Rentschler Field (40,000/Natural Grass)
East Hartford, Conn
ESPN - Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore
West Virginia Radio
Mountaineer Sports Network
Sirius 122; XM 143
BIG EAST/ISP Sports Network
John Rooke and Peter Brock
WTIC-AM 1080 (flagship)
Sirius 121; XM 141
The Connecticut-West Virginia series began in 2004, the Huskies’ first year in the BIG EAST … West Virginia has gone 6-0 in the series, including three wins at Rentschler Field … The first four matchups were all decided by at least 12 points, but last year’s meeting in Morgantown, W.Va., saw the Mountaineers rally for a 28-24 win on a 56-yard touchdown run by RB Noel Devine with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter … Devine finished that game with 178 rushing yards on 23 carries.
WEST VIRGINIA (5-2, 1-1 BIG EAST)
Bill Stewart (Fairmont State ’75)
23-10, third season at West Virginia
31-35, sixth year as collegiate head coach
West Virginia looks to stay above .500 in the BIG EAST standings after the Mountaineers dropped a 19-14 decision to Syracuse last Saturday in Morgantown … The Mountaineers have not dropped back-to-back games since they fell in the second and third weeks of the 2008 season … West Virginia is receiving votes in all three national polls after falling from the top 25 in all three … West Virginia’s calling card has been a stout defense that has not allowed more than 21 points in a game this season. The Mountaineers rank fourth nationally in total defense (245.9 ypg) and sixth in scoring defense (13.3 ppg) while leading the BIG EAST in both categories. RB Noel Devine, who has been slowed by nagging injuries, has rushed for 626 yards and four touchdowns. QB Geno Smith has thrown for 1,536 yards and 15 touchdowns with five interceptions. WR Jock Sanders is third in the BIG EAST in receptions (5.6 per game), while WR Tavon Austin is fourth (5.3 per game). CB Keith Tandy is tied for the BIG EAST lead with four interceptions. DE Bruce Irvin has registered five sacks, while LB Najee Goode has three. S Terence Garvin has a team-high 45 tackles.
CONNECTICUT (3-4, 0-2 BIG EAST)
Randy Edsall (Syracuse ’80)
69-69, 12th season
Connecticut looks to snap a two-game slide that has left the Huskies at 0-2 in BIG EAST play. Connecticut is 3-0 at home and 0-4 on the road this season. The Huskies have averaged 49 points in their three home games, but have managed just 12.5 points in the four road games. The Huskies have had three different starting quarterbacks this season with QB Michael Box getting the nod last week at Louisville. Box has completed 6 of 17 passes for 65 yards with one interception. RB Jordan Todman was held to 80 yards against Louisville, marking the first time this season he was held to double figures, but he still ranks fifth nationally in rushing at 140.2 yards per game … Todman has rushed for 841 yards and eight touchdowns this season … WR Michael Smith and WR Kashif Moore have 24 receptions each and the two have combined for five touchdown catches. LB Lawrence Wilson leads the BIG EAST in tackles (11.1 per game). DE Jesse Joseph has registered 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. CB Dwayne Gratz has a BIG EAST-leading seven pass breakups.