November 24, 2007

WVU wins Big East title

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The Big East title safely tucked away in a championship rout of Connecticut, West Virginia University's third-ranked Mountaineers stand one victory away from the BCS championship game.

Using their speed and depth and a heroic performance from quarterback Patrick White, who is running his way into the Heisman Trophy race, the Mountaineers ran around and through UConn to take their fourth title in the last five years by a rather ridiculous 66-21 score before a sellout crowd of 59,701 at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.

With No. 1 LSU having been upset by Arkansas, 50-48, in triple overtime on Friday night, WVU is in line to play for the national title if it can win the 100th renewal of the Backyard Brawl against Pitt next Saturday night.

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UConn caught in WVU speed trap

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University took a big step -- and a very fast one -- toward the BCS championship game Saturday as the Mountaineers caught Connecticut in a speed trap and raced to a 66-14 victory in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated.

The victory clinched WVU's fourth Big East championship in the last five years, but more important put it at the doorstep of the championship game.

WVU previously had two shots at a potential national title, first in 1988 when it lost to Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl and tghen in 1993 when it lost to Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Both times the Mountaineers were undefeated entering the game.

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WVU speeds toward title

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia turned on the speed in the second half and was on the verge of winning it's fourth Big East title in five years, leading Connecticut, 52-14, before a sellout crowd at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium early in the fourth quarter.

A victory over Pitt next week in the annual Backyard Brawl would launch WVU into the BCS championship game, thanks to Arkansas' 50-48 upset of No. 1 LSU on Friday night.

Both Patrick White and Noel Devine had gone past 100 yards, White reaching a season high with 186 yards through the third quarter. White had run for two touchdowns and passed for one. Steve Slaton added two touchdowns while Darius Reynaud and Devine, a true freshman, had one each.

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WVU closes in on Big East title

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia moved to within a half of the Big East championship as it shook off an early Connecticut touchdown to snatch a 24-14 halftime lead before a sold out crowd at Milan Puskar Stadium at Mountaineer Field.

The winner of the game would win the Big East title. With Arkansas' stunning 50-48 upset of No. 1 LSU in triple overtime on Friday night, WVU is in position to play in the national championship game with victories over Connecticut and arch-rival Pitt in next Saturday's Backyard Brawl.

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WVU fights back

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Stunned when Connecticut went 93 yards with its opening drive to take a 7-0 lead in a game that had the Big East championship riding on it, West Virginia's third-ranked Mountaineers came roaring back with a pair of touchdowns to grab a 14-7 at the end of the first quarter Saturday before a sellout crowd at Mountaineer Field.

Arkansas' triple overtime upset of No. 1 LSU on Friday night opened the door for WVU to give them a chance at making it to the BCS championship game by beating UConn and arch-rival Pitt in next week's Backyard Brawl.

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A wild beginning

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University's No. 3-ranked football team, given a shot to reach the national championship game thanks to Arkansas' thrilling triple overtime victory over LSU on Friday night, was stunned early by a University of Connecticut early, roared back on its first possess to score and tie the game that will decide the Big East championship, 7-7.

Uconn put together one of the strangest drives of the season on its first possession, overcoming three penalties. Starting at its own 7, UConn went 93 yards withoiut so much as facing a third down.

The touchdown was scored by Brad Kanuch when he latched onto a 6-yard TD pass from quarterback Tyler Lorenzen.

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WVU being hogish about BCS

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- It was a Friday night here and, as is normal on the night before a football game, the bars around town were filled to capacity, as were the patrons.

True, the West Virginia University students were off on Thanksgiving break, but the town had filled up with fans preparing to celebrate a football victory over Connecticut that would clinch the Big East championship and a BCS bid, but nothing more.

Oddly,though, the cries in the bars were not "Let's Go" ... "Mountaineers", as WVU fans often chant, one side of the room shouting the former, the other side replied with the latter. Those cries, though, had given way to "Soo-ey, Pig, Pig, Pig."

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October 27, 2007

Huskies hold on to win major upset, shock bulls

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Darius Butler pointed to the stands as the final whistle blew, waving the fans to come down to the field and join in on the celebration.

And what a celebration it was, with the Huskies upsetting No. 11 South Florida 22-15 at Rentschler Field.

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No Bull

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Rentschler Field is electric. That about sums it all up.

On Fourth and 12, Matt Grothe's pass was long to the end zone and, with only 50 seconds left, all it took was kneel downs from Tyler Lorenzen to lock up UConn's incredible upset of No. 10 South Florida.

The fans rush the field as players raise their helmets in excitement of the win.

The Huskies win 22-15, on an incredible goal line stop by the UConn defense, where they sacked Grothe and stuffed a potential scoring run with less than 3 minutes left.

Stats, quotes, and more still to come.

Bulls down 7, five minutes left in game

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Huskies lead by a score and the Bulls have the ball at their own 48-yard line.

Let's see what Matt Grothe and the South Florida offense can do with the game on the line.

South Florida held to field goal at 10-yard line

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- With a chance to tie the game at 19, the South Florida offense was stalled, resulting in a 27-yard field goal.

The initial outcome was a two-yard touchdown run by Mike Ford, but that was called back after a holding call.

Two dropped passed then followed, the second being an easy score but Cedric Hill couldn't hang on.

The Huskies now lead 19-15 with 7 minutes left in the game.

Huskies lead 10 at start of fourth, Bulls charging

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Fifteen minutes stands in between the Huskies and their best win in school history.

But the Bulls are in position -- at UConn's 48-yard line -- to make a surge to get back into this game.

At the end of the third quarter, the Huskies pulled out to a 10-point lead when Tony Ciaravino put in a 27-yarder.

If the Huskies want an upset, it won't be a walk in the park, because we've seen what Matt Grothe can do with the Bulls' offense.

Safety, Grothe TD run slows Huskies' momentum

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- There's the good news and then again there's the bad news.

Just after Robert McClain intercepted Matt Grothe's pass in the endzone, the ensuing drive for the Huskies resulted in a safety.

The next drive, Grothe shows everyone at Rentschler Field why he is so dangerous.

Grothe tallied 63 rushing yards on the drive, capping it off with a 10-yard touchdown run of his own to get the Bulls back within seven points.

Upset Watch In East Hartford?

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Huskies defensive tackle Dan Davis took his helmet off and raised his arms to the fans in the student section before walking to the locker room at the half.

Like the fans weren't charged up already.

UConn has a chance to create quite a stir in the college football party, as this would undoubtedly be the biggest win in school history.

It's halftime in the South Florida-UConn game, and the Huskies now lead 16-0, thanks in a huge part to play of Huskies running back Andre Dixon, who has put the entire offense on his back with over 100 yards in the first half already.

On the other side of the ball, the Huskies defense has stalled most every South Florida offensive drive - their only chances on offense came in the form of two missed field goals.

Halftime stats coming up.

Lutrus picks Grothe, runs interception back for touchdown

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Huskies linebacker Scott Lutrus just returned Matt Grothe's pass attempt 23 yards for a touchdown, extending UConn's lead to 16 just after a touchdown pass to tight end Steve Brouse one minute earlier.

Lutrus crossed over the field after intercepting the pass, which was tipped by the Huskies' Julius Williams, and ran the ball to the right side, breaking a tackle in the process and he dove into the endzone.

TD pass to Brouse extends Huskies lead to 9

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- UConn's offense continues to role in the first half, adding a touchdown to a wide-open tight end Steve Brouse from quarterback Tyler Lorenzen.

Lorenzen floated the pass over two South Florida defenders, and Brouse snagged it in the back left half of the endzone.

The extra point was missed, however, and UConn's lead is now nine with less than 10 minutes in the half.

Bulls kicking away opportunities in first quarter

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- New kicker, same result for South Florida after the first quarter at Rentschler Field, as a switch from kicker Delbert Alvarado to Justin Teachey, who is normally the kick-off man, delivers another missed field goal.

The 45-yard attempt missed wide right after the Bulls were faced with a fourth and one.

The score remains 3-0 in favor of the Huskies, with a 22-yard field goal by Tony Ciaravino being the only score of the game.

After the first frame, UConn's Andre Dixon and South Florida's Jamar Taylor are leading their respective team's rushing attacks, as they combine for yards on the ground.

The Huskies start the second quarter with the ball on their own 20, and head right to left toward the east end zone.

Huskies having success on first plays of game, get off to quick 3-0 lead

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- After a very impressive opening drive, the Huskies settle for a 22-yard field goal by Tony Ciaravino, and now lead the Bulls 3-0 with 9:37 left in the first quarter.

The Huskies ran straight through the South Florida defense, as running back Andre Dixon rushed for 53 yards on eight carries on the drive.

After failing to convert on their first two plays of the game, the Huskies offense converted two straight first downs with a 21-yard pass from Tyler Lorenzen on third down. The next play, Dixon broke away for 19-yards.

The rain has picked up now, as the Bulls get ready to return the kick from Desi Cullen.

Pregame: Huskies Take On Bulls

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Less than 10 minutes away from kickoff, the rain has just began to fall on Rentschler Field this Saturday afternoon as UConn (6-1, 2-0 Big East) is getting ready to host No. 11 South Florida (6-1, 1-1) at 3:30 p.m.

UConn is currently on top of the Big East, with a 2-0 record while South Florida sits third behind Rutgers at 1-1.

Just as it did in the Huskies 21-17 upset victory against Louisville Oct. 19, the weather will play a factor in today's game. The forecast for the central Connecticut area shows precipitation on and off during the first half of the game.

Fans will likely be charged up for this afternoon's game, as it is the first time in school history that the Huskies hold a top-25 ranking in any poll. They currently sit 23rd in the Bowl Championship Series Standings.

But currently, Rentschler Field is at only 20 percent capacity, but such is the normal case for Huskies fans. The stadium will most likely fill rapidly as the game is underway.

Today will see a match-up of two of the best defenses in the nation -- the Bulls and the Huskies rank 12th and sixth in total defense, respectively.

Coming of a strong effort against one the nation's top quarterbacks in Louisville's Brian Brohm, who threw two interceptions and was held in check for the majority of the game, UConn's defense will have to switch gears a bit as they must account for a double-threat in South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe.

Grothe's legs have been just as much a weapon as his arm this season. Coming into today's game against the Huskies, Grothe leads the Bulls in both passing and rushing with five touchdowns on the ground and eight through the air.

The Huskies will likely pay more attention to Grothe, as he ran all over the UConn defense Oct. 7 of last season. Grothe ran for three scores, leading the Bulls to a 38-16 win.

UConn's counterpart behind center is Tyler Lorenzen, a junior college transfer that has given the Huskies some stability in the passing game.

The Huskies come onto the field in all-blue uniforms while South Florida sports white jerseys with dark green pants and gold helmets.

Stay tuned for further updates as the game progresses.


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