Key Moment: WVU-UConn

After a sluggish first half, West Virginia's offense ignited with three big third quarter touchdowns. Key to the setup for one of those scores was a young defender's bounceback play -- one that earned our selection as the key moment in WVU's 35-13 win over Connecticut.

Following three non-scoring possessions in the second half, West Virginia took the lead on a six-yard Jock Sanders touchdown reception to take its first lead of the game at 14-13. But after yet another shaky kickoff coverage adventure, WVU saw Connecticut set up very nicely with the ball at its own 36-yard line. One play later, the Huskies had a second and four at their own 42, and appeared to be setting up another scoring drive that would put the game into a seesaw scoring affair.

However, UConn quarterback Cody Endres proceeded to overthrow his intended receiver, and the ball was picked off by Mountaineer cornerback Brandon Hogan. Not only did he make the pick, but he proceeded to return the miscue 24 yards to the Connecticut 33-yard line. Thus established, WVU took just four plays to score, as Sanders scooted around left end for his second tally of the quarter. That put the Mountaineers up 24-13 and firmly in control of the game.

Hogan's play served as a great recovery from a second quarter mental mistake, when he committed a third down pass interference infraction on UConn running back Jordan Todman, who had no chance to catch the ball and was well short of the first down marker. Hogan, however, was able to shake off the mistake and produce the biggest play of the game.

"You have to have a short memory at cornerback," Hogan said as he echoed the mantra of defensive backs everywhere. "I was able to just make a play and help the team."

One apsect of the play, perhaps overlooked, was the rush of linebacker Mortty Ivy. He blitzed Endres on the play, and although he was unable to get to the quarterback, he leaped high and got both arms up in the passing lane. Endres appeared to be bothered by the high-flying Ivy, and uncorked a pass that sailed over the head of his intended receiver. It landed in the waiting arms of Hogan, whose return kept WVU's third quarter barrage of points rolling. In a little more than five minutes, West Virginia secured its spot atop the Big East and kept the inside track for another league championship.

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