The No. 16 West Virginia Mountaineers open up the Big East portion of their 2011 schedule against the 2-3 Connecticut Huskies. The Mountaineers will be looking to avenge UCONN's 16-13 overtime win last season in East Hartford, the first time the Huskies have beaten the Mountaineers since the two schools began playing one another in 2004.
West Virginia is coming off a 55-10 win last Saturday over Bowling Green, increasing their record to 4-1 on the season. The Mountaineers will face a Huskies defense that ranks in the Top 10 against the run, but is 83rd against the pass. That's good news for West Virginia junior quarterback Geno Smith, who has thrown for 1,709 yards and 12 touchdowns through the first five games of the season. Smith's preferred targets this season have been junior inside receiver Tavon Austin, who has 35 receptions for 490 yards and a touchdown, and redshirt sophomore Stedman Bailey, who has 27 catches for 456 yards and three touchdowns. Bailey has established a school record with 100 yards receiving in each of the last three games.
Junior linebacker Sio Moore leads the Huskies defensive attack, ranking third with 28 tackles, eight of which have resulted in a loss, including 3.5 quarterback sacks. Senior defensive tackle Kendall Reyes has a team-high 9.5 tackles for a loss and four quarterback sacks. Offensively, redshirt freshman tailback Lyle McCombs helps move the chains with a team-high 608 all-purpose yards (502 rushing, 106 receiving) and five total touchdowns.
Game date, time: 12pm ET, Saturday, October 8, 2011
Location: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, West Virginia
TV channel: Big East Network / SNY in Connecticut
Spread: Mountaineers are favored by 20 points
Series history: Mountaineers lead, 6-1
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket and Connecticut blog The UCONN Blog. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.