Wed 10/13, 7:30
AP Rank: 16
Last Game: VT
Returning Starters: 16
AP Rank: NR
Last Game: Pitt
Returning Starters: 16
Last Meeting: None
IN A PINCH, THEY'LL TURN TO FINCH(ER)
UConn linebacker Alfred Fincher's importance to the UConn defense can't be underestimated. The senior linebacker has won three game balls for his play on the defensive unit so far this year, and he roams the field for the Huskies in much the same manner that Grant Wiley did for WVU last year.
While many fans may be ready to pronounce the Husky defense severely crippled by the loss of defensive lineman Tyler King, those in the know say that Fincher might be even more important to the stop troops.
LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
This week's overlooked performance resides on the defensive side of the ball. With all the attention focused on the offense's problems, the improved play of the defense has gone unnoticed. Do you realize that the Mountaineers have permitted only one offensive touchdown in its last three games? Only Maryland has been able to pierce the WVU goal line, and it took a great leaping grab in the end zone in order to do so.
Both teams have enjoyed a great deal of success in night games. UConn is 9-2 all-time in home games at night, although only one of those occurred at Rentschler Field. The Huskies played ten home games with portable lights at Memorial Stadium in Storrs, and went 8-2 in those contests. UConn won their only night game to date at Rentschler, defeating Pitt in their most recent game.
Under Rich Rodriguez, the Mountaineers are 8-3 after sunset.
HIS TURN TO SHINE
With both Kay Jay Harris and Jason Colson battling injuries, this game could be Bryan Wright's chance to leap into the spotlight for the Mountaineers. While Wright has already made a major contribution to WVU's fortunes this year, he could, if healthy, be the focal point of the WVU attack on Wednesday. There's no doubt that Bryan can get the job done - he's small but shifty, and his patented spin move has left more than one tackler grasping for air as they attempt to get a handle on him. I'm not sure where it's coming from, but I have a feeling that Wright might play a big role in the contest.
Anyone think Rich Rodriguez, as well as other Big East coaches, might be a little steamed that UConn mentor Randy Edsall makes more money than any other coach in the league? Just asking.
Chris Henry might not even be the most productive wideout with the name Henry on the field on Wedensday. UConn wideout Keron Henry is putting up excellent numbers (5.8 receptions and 81 yard receiving per game), and is putting out maximum effort on every play. West Virginia needs the same sort of performance from its Henry in order to come away with a win.
RECURRING .500 ITEM
This week's even record that must be toppled: WVU is 18-18-1 all-time on ESPN.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
While UConn is undoubtedly happy to have this game at home, being away from Mountaineer Field after last week's loss might be a good thing for WVU as well. With fans that would likely be poised to boo at the hint of a poor play, it's probably better for the Mountaineers to be on the road, where the diehards that make the trip are much more likely to offer support, especially in the face of adversity.