Tag Archives: West Virginia

Thank You West Virgina…

UConn is very thankful for Bill Stewart and his West Virgina Mountaineers. West Virginia beat Pittsburgh this afternoon 35-10 at Heinz Field, which means Pitt, West Virginia, and UConn are all currently tied for first place in the Big East. UConn holds the tie-breakers over both teams due to their head-to-head wins. All the Huskies have to do is take care of business against Cincinnati on Saturday at the Rent, and down in Tampa on December 4th against South Florida, and the Huskies will win the Big East and head to their first ever BCS Bowl (most likely in Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl).


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Three in A Row: UConn Takes Down #7 West Virginia

The UConn Huskies out-fought the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday night, in a Big East fist fight. In a very physical contest, UConn used the play of Kemba Walker, Jerome Dyson, and Stanley Robinson, to secure their third straight victory.

Coming off his first ever Big East Player of the Week Award, for his play last week, Walker led the Huskies with 21 points as he went 14-17 from the free-throw line. His massive one-handed dunk with less than a minute to go, put the seal on the win and made the XL Center go crazy.

UConn is now 17-11 on the season and 7-8 in the Big East. They have three games remaining, Sunday vs Louisville, then they close the season with two away games at Notre Dame and South Florida.

The NCAA Tournament hopes are alive for the Huskies, as the win over West Virginia is their third over a top-10 team this season(Texas and Villanova). If the Huskies can win on Sunday, which is the home finale and Senior Day, then they will put themselves on the right side of the “bubble”.

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UConn Puts Tourney Hopes On the Line Against West Virginia

The UConn Huskies will put their two game winning streak on the line tonight, when they take on the 7th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers at the XL Center. Both the Huskies and Mountaineers are looking for an important win. With four games to go in the season, the Huskies have no room for error if they want to make the NCAA Tournament. A win against tonight would be their third victory over a top-10 team this season(#1 Texas, #3 Villanova).

UConn knows the importance of game. “ESPN game, home game,” UConn point guard Kemba Walker said. “We have to come out with a lot of effort. I’m sure they’re going to come out playing real hard and we have to match their intensity.”

Head Coach Jim Calhoun hopes his Huskies can build off the momentum they created in the last week with solid road wins over Villanova and Rutgers. “The team has found a little bit of a blueprint that works,” Calhoun said. “So let’s see if we can do it again. That’s the big thing, trying to use it again.”

The game is at 7pm tonight, and will televised nationally on ESPN.

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UConn Honors Howard, but Upset Bid Comes Up Short

Andre Dixon and Kasif Moore with Jasper Howard's Helmet and Jersey   (AP Photo/Michael Switzer / October 24, 2009)

Andre Dixon and Kasif Moore with Jasper Howard's Helmet and Jersey (AP Photo/Michael Switzer / October 24, 2009)

After dealing with the tragedy of losing teammate Jasper Howard, the Huskies traveled to West Virginia searching for their first ever victory over the Mountaineers, as well as closure to a terrible week. While the effort was there, the final result was not as the Huskies lost 28-24.

Quarterback Cody Endres hit Marcus Easley for an 88-yard touchdown with four minutes to go in the game. However, the Huskies blew their third, 4th quarter lead of the season as West Virginia running back Noel Devine scored on a 55-yard run with two minutes left in the game to give the Mountaineers the victory.

Head Coach Randy Edsall decribed the loss as “heartbreaking” because the team wanted to win “so badly for Jazz.” Edsall went on to say, “I just feel empty. The kids played their hearts out and did what we asked them to do. This is a special group of kids. We’ve got to take this and just learn how to play like this all the time.”

Coach Randy Edsall and Andre Dixon      (AP Photo/Michael Switzer / October 24, 2009)

Coach Randy Edsall and Andre Dixon (AP Photo/Michael Switzer / October 24, 2009)

The team will travel to Miami on Monday for Howard’s funeral. After they return, the team will look to move on and move forward in Big East play as the Huskies host Rutgers next Saturday, at 12 o’clock, at the Rent.

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Football Press Conference on Tuesday October 20: Notes on the Game, The Team, and Jasper Howard

Coach Randy Edsall at news conference    Courtesy of Hartford Courant

Coach Randy Edsall at news conference Courtesy of Hartford Courant

The UConn football team held its weekly press conference today. However, this week’s conference had a different feel to it. Following the tragedy of the murder of player Jasper Howard, the number of media members in attendance tripled. Coach Randy Edsall spent more time talking about Jasper and the team, instead of on-field issues. Here are some important notes from Coach Edsall’s conference:

Coach Randy Edsall made it clear that the team is trying to move forward as best as possible. They had practice for the first time today, and will look to take their anger and frustration out on West Virginia this Saturday.

“(We’re) Getting back to what we do on a normal basis,” said Edsall. “The field is a place to get away from (the tragedy).”

Coach Edsall said that West Virginia and UConn have talked, and have decided they will honor Jasper Howard with a moment of silence before the game followed by a handshake at mid-field before kickoff. West Virginia will also wear a #6 decal on the back of their helmets.

The amount of support that has come from so many places around the country has been remarkable. Coach Edsall said so many former players and coaches of his at Boston College, Georgia Tech, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and here at UConn have reached out to him, the program, and the UConn community. The most recent call he received came from Tom Coughlin, the head coach of the New York Giants. Coughlin, who Edsall considers his “mentor,” worked with Edsall when Edsall was an assistant coach for Coughlin’s Jacksonville Jaguars team in the mid-1990s.

“The amount of love and generosity has been unbelievable, and so greatly appreciated,” said Edsall. “It comes from how Jazz handled himself and how the program handles itself.”

Vigil for Jasper Howard   Courtesy of the Hartford Courant

Vigil for Jasper Howard Courtesy of the Hartford Courant

When asked about the vigil for Jasper Howard last night, Edsall said the entire evening was a very special moment for the team. Jasper Howard’s family and the team, were gathered together to remember the man they all loved. Coach Edsall said that the Howard family spoke to the team in the locker-room about Jasper’s life and his love for UConn, his family, his teammates, and football. The family then went around and hugged each and every player.

“The mom’s and dad’s words were just incredible. What they had to say to those kids at that point and time was what those kids needed to hear,” Edsall said. “What put it over the top was going down to locker room. We had Jazz’ locker decorated in terms of helmet and jersey and it’s going to stay until the time he would graduate.

Jasper Howard's mother Joangila Howard  Photo courtesy of Hartford Courant

Jasper Howard's mother Joangila Howard Photo courtesy of Hartford Courant

Jasper’s uncle, who was a police officer in Miami for 25 years, spoke to the team as well. He gave a “heart-warming” speech to the team. Edsall described it as, “you could see the tears dry up; you could see the faces start to shine a little bit; see more color come to the face of these kids as this was going on.” Edsall said his uncle told the team that “we lost one young person; we don’t need to lose anymore.”

Edsall described the entire night, with the vigil, the moment in the locker-room, and how all the love that has been spread between the family and the team, as “the most loving moment I’ve ever been a part of.”

Coach Edsall said that Desi Cullen and Kijuan Dabney have stepped up and lead the team through this tragedy. “They have shown great courage and love, and have been the leaders of this team during this time,” said Edsall.

Coach Edsall finished the news conference by saying that he and Jasper Howard’s family will create a foundation in Jasper’s name. It will focus on giving resources to inner-city kids who have unfortunate upbringings, as well as going to help terminally-ill kids and their families.

Jasper Howard's Locker... Photo Courtesy of Hartford Courant

Jasper Howard's Locker... Photo Courtesy of Hartford Courant

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