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Paw Prints – Syracuse Orange (4-7, 1-5) @ UConn Huskies (5-5, 1-4) Preview

Paw Prints 2009 UConn Football

This week:
Syracuse Orange vs UConn Huskies football

After an emotional win  last Saturday over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the UConn Huskies return home to the friendly comforts of Rentschler Field to take on the Syracuse Orange Saturday at 12:00 p.m. A win on Saturday would make the Huskies bowl eligible.

Here are the rosters for the Orange and the Huskies.

The Line/Prediction:

According to Rivals.com, the Huskies are 13.5 point favorites and the over/under is 47. My prediction is UConn 31 Syracuse 14.


The game is sold-out.

Getting To The Game:

Here is link for the weather report. Here is all the parking info you will need for the game, this link includes directions to Rentschler Field. Here is a Rentschler Field seating chart.

The parking lots will open up 4 hours before kickoff. Here is a list of the tailgating rules at the Rent. And some alternative tailgating rules can be found here.



Saturday’s game will be televised by the BIG EAST Network as the BIG EAST Game of the Week and will be seen throughout the Northeast, Midwest and Southern portions of the country. Mike Gleason is on play-by-play while John Congemi is on color and Quint Kessenich is on sidelines.

The game will be seen locally on MyTV9-WCTX and also on SNY. Other large market live clearances include WCVB-TV in Boston, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, Altitude Sports in Denver, WTTV-TV in Indianapolis, WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, WMLW-TV in Milwaukee, WHAS-TV in Louisville and Cox Sports New England in Providence.


For the 18th consecutive season, WTIC 1080-AM in Hartford serves as the flagship station for the UConn Radio Network. WTIC is the state’s only 50,000 watt signal and can be heard in 23 states and parts of Canada. Veteran UConn announcers Joe D’Ambrosio (play-by-play) and Wayne Norman (color commentary) return to call the action with Kevin Nathan on the side lines and Eric Davis on production.

The UConn pregame show begins 90 minutes prior to kickoff, while home games, the UConn Tailgate Show will air two and a half hours prior to the game with Arnold Dean. UConn football games are also broadcast over the internet at WTIC.com. For a full list of stations on the WTIC/UCONN radio network, click here.

Syracuse Radio

Voice of the Orange Matt Park ‘97 and former Orange All-American tight end Chris Gedney ‘93 call the game action and Brian Higgins ‘04 provides sideline reports. Higgins also hosts the pre-game and postgame shows. Former Orange head coach Dick MacPherson provides insight and analysis during the pre- and post-game shows and at halftime. TK-99.5 FM is the flagship for the ISP Sports Network.The Syracuse ISP Sports Network covers New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Pennsylvania. SU game broadcasts are also available on SIRIUS/XM satellite radio (channel 122/203).

Randy Edsall (L), Andre Dixon (LC), Greg Paulus (RC), Doug Marrone(R)

Last Week:

The UConn Huskies beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 33-30 in double overtime while the Syracuse Orange upset then No. 25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 31-13.


Saturday’s game is the sixth meeting all-time between UConn and Syracuse with the series dating back to UConn joining the BIG EAST Conference in 2004. UConn leads the series by a 3-2 count and won last year at Syracuse. The previous four meetings were all won by the home team.


  • UConn head coach Randy Edsall is a 1980 Syracuse graduate and served as an assistant coach for the Orange from 1980-90. Edsall’s wife, Eileen, is also a Syracuse graduate who played basketball and volleyball there.
  • UConn running backs coach Terry Richardson played for Syracuse from 1989-93 and was given the honor of wearing the coveted number 44 as a senior.
  • UConn defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos was a graduate assistant coach for Syracuse during the 1992 and 1993 seasons.
  • UConn strength and conditioning coordinator Jerry Martin is a 1978 Syracuse graduate and a four-year letterman for the Orange.
  • The Huskies have five native New Yorkers — Brandon Dillon is from Rochester, Kevin Poles is from Penfield, Yianni Apostolakos is from Pittsford, Mike Cox is from West Hempstead and Shamar Stephen is from Brookville.
  • The Orange do not have any Connecticut natives on their roster.
  • SU senior linebacker Mike Stenclik and sophomore tailback Averin Collier and Connecticut senior defensive tackle Brandon Dillion and junior wide receiver Kevin Poles are from Rochester, N.Y.
  • Orange defensive backs Dorian Graham and Kevyn Scott and Connecticut freshman wide receiver Dwayne Difton played for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • SU cornerback Phillip Thomas and UConn cornerback Jasper Howard, who passed away in October, played for Miami Edison High School

Other News:

Here are some quotes from UConn head coach Randy Edsall’s press conference as well as quotes from Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone’s press conference.

UConn’s five losses this year have been by a combined 15 points and the Huskies have held fourth quarter leads in four of the five of the game.

  • Sept. 12 vs. North Carolina: UConn led 10-0 after three quarters, but gave up 12 fourth quarter points for the loss. The Tar Heels scored the winning points on a safety when UConn was called for holding in the endzone.
  • Oct. 10 vs. Pittsburgh: UConn led 21-3 late in the third quarter. Pittsburgh scored a TD with 12 seconds left in the third quarter and added a TD and field goal as time expired for the win.
  • Oct. 24 vs. West Virginia: UConn led 17-14 at halftime and took a 24-21 lead with 3:50 to go in the fourth on an 88-yard TD play. West Virginia came right back and scored on a 56-yard running play with 2:10 to go for the win.
  • Oct. 31 vs. Rutgers: UConn led 24-21 after taking their first lead of the game with 38 seconds to go. Rutgers scored on an 81-yard pass play for the 28-24 win.
  • Nov. 7 vs. Cincinnati: This time a UConn comeback falls short. UConn trailed 30-10 at the half and 37-17 with 7:03 to go in the third. UConn then outscored the Bearcats 19-3, but failed on a two-point conversation with 5:03 to go that would have tied the game at 40-40. The two teams then traded touchdowns for the 47-45 final.

Here are the categories where UConn is in the top 30 in the 2009 NCAA statistics:

  • Net Punting 17th at 38.29 (Third in BIG EAST)
  • Punt Returns 33rd at 11.45 (Third in BIG EAST)
  • Kickoff Returns 10th at 25.86 (Second in BIG EAST)
  • Sacks 32nd at 2.00 (Fourth in BIG EAST)

In addition, Jordan Todman is 32nd in the country in rushing yards per game at 95.60 while Andre Dixon is 44th at 84.40. Robert McClain is tied for 25th in interceptions at 0.40 per game along with teammate Robert Vaughn. Desi Cullen is 22nd in punting, and third in the BIG EAST, at 43.53 yards. Lindsey Witten is tied for third in sacks at 1.15 per game. Lawrence Wilson is fourth in tackles.

The picks, Turkey Day edition [Chip Malafronte – New Haven Register]

Turkey Day FB leftovers [Neill Ostrout – Connecticut Post]

Orange, Huskies try to finish strong [The Post-Standard]

Ansonia’s Kuraczea of UConn a question mark for Syracuse [Connecticut Post]

Coach Edsall Says Teggart Must Focus On Mechanics [Hartford Courant]

Next Week:

It’s Senior Day at Rentschler Field as the Huskies seniors will be honored before the game against the South Florida Bulls. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.