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--Spread check: Connecticut by 13

--In the wake of a crushing loss at Pittsburgh a week ago where the Huskies surrendered 18 straight unanswered points to fall by three, head coach Randy Edsall has been highly critical of his defense.

Coach Randy Edsall had no problem calling out a few of his top players, such as Witten, an NFL-caliber player who has had just one sack since Week 2 but is still second in the nation (1.60). "I've been kicking myself all week because I know what I'm capable of doing and that was not one of my better performances," Witten said of the Pitt game.

Edsall called on a couple of his linebackers, starters last year, to play better, namely Lawrence Wilson and Greg Lloyd. Safety Robert Vaughn was the Big East defensive player of the week with two interceptions, yet Edsall said he can still tighten up his game, too.

These are guys who have been taught to raise their level of play by former Huskies such as Alfred Fincher, Tyler Lorenzen, Cody Brown and Julius Williams.

Time for them to pass on their wisdom.

They began the process Sunday. Edsall said he wasn't present, but some of the older current players gave the younger players an earful. The coach called that a good thing and said peer pressure in this instance can help.

--Twelve days ago senior Andrew Robinson hadn't played or practiced at any position other than wide receiver since he was in high school. In two days he will be making his second straight start at cornerback. I am not comforted.

--The UConn blog is focused mostly on basketball, but they are having some fun on Twitter with their #BeatLouisville tweets.

#BeatLouisville List of things owned by Syracuse University: Ernie Davis statue, inflated sense of self-worth, UofL football

#BeatLouisville Steve Kragthorpe : football :: Stephen Hawking : football

#BeatLouisville LAR-RY TAY-LOR CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP

Keep it up. Maybe this could be you one day.

--Husky quarterback Zach Frazer hurt his knee in UConn's second game of the season, but Edsall says replacement Cody Endres is still his starter even with Frazer healthy and ready to go.

"It's unfortunate Zach was No. 1 coming out of the spring and then in the fall and gets injured," Edsall said, as quoted by the Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner. "Cody has played well, just look at the numbers, he has performed very, very well and better than Zach has. I told Zach his job is to be ready mentally and physically to go. He's a play away. I still think he's a bit rusty after watching him on Sunday."

It's hard to argue against the numbers. Endres has completed 66.3 percent of his passes and has three touchdowns and no interceptions. Frazer has completed 51.2 percent with two touchdowns and four picks.

--The UConn athletic department released their official game notes this morning. It's worth a read if you're insanely bored and literally have nothing else to do from 3-5 p.m.

--Star UConn linebacker Scott Lutrus is listed as doubtful for Saturday.

--Brian Bennett likes Connecticut by 10.

--I like Ryan Payne.

The Cardinals found an unlikely hero in Payne, a former soccer player who didn't take up football until three years ago. He's tutored by former NFL kicker Mike Lansford, who persuaded Payne to ditch his shoe and kick barefoot, a style Lansford used to carve out a nine-year career with the Los Angeles Rams.

Payne reluctantly agreed. A lot of practice and a little bit of luck — Lansford and Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich are old friends — helped Payne land a roster spot as a walk-on. He beat out Chris Philpott for the starting job and on Saturday night found himself attempting a game-winner for the first time.

Louisville quarterback Adam Froman pulled Payne aside shortly before the kick and told him his teammates had his back. It was all Payne needed to hear. He knew the kick was good the second it left his foot, and the last couple days have been a bit of a whirlwind.

"People you never even would talk to, just out of nowhere say 'Oh, great game,'" Payne said. "It's like 'Oh, I barely remember you from high school, thanks.' It's a great feeling. No one doesn't like a compliment."

--The Ledger looks at the key aspects of Saturday's game.

Key Matchup

Louisville offensive line vs. UConn defensive line. The Huskies give up an average of just 98 yards per game on the ground, despite being burned for 227 by Pittsburgh, and defensive end Lindsey Witten has eight sacks. Cardinals quarterbacks have been sacked 13 times this season.

Players to watch

Connecticut: Quarterback Cody Endres remains the starter this week, despite the return of Zach Frazer from injury. Endres has not thrown an interception in 83 passing attempts. Running backs Andre Dixon (463 yards) and Jordan Todman (439 yards) will again split time.

Louisville: Running back Victor Anderson put up 100 yards on the Huskies last year, and after two off weeks, had 90 yards rushing against Southern Miss. Quarterback Adam Froman is likely to get his third consecutive start after throwing for 248 yards a week ago.

--And finally, an article from the Hartford Courant I think every Louisville fan can relate to.

Well it's time - time for UConn basketball that is.

And that is the elephant in the room.

Is UConn football going to be able to maintain a high level of interest if things don't get better?

People like a winner and, understandably, they sure do like basketball around here. Many want to see all three programs on top.

If UConn somehow blows this game against Louisville in front of a sold-out crowd Saturday, I really do wonder what risk the program runs in seeing people fall of the bandwagon and for how long.

Lines I wouldn't have believed could be written seriously three years ago: "If UConn somehow blows this game against Louisville."

Also: "Alien princess from Uranus cures Cancer then weds George Clooney."

At least one of 'em's still holding strong.