UConn ends football season today

T.J. Weist, who took over the UConn football program on an interim basis after the firing of Paul Pasqualoni, could be leading the Huskies for the final time today against Memphis.
T.J. Weist, who took over the UConn football program on an interim basis after the firing of Paul Pasqualoni, could be leading the Huskies for the final time today against Memphis. Fred Beckham/ AP Photo

Storrs - There will be a lot of goodbyes today when UConn hosts Memphis in the final game of what has been a disappointing season for both programs.

It will be the last college game for 29 seniors, 14 from UConn (2-9, 2-5 American Athletic Conference) and 15 from Memphis (3-8, 1-6).

But it also likely will be the final game at Connecticut for much of that program's coaching staff. Interim coach T.J. Weist has led the Huskies to two straight wins, but is still just 2-5 since taking the reins from Paul Pasqualoni after UConn's 0-4 start.

"For the players, it's a season, for us it's our careers," Weist said. "It's not easy. It's never easy. But I commend them for working hard, for staying together, for being aggressive with their players."

"A coach can easily give up, just like a player can on the season," he added. "Our guys have not done that. They've worked hard."

Weist said he has not been given any indication on when a decision will be made about his future, or who will coach the team next season. Athletic director Warde Manuel has called a news conference for an hour before kickoff to discuss the search for a new coach.

Linebacker Yawin Smallwood said the players are pulling for Weist.

"All the players around here, they love Coach Weist," Smallwood said. "He's done a great job. He's a players' coach. He does whatever it takes for us to win."

For some Memphis players, the season may already be over. Coach Justin Fuente said this week he wants make sure that he's only taking deserving players on the road trip after a disappointing loss last week at home against Temple.

"I think it's important that we play better. I want to finish strong," he said. "This game presents a unique set of challenges - coming off some disappointment and playing on the road and playing in a different climate than we're used to against a group of people we've never met."

This will be just the third game Memphis has ever played in the Northeast. The other two were at Army in 1985 and 2000. The forecast calls for some overnight rain or snow and temperatures at kickoff (1 p.m.) in the 30s.

UConn, meanwhile, which began the season with nine straight losses, is looking to put three wins together for the first time since closing the 2010 regular season with five straight victories before losing in the Fiesta Bowl to Oklahoma.

The Huskies haven't finished a season with three consecutive wins since 2000.

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