In the end, the Edsall Bowl proved emotional for the Maryland coach. But I don't think the circumstances -- Randy Edsall coaching for the first time against his former program -- had all that much impact on the outcome.
Each team knew quite a bit about each other's coaches. That's about it. I think the game was decided by defenses, particularly UConn's. You just knew that Don Brown's blitzing and multiple substitutions were going to be difficult for the Terps and their young quarterback to handle, as they are for most teams.
First, the emotions. The coach's voice was thick and his eyes filled with tears as he talked about the experience of having so many former and current players in one place.
I mentioned in my game story what transpired between Edsall and redshirt senior linebacker Sio Moore of the Huskies.
“I went up to [Edsall] after the game and told him I love him,” said Moore, who was credited with 2 ½ sacks. “He is one of those guys that really saw something in me when I didn’t know I had anything in me myself, so I really appreciate him giving me the chance.”
That sort of encounter might help explain Edsall's emotions.
There are certainly Connecticut players who weren't pleased with the manner in which Edsall departed the program.
But, for what it's worth, UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said his players didn't seem to be driven by much other than a desire to win.
“Our guys are pretty grounded, they’re pretty level-headed," Pasqualoni said. "I think they handled adversity very well last week. They handled victory very well this week. I think they know it’s one game."
Thanks to my Tribune brethren from the Hartford Courant for helping with the UConn quotes. Safe travels, guys...Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times