UConn Takes On WVU Wed. Night
Head Coach Edsall
Head Coach Edsall
Associate Editor
Posted Oct 13, 2004


The Huskies will play the biggest game of their season tonight at 7:30 p.m. after a 13-day layoff. Coach Randy Edsall, however, plans to use the break to his team's advantage. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

"Hopefully we'll play to the best of our ability," Edsall said. "If we don't, it's not because we were off too long. We've tried to handle the 13 days the best we could by keeping the guys fresh and sharp.

"It doesn't concern me that we've been off that many days. We had no control over it. We'll just go into the game ready to play."

After splitting its first two Big East games, the league's newest member will take on No. 17 West Virginia (4-1) at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The teams have never met and the game will be the Mountaineers' conference opener. WVU may have to play without Kay Jay Harris, the leagues leading rusher.

"They have quality people and Kay-Jay Harris is an outstanding back. Whoever they line up at tailback, we have to be ready for," Edsall said.

The Huskies (4-1) will rely on the play of senior quarterback Dan Orlovsky and sophomore running back Cornell Brockington to fuel their upset bid. Orlovsky has averaged 278.0 passing yards and has thrown for 10 touchdowns this season. Brockington has added four touchdowns on the ground.

Connecticut, which operates the Big East's second-ranked pass offense (282.0 ypg.), will try its luck against West Virginia's top-ranked pass defense (169.6). It won't be easy, but a rockin' Rentschler Field will help fuel the Huskies' fire for this mid-week matchup.

Connecticut is just three years removed from the I-AA level, so this game should provide an accurate measure of the program's progress. The Huskies are 17-4 over their last 21 games.

NOTES

QB Dan Orlovsky will have to deliver in what could be Connecticut's toughest remaining game. Orlovsky has completed 112 of 172 pass attempts for 1,390 yards and 10 touchdowns. Keron Henry ranks second among Big East receivers with an 81.4-yard average.

Connecticut recorded four sacks in a 29-17 win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 30 and held the Panthers to 4-for-16 on third down. The Huskies are ranked second in the league in scoring (16.2 ppg.), rushing (99.2 ypg.) and passing (169.8 ypg.) defense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

RB Cornell Brockington -- The 6-0, 195-pound sophomore has averaged 100.0 rushing yards, second in the Big East. Most recently, he rushed for 185 yards, one yard short of his career-best effort, and a game-clinching fourth-quarter touchdown against Pittsburgh on Sept. 30.

LB Alfred Fincher -- The 6-1, 240-pound senior leads the league in tackles with 56 and has managed one sack. Fincher has also recorded six tackles for loss. He was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week following the win over Pitt; placekicker Matt Nuzie was named the league's Special Teams Player of the week for the same game.

ROSTER REPORT

DE Tyler King broke his right leg in the Pittsburgh game and is expected to miss a minimum of six weeks. CB Ernest Cole (ankle) has missed two straight games.


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