STORRS - There are few sporting arenas where sound travels better than the Syracuse Universityâs football and basketball home.
The Carrier Dome - a building named for an air conditioning company that itself strangely has no cooling system - can be a loud place during a game. Itâs even louder when the Orange, in this case the schoolâs football team, are having a good season.
To that end, the UConn football team went through most of a recent practice in the Shenkman Center on their campus with raucous crowd noise pumping through its speaker system.
The Huskies (1-2), who will face Syracuse (3-0) Saturday in the dome, tried to mimic some of the issues they might have communicating with each other in the game.
âWe did that last year but Iâm sure the freshmen were like âWhat the heck is this?â â UConn running back Kevin Mensah said with a smile after the workout.
UConn has already had trouble dealing with noisy opposing crowds. In its 62-7 loss to Boise State Sept. 8 the Huskies committed an unbelievable six false start penalties, several by junior tackle Matt Peart. It was one of primary reasons UConnâs offense struggled so mightily in the loss.
âHopefully we had our one moment where we went into that kind of environment and didnât handle it as well as we could have. They have that experience,â UConn coach Randy Edsall said. âI would hope weâd be in good shape Saturday and not have the false starts we had a couple weeks ago.â
It seems the fake crowd was louder than the Boise crowd, which might be more than enough to prep the Huskies.
âI donât think it was that loud. That was really loud,â Mensah said of the artificial noise pumped in Tuesday. âBut we know what to expect. Iâm pretty sure it gets loud in there, the Carrier Dome.â
As for the false starts, three of which were committed by right tackle Matt Peart, Mensah thinks those issues are behind the Huskies.
âI think it was a focus thing. Weâre going to be much better than in Boise,â Mensah said.
UConn safety Tyler Coyle, a sophomore from Windsor, left Tuesdayâs practice with an injury and his status for Saturdayâs game is unclear.
Coyle laid on the turf at the Shenkman Center for a few moments late in the practice before being helped off with an apparent leg injury. Edsall refused to discuss injuries after the workout.
Coyle has made 33 tackles this season, the second-most in the AAC. After Saturdayâs 56-49 win over Rhode Island, Edsall complemented Coyle for his hustle in trying to chase down Rams quarterback JaJuan Lawson on a 37-yard TD run and knocking the ball out of Lawsonâs hand just after Lawson crossed the goal line.
Cornerback Tahj Herring-Wilson (ankle) and linebacker Marshe Terry (ankle) both missed practice due to injuries suffered last week against Rhode Island.