As they await word of bowl foe, Huskies not worried about Edsall

Joe Perez

Still awaiting word of who it will face in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the UConn football team tried to go about business as usual Saturday. But with Coach Randy Edsall’s well-publicized interview for the same position at Georgia Tech hanging over its heads, the players did their best to deflect any thought of distraction.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” tailback Donald Brown said when asked about Edsall’s visit to Atlanta.

Brown knew being coy or indifferent doesn’t change the reality of the Huskies’ coach canceling a team meeting to interview with Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dan Radakovich on Friday while the team prepares for its second-ever bowl game.

UConn is expected to find out today which Atlantic Coast Conference team it will face on Dec. 29 from Charlotte, N.C. The odds-on favorite is Wake Forest, a team that defeated the Huskies as it won its conference championship a year ago.

“We’re not worried about it,” Brown said of Edsall’s interview. “We’re just focused on this bowl game and going down there and competing against a good ACC football team.”

While Edsall was present for the indoor practice held at the Mark R. Shenkman Training Center, he elected to not speak with reporters, instead jogging off the field while making his assistants available for the first time during the season.

Offensive coordinator Rob Ambrose said Edsall’s interview hasn’t changed anything because the team still has a schedule to keep as it begins to working towards Charlotte.

“There have been what you can call semi distractions along the road,” he said. “There was one time the plane was late, one time where there was no Gatorade on the plane, something was wrong with the hotel room once. These kids don’t care. They got one more game. They’re thrilled to death that the hard work has paid off and their being rewarded for it. ... The rest is just passing fancy.”

Thanks to UConn’s surprising 9-3 season, interest in Edsall has risen as sharply as the Huskies’ stock. Not wanting the issue to go unsaid, the players discussed Edsall’s interest in Georgia Tech, where he was an assistant in 1998, the year before becoming the Huskies’ head man. Co-captain and defensive tackle Dan Davis said any commotion surrounding Edsall comes from outside the program.

“We’re fine. We talked about it as a team,” Dan Davis said. “We know what’s going on. It’s nothing we’re surprised about. Coach Edsall’s our coach; nothing more, nothing less.”

Reach Norwich Bulletin writer Joe Perez at 425-4257 or jperez@norwichbulletin.com