Bits and Bytes - UConn

Another long road trip for the Blue & Gold News crew motivates us to provide a few more bits of info (and an opinion or two) to help while away the last hours before the UConn game.






BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series: 2-0-0
Fri 10/20 8:00 p.m.
Hartford, Connecticut

Rentschler Field
Record: 6-0
USA/Coaches: 4th
Last Game
Syracuse W 41-17

Click for Hartford, Connecticut Forecast
Record: 3-3
USA/Coaches: NR
Last Game
Army W 21-7
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2006 Schedule
First Meeting: 2004
Last Meeting: 2005
Rosters/Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2006 Schedule

STREAKING

It's widely known that WVU can break its all-time consecutive wins mark (13) with a victory over UConn. But did you know (Sorry, ESPN) that West Virginia can also tie its longest every streak of wins on the road with a victory on Friday? The current mark is nine, set by the 1952-53 teams. Those squads, featuring some of the great players in Mountaineer history, also holds the consecutive regular season road win mark of 17, and was part of 30 straight conference wins (1952-1959).


KEEP A HANKIE IN YOUR POCKET

After leading the BIG EAST in fewest penalty yards in 2005 (47.2 per game), the Huskies are again excelling at avoiding yellow flags this year. In 2006, UConn again leads the BIG EAST with just 27 penalties on the year for 231 yards. Imagine how many more points WVU would score (and how fewer they would yield) with penalty totals such as that. Through six games, the Mountaineers have been showered with 47 flags for 487 yards.


STATS OF THE WEEK

Running back Steve Slaton has more than twice as many yards lost (47) this year as quarterback Patrick White (20). Of course, some of that has to do with White's low pass attempt numbers, but the sophomore quarterback has just two fewer touches (a combined 137 passing and rushing attempts) than Slaton (137 carries and catches).

In just two games, WVU has doubled its opponents' sack totals. The Mountaineers now have 11 sacks after starting out the season with a goose egg in the first four games. WVU, again with a nod to White's mobility, has yielded just five.


SCINTILLATING SCHEDULE?

The Huskies, quite rightly, are proud of their schedule, which is currently rated as the toughest in the nation by the NCAA. UConn's 12 opponents have a combined record of 51-22 (.699) thus far. UConn also comes out on top when the record is broken down to include just Division I-A contests, as that mark for UConn's 11 foes stands at 42-18 (.700).

BlueGoldNews.com
Game Info
WVU 5-0, 0-0
UConn 3-3, 0-1
Fri 10/20 8:00 p.m.
Rentschler Field
Series: WVU 2-0
TV: ESPN
BCS: WVU-5th Conn-69th
Harris Poll WVU 4th - Conn NR
Line: WVU -21.5
However, like many blurbs of this nature (and yes, that includes the Big East's out of conference record), looks can be deceiving. UConn's out of conference schedule of Rhode Island, Army, Navy, Wake Forest and Indiana wasn't high on anyone's list of killer schedules at the start of the season. That OOC slate was a good one for UConn at this point in the program's development, but who would have predicted at the time those games were scheduled (or even prior to this season) that Wake and Navy would be piling up wins, or that Army would be threatening to earn a bowl bid? On the surface, WVU's OOC slate of Maryland, ECU and Mississippi State, along with Eastern Washington and Marshall, would have appeared at least comparable prior to the season.

Of course, the NCAA's strength of schedule obviously doesn't mirror that of the computer systems in the BCS poll, but it is a fair reflection of how fickle the SOS can be.


…AND ONE MORE THING

Many strength of schedule ratings give credit for beating teams with lots of wins. But not many of them take into account the type of wins of the teams you play. For example, an SOS calculation might award a team a few percentage points for each win a beaten opponent has. But what if the wins that other team has includes Marshall, Florida Atlantic, Colorado and Duke? While some SOS calculations take that into account, others don't.


IT'S THE GAME, STUPID

Need an entertaining diversion while watching the contest? Keep track of the time the announcers actually talk about the game, as opposed to their various discussions on other topics.

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Game Links
GameDay Weather
Road Conditions
Conn Message Board
Conn Official Site
Conn Roster
Stadium Seating
Tailgating
If you are the sort that enjoys a libation during the contest, you could make it into a contest along the lines of "Hi, Bob!" (done to the Bob Newhart show). But for safety's sake, you'd better only play that for about a quarter or so. Rod Gilmore, one of the announcers for the contest, apparently considers broadcasts as his bully pulpit for anything he wants to talk about, to the exclusion of the action on the field. Can "The Rod Gilmore Show" be far behind?

It makes one yearn for another announcerless game. Perhaps we'll get lucky, see Trevor Matich get really mad and hurl Gilmore from the press box.


FORMULAIC

As I looked over the stats prior to this week's game, a thought struck me. Why isn't there a run efficiency rating?

Team and individual pass efficiency ratings are much better (although not perfect) ways of measuring quarterbacks, as simple yardage totals don't take many passing stats into account. Shouldn't running backs have the same thing? After all, a player with 40 carries for 160 yards probably shouldn't be rated above one with 20 carries for 157 yards, but that's what happens in all stat rankings right now.

The running efficiency rating should include yards per carry, fumble avoidance, touchdowns (including the yardage of each), and oh, whatever else seems reasonable to throw in there. Somebody needs to do this, because I don't have the time.


NEVER HAPPENED

In their brief series history, UConn and West Virginia have yet to play on a Saturday. UConn has never defeated West Virginia (0-2) or a Division I-A Top 25 team (0-7).

On the other hand, UConn has never lost a Big East home opener.


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