Carrier Dome (49,262/FieldTurf)
Friday, October 19 • 8 p.m. • ESPN
ESPN/WatchESPN — Carter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore and Jemele Hill
WTIC-AM 1080 (flagship)
Sirius 92; XM 192
Saturday’s game will be the ninth meeting between Connecticut and Syracuse in a series that began in 2004 … Connecticut holds a 6-2 series lead and has won five straight against the Orange … The teams have split four meetings at the Carrier Dome … Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni, who was Syracuse’s head coach from 1991-2004, returns to the Carrier Dome for the first time against his old team … Last year’s meeting saw Connecticut QB Scott McCummings rush for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in the Huskies’ 28-21 win at Rentschler Field.
CONNECTICUT (3-4, 0-2 BIG EAST)
Paul Pasqualoni (Penn State ’72)
8-11, second season at Connecticut
149-87-1, 21st season as collegiate head coach
Connecticut fell to 3-4 with a 17-14 loss in overtime against Temple last Saturday … After alternating wins and losses through the first six games, Connecticut looks to snap its first losing streak of the season … The Huskies lead the BIG EAST and rank sixth nationally in total defense (261.0 yards per game) … Connecticut is 13th nationally in rushing defense (99.4 ypg) and eighth in pass defense (161.6 ypg) … Individually, DE Trevardo Williams is the BIG EAST leader in sacks (7.5, 1.1per game), while LB Yawin Smallwood leads the league in tackles (75, 10.7 tpg) and tackles for loss (11.0, 1.6 per game) … QB Chandler Whitmer has completed 119 of 205 passes for 1,535 yards and six touchdowns, but has a league-high 10 interceptions … RB Lyle McCombs is fourth in the BIG EAST in rushing (80.7 ypg), but he missed last week’s game against Temple with an arm injury … WR Geremy Davis has 25 receptions for 370 yards and a touchdown, while TE Ryan Griffin has a team-high two touchdown catches.
SYRACUSE (2-4, 1-1 BIG EAST)
Doug Marrone (Syracuse ’91)
19-24, fourth season
Syracuse fell to 1-1 in BIG EAST play with last Saturday’s 23-15 loss at Rutgers… After averaging 32.7 points in its first three games, Syracuse has averaged 13.0 points in its last three … Syracuse leads the BIG EAST in passing offense (310.4 yards per game) and is ranked 17th nationally in that category … The Orange rank 115th of 120 teams nationally in turnover margin (-1.67 per game) … QB Ryan Nassib is the BIG EAST individual leader in passing (318.0 ypg) … Nassib has thrown for 1,908 yards and 11 touchdowns on 162-of-250 passing … WR Marcus Sales leads the league with an average of 90.8 yards per game … Sales has 37 receptions for 545 yards and five touchdowns … RB Jerome Smith (59.2 ypg) and RB Prince-Tyson Gulley (36.2 ypg) have split time in the backfield … LB Siriki Diabate has made a team-high 44 tackles and has four tackles for loss … DE Brandon Sharpe has 5.5 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss … Three of Syracuse’s first six opponents have been ranked in the top 25 during the 2012 season.