Endres comes home as UConn's QB
By John Grupp
Friday, October 9, 2009
While Pitt's Bill Stull was quashing any possible quarterback controversy with his strong play, another Western Pennsylvania product was helping to create one.
Cody Endres, a redshirt sophomore at Connecticut, will make his third consecutive start for injured starter Zach Frazer when the Huskies visit Pitt (4-1, 1-0 Big East) Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field.
Endres, who starred at Trinity High School in Washington, has played well enough to raise questions about who will start at quarterback for coach Randy Edsall when Frazer returns as early as next week.
"I think I've done a pretty good job," Endres said.
Edsall, in his 11th season, bristled at questions about the quarterback situation, other than to say Endres will start against Pitt.
"I'm not worried about next week," Edsall said. "I'm not worried about the week after. I'm worried about this week. ... I don't know how much clearer I can be."
The 6-foot-3, 228-pound Endres has thrown for 466 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Frazer, a former Notre Dame transfer from Mechanicsburg, has been intercepted four times in 43 pass attempts this season.
Frazer beat out Endres in the spring to replace Tyler Lorenzen but was sidelined with a knee injury in the third quarter of Connecticut's 12-10 loss on Sept. 12 at North Carolina.
Endres guided Connecticut (3-1, 0-0) to a 30-22 victory at Baylor and threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-10 rout of Rhode Island on Sept. 26. The Huskies, who were off last week, have a productive running game to ease Endres' transition.
"They really haven't changed their offense," Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said.
Said Edsall: "(Endres) has improved from game to game. If we keep people out of his face, and he takes what the defense gives him, I think he will continue to be very accurate."
Endres, a lifelong Pitt fan, passed for 2,450 yards and 20 touchdowns as a two-year starter at Trinity but never drew much interest from the Panthers, who were pursuing highly regarded Pat Bostick.
After Bostick committed, Pitt "wasn't in the market" for a quarterback, Wannstedt said. About a month later, Endres picked Connecticut over Ohio, Akron and Cincinnati.
"I was a little disappointed when (Pitt) went in a different direction," Endres said. "But I'm happy I'm here, and I'm excited to get a chance to play."
With UConn's top two quarterbacks injured last year, Endres went 1-1 as a starter, handing eventual Big East champion Cincinnati its lone conference loss and falling to West Virginia.
Endres didn't play in Pitt's 34-10 victory over host Connecticut last year. The Panthers made five interceptions, including two by linebacker Greg Williams. Frazer went 0 for 4 with three interceptions.
Even though Endres expects to have at least 20 friends and family in attendance for his first game at Heinz Field, Edsall said he doesn't expect the homecoming to be a distraction.
"You guys know Cody," Edsall told reporters. "You would never think he's from Pittsburgh. You would think he's from California. There's really nothing that bothers him."
John Grupp can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7930.
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