West Virginia-Connecticut begins weekend slate

Oct 20, 2006 - 1:09 PM BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - Pat White, Steve Slaton and West Virginia have the national spotlight to themselves Friday.

One day before a busy college football Saturday, the fourth-ranked Mountaineers return to the road to take on Connecticut in a Big East Conference matchup.

Playing away from Morgantown for the third time in four games, West Virginia (6-0) has the nation's second-longest winning streak at 13 games. Fifth in the first Bowl Championship Series rankings, the Mountaineers have won 31 of their last 35 regular-season games and are 22-4 in the Big East since 2002.

After two road games, West Virginia was back at home Saturday and rolled to a 41-17 victory over Syracuse. White rushed for 247 yards - a Big East record for a quarterback - and four touchdowns on just 15 carries and Slaton added 163 yards on 20 rushes against the Orange.

Paced by the White-Slaton backfield tandem, the Mountaineers lead the nation in rushing at 328.3 yards per game.

West Virginia can't afford to look past the Huskies to its next road test, a matchup at No. 6 Louisville on November 2 that will have major Big East and national title implications.

Nineteen games involved ranked teams are on the docket Saturday, but just two involve a pair of top-25 squads.

Fifth-ranked Texas (6-1) visits No. 17 Nebraska (6-1) in a matchup of the only teams unbeaten in Big 12 Conference play, while No. 13 Georgia Tech (5-1) treks to No. 12 Clemson (6-1) in an Atlantic Coast Conference contest pitting the leaders of the Coastal and Atlantic Divisions, respectively.

In other matchups involving highly ranked squads, top-ranked Ohio State (7-0) hosts Big Ten Conference foe Indiana; No. 2 Michigan (7-0) takes on Iowa in another Big Ten matchup; and No. 6 Louisville (6-0) visits Syracuse in a Big East matchup.

Also, No. 7 Tennessee (5-1) hosts hated Southeastern Conference rival Alabama; No. 8 Auburn (6-1) steps out of SEC play to host Tulane; and 10th-ranked Notre Dame (5-1) hosts UCLA.

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