The West Virginia Mountaineers will look to move forward following their stunning loss to unranked Syracuse 19-14 just six days ago. Standing right in front of the Mountaineers are the hungry UConn Huskies who are looking for their first Big East win of the season. Needless to say the Mountaineers really don’t have to remain hung over after having orange moonshine dumped down their throats by Syracuse (I used the orange moonshine analogy because after having tried raspberry moonshine, I’m sure it doesn’t taste that good).
UConn enters this Friday’s game with a 3-4 overall record (0-2 in the Big East) and arguably the league’s worst quarterback situation. To give you the short version, UConn began the season with Zach Frazer, a senior transfer from Notre Dame, starting at QB. Apparently he didn’t perform up to Head Coach Randy Edsall’s standards and was replaced with the troubled junior Cody Endres, who had started six games last season. Endres then gets suspended from the team for reportedly failing a drug test. With both veteran quarterback’s sidelined, Edsall went with redshirt freshmen Mike Box to lead the Husky attack. At last check, Box went 4 of 12 passing for 35 yards and threw an interception in UConn’s 26-0 loss at Louisville.
If things look bleak for UConn at the quarterback position they only look a little better for the Mountaineers. My man Gino Smith, aka “Junior Clutch”, was nowhere near his normal self during the homecoming loss to Syracuse. For the first time in his short career as a starter, Smith threw for fewer than 200 yards and had more interceptions than touchdowns (1 to 3). Also, add to the previous facts that Smith at times looked confused by the coverages the defense showed and held on to the ball to long resulting in either in completions or sacks. Case in point, on the Mountaineers final play against the Orange, Smith took a sack instead of throwing the football into the end zone (Syracuse only rushed 4).
Despite all of the WVU offense’s flaws I still think its offense is better than UConn’s. However, I will give the Huskies this much, they have a great tailback in Jordan Todman, who’s 140 yard per game average ranks him 5th nationally in that category. Oh, I obviously have to give a nod to the Huskies’ O-Line because it’s nearly impossible to average so many yards without the big guys up front. Still, I just think Smith, Noel Devine, Jock Sanders, Tavon Austin, and the rest of the Mountaineer offense will get back in sink and pile up a lot of points against UConn come Friday.
Not to slight anyone’s defense with this blog, I just fill like both offenses have something to prove in this game. Believe it or not, this is a really huge game for the Mountaineers as they still have to play fellow Big East powers, Pitt and Cincinnati. A loss here could quite possibly cost the Mountaineers a chance at the 2010 Big East Championship. Moreover, a loss would also make the “Bill Stewart Haters Club” grow by a couple thousand members. But, let’s not jump to far ahead, for now, WVU just needs to go up north and handle its business. If the Mountaineers do that, all should stay calm on the West Virginia front.
About the Author
Written by Jason Lee
Born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, I've been a sports fan probably since I was about 9 years old! A 2002 graduate of Mount Union College (Alliance, OH), I've had the opportunity to cover some great high school football on the radio in both Ohio (working with WHBC in Canton) and in West Virginia (I currently work with Bristol Broadcasting in Charleston). I also keep an on-line journal/blogs on my own website.