Postgame Cincinnati-UConn

John F. Silver

Chandler Whitmer tried to get up and he heard others tell him to take a knee.

His head started to ache, and the only one he heard talking was Lyle McCombs. He didn’t know it was the Cincinnati coaches keeping him from falling down, and he didn’t know that there was a crowd around him worried. For the second time in a week, Whitmer had sustained a concussion (he confirmed it, not the school) and this one KO’d him for the season in a 34-17 loss to Cincinnati. 

Whitmer went out after getting whacked on a reverse trick play. He was in the game with Wildcat QB Scott McCummings and when Whitmer got the ball everyone was covered (maybe trick plays only work for the other team).  He took a nasty hit and that was all she wrote.  It was a scary situation and Whitmer said he doesn’t remember what happened exactly.

“”I’m all right.  I guess I blacked out and they wanted to take precautions since I had a concussion last week,” Whitmer said. “They just didn’t want me to go back in. It’s part of football. The doctors say you don’t want to mess around with your head.”

Whitmer looked OK and sounded down, but coherent after the game. It wasn’t like several years ago when Zach Frazer didn’t know where he was or what happened (now that was scary).  But, two concussions in a week is concerning if that’s what he indeed got.

Whitmer was cleared by the medical staff, all the symptoms had gone away, and he wanted to play.

“I passed all my tests,” Whitmer said. “There were extensive tests. I took days off. I was able to subside the headache and [handle] the bright lights. After that I was good. I was good to play.”

Pasqualoni addressed Whitmer’s status after:

“We were cautious with Chandler during the week. We were concerned about it… On Monday he was pretty good and met the marks on Monday and felt good and Wednesday he practiced every snap …our medical staff is on top of things. They felt confident and he felt confident.

 ” Am I concerned about him long term? He is fine right now, I just talked to him, he feels pretty good right now. I will be concerned if the medical staff is concerned. I always had a philosophy that coaches shouldn’t practice medicine. “
It’s concerning going forward. He isn’t a large man at 6-1, 195 pounds and took a beating this year. He was having a decent game with 264 yards passing and a touchdown and if he was a little more accurate  could have even done more damage. Still , after the beating it took I would assume he’s going to have to lay off contact until next fall.
He can’t take contact this spring. He’s just too valuable and I think he’s proven to be the No. 1 quarterback.  Whitmer ends the year passing for 2,664 yards. He’s interception prone, and likes to take risks, but we’ve seen enough about him that he heads into next year as the unquestioned No. 1
Here are some more thoughts and notes:
* On Pasqualini’s future?   It’s not going to happen.   Is 5-7 and 10-14 good enough? No.  5-7, 6-6, 7-5, it doesn’t make a huge difference in my book.  My view is the team plays hard, has a decent gameplan, but just doesn’t seem to have enough talent across the board. Offensive line is a problem. There is little depth anywhere on the roster and that’s a problem.
Here’s Pasqualoni on this season and his team.  The schedule wasn’t good this year, so 5-7 isn’t a great record with the strength of schedule.
“We were in, in the past two years, we’ve been in quite a few games that a touchdown or less decided those games,” Pasqualoni said. “We had a few of those this year. A little thing here, field position there, a missed kick here, so, my outlook on it is as a coach, you are out there to win every game you play and it is always hard on the tough games to accept them. I always feel like ‘yeah’ we should have won that game. there were games that we coulda shoulda or are capable of winning. No question about that.”
“I feel good about it. We came in 2 years ago now, and certainly with 1 recruiting class, it takes more than that. Again, when you go back on this season, and you go back on last season, the margin of error isn’t very great. In the end, what causes you to win and lose is a lot of little things. We’ve been in a lot of close games, just haven’t won a number of close games as you would like as a coach. “
* Trevardo Williams tried to give it a go but the ankle couldn’t sustain any weight.  Pasqualoni said he just couldn’t play.  They tried, but the all-time sack master ended his career on the sideline. Too bad, he’s been a great player.
*That brings us to the interesting case of Bobby Puyol. The Florida kicker appeared in his first game action of his career and had one FG for 40 yards and struggled on kickoffs. Now, he was subbing for Chad Christen and the staff took his redshirt year. Now, to me , it’s hard to believe they would do that, but Pasqualoni made it clear that this wasn’t done without a lot of thought. Cole Wagner couldn’t provide the kickoffs needed and, well, you have to have a kicker. It might be time for the Huskies to bring in a walk-on kicker next year because they intend to have Puyol redshirt.
“We were using red shirt year on the kickoff,” Pasqualoni said. “Chad is back next year, we will redshirt Bobby next year. We are going to keep him in development anyway. We will go back at start over. We will do anything  we can to win this game and Bobby was great about it. “
Was it really the only option?
 “We tried everything. Taking a guy and using him in the last game isn’t a snap decision,” Pasqualoni added. “Again, we were here to win the game tonight. I thought the kid, for his first shot out of the barrel did pretty good.”