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Storrs — While the end of last season may have been more memorable, it's the start that Dave Teggart would rather forget.
Teggart, UConn's fifth-year senior kicker and the author of the biggest kick in school history, finished last season on a high note, kicking the Huskies to the Big East championship and a berth in the school's first BCS bowl game with a 52-yarder in overtime to beat South Florida, 19-16.
Teggart also kicked a 50-yard field goal in that game and went on to kick two in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, a game UConn lost to Oklahoma, 48-20.
It's the beginning of 2010 that Teggart is trying to put behind him.
An All-Big East pick who led the conference in scoring, Teggart missed his first field goal attempt in a loss to Michigan and missed two in a Week 3 loss to Temple. He righted the ship from there, making his last 10 field goal attempts and 16 of his last 17. He also converted all 26 PATs (he has made all 99 extra point attempts in his career).
"I started out a little slow and shaky and was able to turn it on towards the end," said Teggart, who holds the school record for career field goals with 52. "One thing I want to do is be more consistent throughout whole year from beginning to end. That's more mental than anything. I know I have the ability to do it."
With a young offense that will be led by an inexperienced quarterback - first-year coach Paul Pasqualoni still has settled on a starter - the Huskies will rely on Teggart, particularly early in the season.
"I don't know if there's ever comfort when you have to kick a field goal, whoever's kicking," Pasqualoni said Wednesday. "It does give you comfort in that you have an experienced guy there who's been through it. I like his approach. I like how serious he is about it. His approach is what it should be. He's not aloof or distracted. He's focused. That's comforting. He'll be a factor for us."
Just how big a factor depends largely on how quickly the offense develops.
"I think we can move the ball down the field this year," Teggart said. "That being said, I'm happy to be there to bail them out a little bit. Every season has a little adversity. We'll face adversity at some point and it's just a matter of how I respond. The biggest thing is consistency for any kicker. You have to be there to make the big kicks when they need you out there."
News and notes
Starting defensive end Jesse Joseph was under the injury tent at practice, sporting a large brace on his right knee. Pasqualoni, who will not give much injury information this season, said Joseph was banged up, but they expect to get him back. Joseph led the Huskies with 8.5 sacks last season. He was joined under the injury tent by linebacker Jerome Williams, running back Martin Hyppolite and freshman center Bryan Paull.
UConn football coach Paul Pasqualoni said a decision on the Huskies' starting quarterback would be made public next Thursday prior to the season-opener against Fordham at Rentschler Field.
"We won't finalize any type of announcement probably until game time," the first-year coach said following a Wednesday afternoon practice. It was the final practice that was open to the media.
The competition appears to now be a three-man race, with redshirt sophomore Mike Box spending Wednesday running the scout team. That leaves true freshman Mike Nebrich, redshirt junior Johnny McEntee and redshirt freshman Scott McCummings fighting for the spot.