Mistakes, Too Much White Doom Huskies

MORGANTOWN, W.V. -- The University of Connecticut football team took its best shot at the Big East title on Saturday night, but there were a little too many turnovers and way too much Patrick White

UConn's dreams of a Big East title came to a bitter and devastating end as White and the No. 3 Mountaineers rolled up 624 yards of total offense in a 66-21 pummeling of the No. 20 Huskies before 59,701 at Milan Puskar Stadium.

White showcased why he could be the Heisman Trophy winner running for a season-high 186 yards and two touchdowns while also adding 107 yards passing and one touchdown.

White dominated play and helped set up things for freshmen Noel Devine (118 yards) and Steve Slaton (51 yards). The Mountaineers had 511 yards rushing.

"I am not going to say there is anybody better than him. I think he is and gets my vote," UConn coach Randy Edsall said. "We had guys in position to make plays, and he has tremendous athleticism who makes moves that we couldn't make. I haven't seen one better in the country than him."

The Huskies will now wait their bowl bid. The Sun Bowl, which was leaning away from the Huskies, is probably out and the likely spots for UConn are the Meinike Car Care Bowl in Charlotte and the International Bowl in Toronto.

The Huskies have been atop the Big East all season long, but have lost to of its last three games, both losses on the road, by a combined score of 93-24.

Edsall isn't worried about the bowl scouts however.

"That is their decision. It is not my decision and I don't have any say," Edsall said. "We are 9-3 and finished second in the Big East and we did a lot. Anything above that, I don't have any control over. I just know we are going somewhere and we will play and we will enjoy it."

The Mountaineers blew the doors off UConn scoring 42 unanswered in the second half before a garbage time touchdown by Anthony Davis. It was as explosive and as overwhelming as the final score indicates.

It started early in the third quarter when White made mince meat of the UConn defense with a 24-yard touchdown run and it never stopped.

The Mountaineers added a 25-yard touchdown run from Noel Devine for a 38-14 lead and the quarter was capped off by a fumble by Lorenzen in the endzone that was recovered by Reed Williams.

The Mountaineers started to peel off yards and chunks and the game got out of hand quickly. White danced and sliced his way to 128 yards rushing in the second quarter, and the Mountaineers had 266 alone in the third to put the game away in 15 minutes of time.

The Mountaineers scored on the first lay of the fourth quarter capped by a Slaton 3-yard touchdown, and that ended White and the rest of the Mountaineers nights. It was 52-14, and UConn was left wondering what had just happened.

"I can't even tell you, man, I got to look at the tape and figure it out tomorrow," tackle Dan Davis said. "We didn't win, tackle, or score. That is what happened."

Things started out so well for the Huskies.

The Huskies opened up on the right foot going 92 yards on the opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. It went down hill from there.

West Virginia answered quickly with White finding Darius Reynard for a 49-yard completion. White capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run and the Mountaineers were off to the races.

The (9-3, 5-2) then started to make mistakes, which can't happen against WVU (10-1, 5-1). Jasper Howard, who was in along with Larry Taylor on punt returns, tried to return a punt inside the 15-yard line and had the ball stripped from him. White found Reynard on the next play for a 14-7 West Virginia lead.

West Virginia added a field goal to go up 17-7 in the second quarter, when the Huskies turnover got them again. Driving inside the Mountaineers 40, Tyler Lorenzen had the ball stripped with West Virginia recovering at its own 40.

On third down a 10 from the 40, White did his Houdini act scrambling for 29 yards. On the next play Steve Slaton came off tackle for a 31-yard score and it was 24-7.

The Huskies showed some guts on the next possession however. Donald Brown broke free for a 44-yard gain and Brown capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run for the Huskies. Brown had 118 of his 129 yards in the first half.

It was 24-14 at the half and the Huskies were feeling good. They had outgained the Mountaineers 261-200 in the first half and had what seemed to be gaining momentum.

How quickly it came apart in the third quarter however.

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