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Saturday, November 1, 2008
Third quarter: West Virginia 28, UConn 13


Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Well, West Virginia isn't going to score 66. But just like last year, the Mountaineers are pouncing on Connecticut's second-half mistakes to take control of this game.

Cody Endres threw an interception that the Mountaineers turned into a touchdown, and later normally sure-handed Donald Brown fumbled to set up another seven West Virginia points. UConn has three turnovers today, just like it did last year in Morgantown, while the Mountaineers have zero.

Jock Sanders has all three West Virginia second-half touchdowns. Meanwhile, Pat White has gone over 5,000 career passing yards and 4,000 career rushing yards today. West Virginia has outscored Connecticut 28-3 since the first quarter.

If UConn loses, Huskies fans will long rue the second play from scrimmage of the second half. Cody Endres had Kashif Moore wide open for an easy touchdown on a play-action pass. The throw was a little long, and Moore had to really book it to get there, but then he dropped the ball. Next play, on a third-and-1, UConn had a false start penalty and ended up punting.

West Virginia finally got its offense going by using the I-formation, a new wrinkle in recent weeks. The Mountaineers started one drive by lining up in it twice; the first play was a 21-yard pass, and the second would have been a touchdown if Tyler Urban hadn't dropped a wide open, easy catch. Sanders' second touchdown also came when he ran as the deep back out of the I.

More bad news for UConn: After West Virginia's second score of the half, Darius Butler got hurt on the ensuing kickoff. Butler was helped off after injuring his left leg. He's not only the Huskies' best cornerback, but one of their top weapons at wide receiver and on special teams.

Unless Connecticut can change momentum in a hurry, West Virginia will be in the driver's seat of this Big East race.