up for that one, definitely," defensive tackle Ryan Wirth said. "That's about it. That's all I'm going to say about that."
UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said he hasn't issued a gag order on the topic, but has cautioned his players not to get involved in anything that could be a distraction.
"If you're distracted, I don't know how you're functioning at a high level," he said. "All I said is, 'Conserve your energy, you're going to need it. Focus on the game.'"
Many players said they are trying to do just that, especially coming off a 10-7 loss to another ACC school, North Carolina State, at home last Saturday.
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