Saturday, October 25, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;58.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/novc.png;2014-10-25 20:16:34
Thursday, November 15, 2012

Griffin coming into his own as UConn’s top tight end

HARTFORD, Conn. – If anyone is looking for a highlight film on Ryan Griffin, all they need to do is watch the game tape from Connecticut’s 24-17 win over Pittsburgh last Friday at Rentschler Field.

The Huskies controlled the game from the opening drive, thanks, at least, in part to Griffin, who set season-highs with six receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown. The senior tight end from Londonderry was at his best on UConn’s first drive of the game. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

HARTFORD, Conn. – If anyone is looking for a highlight film on Ryan Griffin, all they need to do is watch the game tape from Connecticut’s 24-17 win over Pittsburgh last Friday at Rentschler Field.

The Huskies controlled the game from the opening drive, thanks, at least, in part to Griffin, who set season-highs with six receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown. The senior tight end from Londonderry was at his best on UConn’s first drive of the game.

On the first play from scrimmage, UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer rolled to his right and found Griffin wide open for a
13-yard gain. Three plays later, Whitmer again found his tight end alone in the flat for a short completion that Griffin turned into a 23-yard pickup.

The impressive part of the reception was how Griffin gained the yards. As Pitt defensive back Lafayette Pitts went low for the tackle, Griffin went high, hurdling the opposing player. The move seemed to surprise the defense, and Griffin hopes it will give future opponents – and NFL scouts – something to think about.

“I haven’t put it on tape before and some guys were going low at me, so I figured why not just jump over him?” he said. “That was the second time we ran the boot (leg). I saw some open field. That was probably my best vertical. I’ll take it.”

It was one of the best performances of the season for Griffin, and the Huskies’ offense, at least for a half. UConn led 24-0 at halftime, but was shut out in the second half. Likewise, Griffin caught all six of his passes in the first half, and his lone target in the second half turned into an interception.

With the Huskies leading 24-10 in the fourth quarter, Whitmer had Griffin wide open over the middle for an easy touchdown. But the pass sailed over Griffin’s head and into the arms of Pitt’s Jared Holley for a touchback.

“Too wide open was the term,” Griffin said. “We practiced that all week, and I think it was more covered during the week. Both of us want that one back. It would have capped a great night.”

When Griffin was catching passes, he was helping the Huskies’ line block for running back Lyle McCombs, who ran for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Griffin held his own against Pitt’s pass rushers, and a couple of times found himself one-on-one with lineman Aaron Donald, a preseason pick for the All-Big East team.

“I pride myself on blocking and I’ve worked really hard with the coaches,” Griffin said. “I’m trying to be a well-rounded tight end and that’s what I’m working for. As a tight end, you’ve got to be a part of the offense with blocking and pass routes, jumping, whatever you’ve got to do. I pride myself on all those things.”

Although Friday’s win was the first for the Huskies in conference play, UConn is still alive for a bowl game, if it wins at Louisville on Nov. 24 and against Cincinnati on Dec. 1.

Griffin believes this squad is capable of pulling it off.

“We showed what type of team we are,” he said. “Two years ago, we played Pitt here (and won). We did it that season, why can’t we do it again?”