Bits & Bytes: West Virginia - Connecticut

Tired of Thanksgiving fare already? Feast on these tasty tidbits as you prepare for the BCS showdown between the Mountaineers and the Huskies. Game Scorecard
Series: WVU 3-0-0
Sat 11/24/07 3:30 PM
Morgantown, WV

Milan Puskar Stadium
Record: 9-1
BCS: 3rd
Last Game
Rutgers W 31-3

Click for Piscataway, New Jersey Forecast
Record: 9-2
BCS : 20th
Last Game
Syracuse W 30-7
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2007 Schedule
First Meeting: 2004
Last Meeting: 2006
Press Release
Season Stats
2007 Schedule

RACE TO 1,000

Although it doesn't have an impact on the outcome of Saturday's game, it will be interesting to see which Mountaineer – Patrick White or Steve Slaton – reaches the 1,000-yard rushing mark first. Going into the UConn game, Slaton (988) and White (958) are very close to that benchmark. White and Slaton crossed each cross 1,000 yards rushing last year, marking the 38th time it has happened in NCAA history.

When both reach the barrier, it will mark just the fourth time in NCAA history, and the first time in the Big East, that teammates have rushed for at least 1,000 yards apiece in consecutive seasons.


UConn has not won an outright conference championship in football since its 1973 Yankee Conference title. The rewards for a win over West Virginia this year would obviously be much greater.


UConn has scored on its opening drive in seven of its 11 games this Year, and is 7-0 in those contests. That should prove for an interesting opening segment of the game, as West Virginia routinely defers its choice until the second half when winning the coin toss. Although all of those UConn score's didn't come on the game's first possession, it's again likely that the Huskies will have the ball first. Which team will get the early edge?


While Cincinnati has received a great deal of notice for its ability to score defensively, it's actually UConn that has the best mark in the Big East for such touchdowns. The Huskies have notched a school-record eight times this year on either defense or special teams, the third most of any school in the nation. Connecticut has five interception returns for touchdowns this year, two kickoff returns for scores and one punt return for a touchdown. That total trails only Wake Forest (10) and Hawaii (nine) nationally. Cincinnati has six.


With his next touchdown run or pass, Patrick White will pass Rasheed Marshall on the career "Touchdowns Responsible For" list. The two quarterbacks are tied with 69 scores each.


Part of the reason for Connecticut's defensive solidity has been its consistency in getting the same faces on the field week in and week out. The same 11 Huskies have started all 11 games on defense. UConn is the only school in the nation to start the same 11 players on defense for every game this year. By comparison, West Virginia has had 15 players with one or more starting assignments on defense this year.


UConn's media guide strikes a nice balance between promotion and information, and could serve as a model for some schools that lean too much toward the former. The guide does a good job of presenting the UConn program in its inital pages, but that quickly gives way to a well-packaged section of information on the team and coaches. Historical information is also included to the extent possible within the NCAA-mandated limit of 208 pages, and the pages at the end devoted to administrators and Storrs' proximity to the metro Boston and New York areas aren't too intrusive.

The guide also includes some nice features, such as a breakdown of the roster by class and position in a grid-style chart, and some interesting miscellaneous statistics that typically don't make it into guides, such as margins of victory and the like. Overall, the UConn Guide shows that you don't have to be flashy or over the top to get the point across to multiple audiences.

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