UConn vs. Georgia Tech Preview

Georgia Tech and the Huskies are looking for that one victory that will give the winner six victories and make the team bowl-eligible. Here's Scout.com's preview.

Both Connecticut and Georgia Tech enter Saturday's game with 5-3 records. Kickoff is 1:00 p.m. EST at the Yellowjackets' Bobby Dodd Stadium.

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CONNECTICUT
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INSIDE SLANT

Connecticut quarterback Dan Orlovsky has been impressive this season (193 of 299 for 2,363 yards and 17 TDs), but coach Randy Edsall still expressed concern over the senior's tendency for turnovers.

Orlovsky leads the Big East in passing, but has been intercepted 12 times.

"He's played against people this year, on a week in and week out basis, that we hadn't played in previous years," Edsall said. "I would love for him to cut down on his interceptions. He has to do the things to play within himself. I think Dan thinks he has to make plays for his team all the time."

Connecticut (5-3) will return from a week off to face Georgia Tech (5-3) in Atlanta on Saturday. The Huskies, however, lost games at Boston College and Syracuse earlier this season. Taking into consideration that Connecticut played six of its first seven games at home, the unfriendly road has become an issue.

But if Orlovsky takes care of the ball more efficiently and sophomore running back Cornell Brockington continues to decimate defenses, the Huskies should at least be competitive against a good ACC opponent.

And remember, Connecticut has won seven straight games in the month of November. The program's last such loss was a 56-7 defeat at Temple on Nov. 24, 2001.

NOTES, QUOTES

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE
Senior QB Dan Orlovsky leads the Big East's top-ranked passing offense (297.9 ypg.). Orlovsky has thrown for 17 touchdowns against 12 interceptions in eight games. The Huskies are averaging 30.5 points per game, second in the conference behind West Virginia.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE
The Huskies own the league's third-ranked scoring (23.1 ppg.) and second-ranked total (336.0 ypg.) defense. Alfred Fincher and Maurice Lloyd, both senior linebackers, have recorded 98 and 74 tackles, respectively.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"Maybe we snuck up on some people before. People really didn't know us. Now we don't have the chance to sneak up a anybody." -- Connecticut coach Randy Edsall, on his team's first season as a Big East member.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME
The Huskies are coming off a 42-30 loss at Syracuse on Oct. 30, while the Yellow Jackets won at North Carolina State last weekend, 24-14.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
RB Cornell Brockington -- The leading rusher in the Big East (111.8 ypg.) delivered 123 yards on the ground and a second-quarter touchdown at Syracuse.

QB Dan Orlovsky -- The senior completed 39 of 51 pass attempts for 445 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Syracuse on Oct. 30. Orlovsky, who was also intercepted twice, hit 10 different receivers.

ROSTER REPORT
Freshman TB Larry Taylor (ankle) may be available against Georgia Tech. DE Tyler King (broken leg) is out indefinitely.

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GEORGIA TECH
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INSIDE SLANT

A sixth victory needed to qualify for a bowl game is there for the taking for Georgia Tech this Saturday, but it won't come easy.

The Yellow Jackets (5-3, 4-3 ACC) face a much different Connecticut team in Atlanta than the one they beat 31-14 two years ago in Storrs, Conn.

"They have come a long way," coach Chan Gailey said of the Huskies, who have won 18 of 24 games since then. "They have improved tremendously. Most of them were sophomores two years ago, and now they are seniors, and that makes a huge difference. So they are really a different football team."

The Huskies also will be looking for a sixth victory to become bowl eligible.

The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 24-14 victory at North Carolina State in a game that greatly enhanced their postseason chances. With Virginia on Nov. 20 and a trip to Georgia finishing the season Nov. 27, the Jackets would have faced a nearly insurmountable task had they lost to the Wolfpack.

But the defense came up with big plays to make up for what had been a disappointing effort by the Jackets against Virginia Tech in their previous outing. CB Reuben Houston came up with two interceptions that set up two touchdowns.

"Our defense played great," Gailey said. "They pressured the quarterback well, got their hands on some balls and made some interceptions. We ran the ball well offensively and our kicking game was solid. Those were the positives."

NOTES, QUOTES

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE
The heart of the offense remains the running game. The Yellow Jackets are averaging 178.6 yards per game on the ground, but only 162.2 passing, having completed less than half (99-for-213) of their attempts with 15 interceptions.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE
After the fourth-quarter collapse against Virginia Tech, the defense got it back together against North Carolina State. The Yellow Jackets have 26 sacks for the season.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"I think that our guys realize how good Connecticut is. They look at their record and see who they have beaten and realize that it's a good group of people that they have won games against. When you evaluate that, knowing what is at stake for our team and their team, I think we all expect a tough football game on Saturday afternoon." -- Coach Chan Gailey, on how his players look at this week's foe, Connecticut

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME
The Yellow Jackets can't afford to take the Huskies lightly. UConn figures to challenge the Jackets' pass defense behind QB Dan Orlovsky (78 career touchdown passes).

PLAYERS TO WATCH
WR Calvin Johnson -- His one-handed grab on third down in a crucial drive against North Carolina State is still drawing raves. He is the man the Jackets look to down deep.

CB Reuben Houston -- Tech's linebackers get most of the attention, but Houston came up with two big interceptions against the Wolfpack last week.

ROSTER REPORT
TB P. J. Daniels (thigh bruise) remains doubtful and his backup, Chris Woods (hamstring) is out of the Connecticut game. That pretty much turns the workload over to Rashaun Grant, who ran for 122 yards coming off the bench at North Carolina State.


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