EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Pat White and the West Virginia
Mountaineers ran past Connecticut to push their winning streak to
White ran for 102 yards and a touchdown and threw a scoring pass
and Steve Slaton rushed for 128 yards rushing to help No. 4 West
Virginia beat Connecticut 37-11 in the Mountaineers' final tuneup
before their showdown with sixth-ranked Louisville.
White led West Virginia (7-0, 2-0 Big East) on two one-play
drives, running 45 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and
throwing a 52-yard scoring pass to Rayshawn Bolden in the third.
White, who had 15 carries, was 9-of-14 for 156 yards, with one
Slaton scored on a 56-yard run with 5:26 left.
Pat McAfee added three field goals, including a career-long
48-yarder, as West Virginia tied Ohio State for the longest winning
streak in the nation.
"It's hard to win that many games," West Virginia Coach Rich
Rodriguez said. "I've not mentioned the winning streak. I said to
the guys, 'You ought to be proud. You have the longest winning
streak in the history of the school."'
UConn (3-4, 0-2), which started six freshmen, including three on
the offensive line, trailed 6-3 midway through the second quarter.
But a holding penalty and a 30-yard punt into a stiff wind gave
West Virginia the ball on the UConn 45. On the next play, White
kept the ball on an option and sprinted up the middle of the field
for a touchdown.
"We lost the battle of field position," UConn coach Randy
Edsall said. "We were giving them the short field, and when you
give a team like that the short field, you make it very difficult
White had a 30-yard scamper on the Mountaineers' next drive,
which went 74 yards in 11 plays. Owen Schmitt ran the ball in from
a yard out with 20 seconds left in the half to give the
Mountaineers a 20-3 lead.
"We finally got it going toward the end of the first half,"
White said. "That gave us the momentum, because we really couldn't
get it going before that."
Connecticut's Matt Bonislawski completed eight of 20 passes for
58 yards and an interception. He was replaced late in the third
quarter by sophomore D.J. Hernandez, who scored the Huskies'
touchdown on a 5-yard run with 7:22 left in the game. Terry Caulley
ran for the two-point conversion.
Caulley, who came into the game averaging 98 yards per game on
the ground, ran for 35 yards on 13 carries.
West Virginia held UConn to 210 yards on offense.
"We did some things to try and take advantage of their youth up
front," Rodriguez said. "Obviously when you get a lead and
they're forced to throw it more, it's a little easier to call the
Tony Ciaravino, the third kicker the Huskies have used this
season, hit a 29-yard field goal to tie it 3-3. That score capped a
15-play, 60-yard drive that used up 5:46.
Ciaravino replaced Graig Vicidomino, who missed three field
goals last week in a 21-7 win over Army. Vicidomino had replaced
Matt Nuzie midway through the Huskies' 38-16 loss at South Florida
on Oct. 7, after Nuzie missed a short field goal and an extra
West Virginia will play at No. 6 Louisville on Nov. 2, before
facing Pittsburgh on Nov. 16 and 19th-ranked Rutgers on Dec. 2.
"I told the guys, finally, you know who is next," Rodriguez
said. "Now you can bring it up and we can talk about it. I think
our players are anxious to talk about it. It's what everybody's
been pointing toward."