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Paw Prints – West Virginia Mountaineers (5-2, 2-0) @ UConn Huskies (6-2, 2-1) Preview

Paw Prints - UConn Football

This week:

West Virginia Mountaineers @ UConn Huskies

The UConn Huskies will be looking for revenge from last season’s ass whooping at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers this Saturday at 12 Noon at Rentschler Field.

Here are the rosters for the Mountaineers and the Huskies.

The Line/Prediction:

According to Yahoo! Sports odds, the Mountaineers are favored by 4 points. The over/under is 44.5 points.

My prediction is UConn 27 West Virginia 24.

Tickets:

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.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Television:

The UConn vs. West Virginia game will be televised on the BIG EAST Network by ESPN Regional Television. It is UConn’s second-straight appearance on the package. Mike Gleason is on play-by-play while John Congemi is the color announcer. Quint Kessenich is on the sidelines. It will be shown locally in Connecticut on My-TV9 (WCTX).

Radio:

For the 16th 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 sidelines.

WTIC offers 10 hours of Husky football talk on home game Saturdays on WTIC’s powerful signal. Ray Dunaway, the popular co-host of WTIC’s morning drive show “Mornings with Ray & Diane,” and Scott Gray start things off at 5:30 a.m. live on Saturdays from Rentschler Field with “Ray at the Rent.” That tandem then yields to the duo of Arnold Dean and Kevin Nathan at 9:30 a.m. prior to the contest with “The Tailgate Show,” which runs for one hour followed by UConn Football Magazine with Bob Joyce from 10:30 a.m. until kickoff. Nathan will also serve as a features producer for “UConn Football Magazine,” the halftime show, and also play host to a post-game call-in show after home games with Joyce filling that role for road contests. 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.

West Virginia Radio: All Mountaineer football games are available on the Mountaineers Sports Network, Sirius Radio and online at MSNsportsNET.com.

West Virginia Mountaineers @ UConn Huskies

Last Week:

The UConn Huskies beat the Cincinnati Bearcats 40-16 while the West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the Auburn Tigers 34-17.

History:

Saturday’s game is the 5th meeting all-time for the Huskies and Mountaineers on the gridiron with WVU winning each of the previous four. With UConn’s win over Cincinnati last Saturday, West Virginia is the only Big East team that UConn has never defeated. The Mountaineers have won all 4 games by an average margin of 28 points.

Connections:

The UConn roster does not have any players from West Virginia on it as the WVU roster has no Connecticut natives.

UConn tackles, tight ends and special teams coach Dave McMichael served as an assistant coach at West Virginia from 1983-2000 under Don Nehlen, helping the Mountaineers to 11 bowl berths and six appearances in the final AP Top 25.

Other News:

Here are some quotes from the press conferences of UConn head coach Randy Edsall and West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart.

With their win last weekend, the Huskies are bowl eligible for the second straight season and 3rd time in 5 years.

In the latest set of polls, UConn is ranked No. 25 in the Bowl Championship Series Standings. The Huskies also received 30 points in the Associated Press poll, good for fifth in the also receiving votes category, and have 24 points in the USA Today poll, good for sixth in the ARV category.

The Huskies are presently riding an 11-game winning streak at Rentschler Field and have won those games by an average margin of 20.5 ppg.

Here’s the categories where UConn is in the top 30 in the latest NCAA statistics:

Rushing Offense – 17th at 214.13
Rushing Defense – 16th at 102.86
Pass Eff. Def. – 19th at 103.57
Total Defense – 24th at 302.25
Scoring Defense – 20th at 17.13
Punt Returns – 33rd at 11.71 (First in Big East)
Turnover Margin – 38th at 0.50 (First in Big East)
Interceptions – t12th with 12 (First in Big East)
Turnovers Gained – t26th with 17 (First in Big East)
Sacks – t29th with 2.38
Sacks Allowed – t18th at 1.13

UConn junior running back Donald Brown currently leads the nation in rushing yards at 165.50 yards per game. Javon Ringer of Michigan State is second at 152.56 per game and Shonn Greene of Iowa is next at 144.25. The next Big East Conference performer is Noel Devine who is ninth at 129.29.

Brown is also tied for fourth in the country in scoring at 10.50 points per game. He is fourth in all-purpose running at 179.50.

Donald Brown is the leading rusher and scorer in the Big East, is sixth in total offense and also first in all-purpose yards (175.4) per game.

Donald Brown’s 29 rushing touchdowns places him third in school history. Wilbur Gilliard (1992-95) leads the way with 34 and Terry Caulley (2002-06) is second with 31.

Brown now has 566 career rushing attempts, which places him second in school history. Caulley is the leader with 570.

Brown now has 3,041 career rushing yards, which is already second in school history. Caulley is the leader with 3,187.

In 2008, the UConn scoring defense is ranked 20th in the country and second in the Big East at 17.13 points per game and is 24th in the nation and second in the Big East in total defense, giving up just 302.25 yards per game.

UConn sophomore Scott Lutrus currently leads the Huskies in tackles with 60 and also had an interception and five pass break-ups this year.

Husky senior defensive end Cody Brown has seven sacks on the season for a total loss of 42 yards. He is second in the Big East in that category and is 17th in the NCAA.

He is fifth in the Big East in total tackles for loss (1.19 per game) and 43rd in the country.

UConn sophomore cornerback Jasper Howard is also the Huskies punt returner. He currently is first in the Big East in punt returns with an average of 12.62 yards per return, which is also good for 21st in the country.

Bill Stewart sees a little of former West Virginia coach Don Nehlen’s teams in the Huskies.

Randy Edsall can’t explain UConn’s success at Rentschler Field.

Even with Rich Rodriguez gone this season, the Mountaineers still rely on Pat White.

Rob Lunn, Keith Gray and Cody Brown have gotten more than an education at UConn.

Saturday’s game against West Virginia has major bowl implications.

D.J. Hernandez has made the adjustment to wide receiver for the Huskies.

West Virginia is in elite company when it comes to opponent’s average yardage on kickoff returns.

Randy Edsall is not tipping his cap as to who will start at QB tomorrow.

Who has the edge in the game? West Virginia or UConn?

West Virginia’s season may hinge on how they do against UConn.

West Virgina’s offense is finally starting to click on all cylinders.

The Huskies youngsters dug deep in the 2nd half against Cincinnati.

Brian Bennett of ESPN.com has 10 things to watch for in the Big East games this weekend. UConn and West Virginia are in the top 3.

Next Week:

The Huskies are off next week and will return to action on November 15th when they head to Syracuse to take on the Orange at the Carrier Dome.