MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Pat White ran for two touchdowns and
threw for another in his first start, leading No. 18 West Virginia
to a 45-13 win over Connecticut on Wednesday night.
First-place West Virginia (7-1, 4-0 Big East) showed no signs of
sluggishness from an 18-day layoff.
The Mountaineers built a 35-3 halftime lead, getting a pair of
touchdowns following turnovers. The defense limited UConn (4-4,
1-3) to 12 rushing yards and 129 overall, the fewest allowed by
West Virginia in three seasons.
UConn had one of Division I-A's top defenses statistically, but
four of its opponents have a combined record of 3-29.
The nation's ninth-best rushing attack used a rotation of backs
to compile 228 yards against the Huskies.
White, a redshirt freshman starting for the injured Adam
Bednarik, frustrated UConn with his legs and his arm. He ran for 63
yards on 12 carries.
White hit Brandon Myles with a 20-yard TD pass early in the
second quarter. On the first play of the ensuing drive, West
Virginia's Warren Young recovered a fumble at the UConn 20.
White then leveled two UConn players on a block that saved
teammate Steve Slaton from a big loss. Two plays later, White
eluded three defenders on a bootleg run to the right and scored
from 14 yards out for a 28-3 lead.
Freshman Dennis Brown, UConn's third starting quarterback this
season, got a rude greeting in his first road game.
He was sacked six times and threw an interception that Anthony
Mims returned 32 yards to the UConn 14 midway through the second
quarter. That set up White's second TD run of the game, a 14-yard
bootleg to the left.
Brown finished 10-of-19 for 97 yards. White went 7-of-16 for 106
yards with an interception.
Slaton, a freshman who ran for 188 yards and set a school record
with six TDs in a triple-overtime win over Louisville on Oct. 15,
left with a sore hip late in the first half and did not return. He
led West Virginia with 71 yards rushing.
Slaton's 32-yard run set up his 1-yard TD to open the scoring.
Later in the first quarter, four different players had bursts of 10
yards or better, including fullback Owen Schmitt's 15-yard run for
a 14-3 lead.
UConn, 0-6 all-time against ranked teams, was held to field
goals twice after taking possession in West Virginia territory. The
Huskies' lone touchdown came on Lou Allen's short run midway
through the fourth quarter.