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LIVE GAME DAY THREAD -- Connecticut

Written by Colin Dunlap on .

     

By Colin Dunlap | 4 a.m. Saturday

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Obviously, all the pregame stuff will be emotional today. All the things done to honor Jasper Howard, slain last weekend, will overwhelm Mountaineer Field in the moments before the game.

What can't be argued, though, is that once that is all over, there is a mighty important football game to play -- for both teams. I can't get a read on this one at all, as the Huskies, because of all that happened over the last week, could be emotionally tapped out, or they could come out and funnel all the emotion they have into playing a brilliant football game. Whatever happens, it should be interesting to take in.

Game: No. 22 West Virginia (5-1) hosts Connecticut (4-2)

Place: Mountaineer Field

Time: Noon

Forecast for kickoff: 62 degrees, cloudy. Just a 20 percent chance of rain.

TV: ESPNU

Announcers: Clay Matvick - play-by-play, David Diaz-Infante - analyst

UPDATE 9:01 a.m.: Alright, made it down here. First, here's a photo from the drive down, taken just South of Washington, Pa from the cockpit of my ride. It rained the entire way.

By the way, the drive down hammered home my need for satellite radio. I often make the drive from my home in Hampton Township down here for coverage reasons and, I promise, that King of Leon song "Use Somebody" is the only song on the radio. You hear it, hit seek on the tuner, and BAM, it stops on it on another station. Now, it isn't a terrible song, but jeez, it seems like it is the lone song on the radio. Again, I need to buy satellite radio -- like now. Luckily, somewhere around the Lone Pine exit, I was saved by George Strait's "Amarillo by Morning" an American gem.

9:15 a.m.: By the way, here is the game preview story in Saturday's edition's of the Post-Gazette: LINK TO STORY 

9:40 a.m.: A Q&A submission for today:

QUESTION:
You spoke of Coach Rodriguez's ability to take a marginal player and make them into a good Division I player.  That being said, what do you think the prospect is of Coley White emerging as a prolific quarterback like his brother?  Also, how does that work with the talent of Geno Smith ahead of him?

Curt Lowry -- Martinsburg, West Virginia

DUNLAP: Coley White, especially after last week's performance by Geno Smith, would look to be in a bit of a predicament. White, as a redshirt freshman, and Smith, a true freshman who has played, are essentially in the same class from an eligibility standpoint. But, with Smith nailing down the No. 2 quarterback job, it would look as if he is the man for next year and, barring injury, the two years after that. With that said, White has a place in the program, there is absolutely no question about that. But, I am of the opinion - as I think many are - that Mr. Geno Smith is West Virginia's quarterback of the future. That point, more than ever, was hammered home after Smith played a very fine relief role when Jarrett Brown left the Marshall game.    

10:29 a.m.: Connecticut just got off the bus. Here is a shot of coach Randy Edsall stepping off, flanked by a UConn policeman and an ESPNU cameraman:

 

Have to say, the Huskies, coming off the bus, looked just like any other college football team walking off the bus. They looked focused, they looked like they were here with a job to do, they walked with a purpose.

There was, however, one reality that hit hard. As some of the players were walking off, their parents stood nearby, separated by a waist-high security fence. Some of the parents handed over suit-bags to their sons. One can deduce that suits were in those bags so the players -- who didn't have that formal attire back in Storrs -- could have them to wear to Jasper Howard's Monday funeral. Sad stuff. 

11:10 a.m.: By the way, uniform gurus: What was reported earlier in the week is confirmed as I see the team warming up -- they are wearing blue tops with gold pants.

11:27 a.m.: The West Virginia offense is going through warmups. Jarrett Brown is going through warmups at full-speed. My guess, as it has been all week, is that he will start.  

11:47 a.m.: The homecoming festivities include the Alumni Band getting after it. Here is a photo of them (you are welcome, PrideMom):

11:57 a.m.: From BrianMo, a submitted photo...he writes: "Cheerleaders.... They're wearing a blue heart with a # 6 on the right part of their shirts."

12:07 p.m.: Some nice gestures before the game. As UConn took the field, the West Virginia crowd gave the Huskies a standing ovation. Also, after the teams stood for a moment of silence (pictured, below), as planned  they came together at midfield to shake hands. The crowd, again, erupted in applause.

 

12:12 p.m.: Well, that was fast. Tavon Austin just returned the opening kick 98 yards for a TD to give WVU a 7-0 lead.

12:25 p.m.: Jarrett Brown started -- as expected by this reporter.

12:28 p.m.: Another shot, this one from BrianMo, of the moment of silence:

12:56 p.m.: 7-7. End of 1.

1:16 p.m.: This story, that just came across the wire, is awful: http://post-gazette.com/pg/09297/1008178-142.stm

1:44 p.m.: 17-14 UConn at the half...WVU took a brief lead right before the half at 14-10, but it lasted 28 seconds.

2:23 p.m.: Tyler Urban grabs a TD pass. WVU now leads 21-17 w/ 2:55 left in the third.

4:31 p.m.:

                 > CLICK HERE FOR THE EARLY GAME STORY

 

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