for this game

Connecticut, West Virginia to battle for Big East title

Nov 24, 2007 - 11:35 AM No. 20 Connecticut (9-2) at No. 4 West Virginia (9-1) 3:30 pm EST

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- Even Connecticut coach Randy Edsall admits that few fans could have seen this coming.

On Saturday, the 20th-ranked Huskies visit No. 4 West Virginia in a showdown that will decide the Big East Conference title.

"Who would have ever thought that after 11 games, being 9-2, that this team would be playing for the right for the Big East championship," Edsall said. "Probably nobody in America ever thought that, expect for the guys in that locker room."

Known more for their basketball prowess, the Huskies (9-2, 5-1 Big East) are in only their sixth season on the Football Championship Subdivision level (formerly Division I-A) and struggled to a 4-8 finish last year.

But Tyler Lorenzen, a junior college transfer, has led Connecticut's charge, passing for 2,118 yards this year - fifth-best in the Big East.

The Huskies set up the showdown with last week's 30-7 win over Syracuse but will be facing their toughest test of the season against West Virginia (9-2, 4-1 Big East) in a hostile environment.

Their challenge will be trying to slow down the Mountaineers' talented tandem of running back Steve Slaton and quarterback Pat White - something few teams have been able to accomplish.

Slaton leads the team in rushing with 988 yards and 15 touchdowns, while White is right behind with 958 yards and 12 scores.

White ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns in last week's 28-23 victory at Cincinnati.

While the Mountaineers are seeking their second Big East title in three years, they have climbed back into the national championship picture as they rank third in the latest Bowl Championship Series standings.

Connecticut is 0-3 against West Virginia since joining the Big East in 2004, including a 37-11 loss last season.