UConn Faces Desperate Syracuse

What happens when the nations leading rusher goes against the worst rushing defense in the Big East? We may find out after all on Saturday night in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse.

UConn (6-3,2-2) and Donald Brown will take his 1,400 plus yards and 15 touchdowns to Syracuse Saturday when the Huskies play a critical Big East game at Syracuse at 7p.m.

Syracuse (2-7, 1-4) is last in the Big East but that gives no solace to UConn coach Randy Edsall,a Syracuse alum. The Huskies have lost three of four and Edsall doesn't want to take the Orange for granted.

"They are playing very hard, the record could be better than what it is," Edsall warned. "They had Pittsburgh 24-13 third quarter, they just couldn't finish. They played West Virginia pretty tough (lost 17-6). They had South Florida tied at halftime, beat Louisville, and jumped up on Rutgers 14-0."

To prevent an upset the best strategy may be to give it to Brown and get out of the way.

Brown has 1,406 yards and 15 touchdowns this season and is now 65 yards away from breaking Terry Caulley's career rushing mark of 3,187. Brown has been named to three prestigious watch lists in the last two weeks including Maxwell Award (Player of Year), Doak Walker (top running back) and also the Walter Camp Foundation Award (Player of the Year).

The nations' leading rusher at 156 yards per game figures to set the school record tonight when he goes against a Syracuse team that is last in the Big East against the run. The Orange give up a whopping 203 yards per game on the ground and have surrendered at least 200 yards rushing in seven of nine games.

When Brown was told of the record his eyes lit up for a moment as he sat silently trying not to say anything that could appear on Syracuse's bulletin board.

"I didn't know that," Brown said laughing, and his eyes lighting up.

The Huskies have run the ball at will save for the second half against Rutgers and would like nothing better than for Brown to dominate action Saturday.

Robinson knows he is going to have his hands full with Brown.

"He's made a step in real growth. I've always thought he was fast, really quick and a nifty-type runner," Robinson said at his weekly press conference. "The thing I see now is that there's a power factor, a more explosive runner this year than I think in years past. You can tell he's gone the extra mile as far as his physical development."

Three's a crowd

Edsall has remained as stubborn as a mule about who will start at quarterback for the Huskies. He has likely made a decision already, but continues to maintain it will be a gametime decision.

The candidates are senior Tyler Lorenzen (out since Sept.26 with broken right foot), sophomore Zach Frazer (out since Oct.18 with a head injury) and redshirt freshman Cody Endres, who was 1-1 in two starts.

When asked about Lorenzen's availability on Thursday Edsall responded – "I don't know."

Edsall talked glowingly about Lorenzen's leadership skills during Tuesday's weekly media press conference and all indications are he will play if he is healthy.

Frazer made two starts before he went down with a head injury. He has been out the previous two games, but added with the bye week is cleared and ready to play.

"The quarterback situation is something that will happen before the game. That is where it's at and that is where it is," Edsall said. "I don't know. It's still Cody and Zach or Zach and Cody. However you want to put it."

Lorenzen is 14-4 as a starter had engineered the Huskies to a 5-0 record before breaking his right foot. The Huskies have lost three of four since Lorenzen went down.

Husky Notes

*Subbing for the injured Darius Butler will be junior Robert McClain. Moving into the third cornerback is senior Terry Baltimore with Gary Wilburn in reserve. Replacing Butler on kickoffs will be freshman Jordan Todman.

*Look for more action for sophomore MLB Greg Lloyd. Lloyd has been off the field for much of the last two games against the spread offenses of Cincinnati and West Virginia if favor of safety Aaron Bagsby as the Huskies used another defensive back. Syracuse uses a much more conventional offense.

* The health at defensive tackle is as good as it is going to get this season. Edsall has said that defensive tackles Alex Polito, Kendall Reyes and Rob Lunn are all back to health and will play on Saturday. Freshman Twyon Martin has impressed at defensive tackle when given the chance this season and will remain a big part of the rotation.

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