Still four days from strapping on his helmet and throwing on his white game jersey at Connecticut, Gardner is ready to make amends for his four-turnover performance last Saturday at home against Akron.
“I can’t wait,” Gardner said Wednesday. “This week has been so long and we’re only halfway through it. When you play bad the week moves so slow and when you play good it moves really (fast).
“I just can’t wait to get back onto the field. And then we have an 8 o’clock game so it’s going to make it even longer but we’ll be ready when we get on the field.”
Stepping off the podium after his post game press conference Saturday, Gardner went straight to the film room to painfully watch the Akron game and learn from his crucial mistakes, something he says he does after every game.
“On film we saw a lot of different factors that played into the decisions and the things that happened,” Gardner said. “So obviously it’s a lot different on film for anything, good plays or bad.”
“The fumble, I let the guy get a little too close. The screen play, nobody recognized it was man. And we couldn’t crack the linebacker where I threw an interception for a touchdown. Just small things that you just don’t see on the field.”
Outside of Ann Arbor quite a bit throughout the summer, Gardner spent a significant amount of time participating in various quarterback camps with some of the most talented players at his position across the country.
Still keeping in contact with some of those quarterbacks, Gardner says he heard from a few in recent weeks, including controversial Texas A&M signal caller Johnny Manziel.
“Johnny Manziel texted me and Tajh Boyd,” Gardner said. “I get a chance to talk to those guys and it’s really cool that they’re friends like that.
“When you have a good game, they texted me after Notre Dame, and also after a game like that just to keep my head up and keep moving forward.”
Moving forward is exactly what Gardner did following the win over Akron.
“The practice next day,” he said. “I made sure I completed every pass in practice on Sunday and that’s all it takes, you’ve got to move forward.”
Either way, Gardner is solely focused on UConn, eager to just play another game and get the bad taste out of his mouth.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Gardner said. “We’ve been talking about going on the road because obviously as of late we haven’t been a good road team and it’s going to be exciting.
“A prime time game and the whole world is going to be able to watch us redeem ourselves from a poor performance last week.”
To watch video of Gardner from Wednesday, press play below.