College Football Preview: UConn vs. Pittsburgh
STORRS, Conn. ó Connecticut and No. 23 Pittsburgh bring two of the nation’s top rushers into their meeting in East Hartford today, in which both teams hope to improve their bowl positions.
UConn tailback Donald Brown leads the country, averaging more than 148 yards per game, while Pitt’s LeSean McCoy leads everyone in scoring at almost 11 points per game and is eighth in rushing at over 118 yards.
“I think there are a lot of similarities between the two,” Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. “They both have good size and strength. Both can catch the ball well. LeSean is probably more of a make-you-miss by bouncing the ball, outrunning you or giving you a little fake. Donald Brown, when he gets in the clear, he’s got a great stiff-arm and he’s powerful. He probably breaks more tackles than LeSean and LeSean probably makes more guys miss. They’re both good players who play to their strengths.”
A win would give the Panthers (8-3, 4-2 Big East) their first nine-win season since 2002 and the school’s first nine-win regular season since 1982.
It also would likely propel the Panthers into the Sun Bowl. A loss could drop Pitt to the PapaJohns.com Bowl.
UConn (7-4, 3-3) also has an outside shot at a Sun Bowl bid, if it can beat Pitt and West Virginia loses to South Florida. A loss likely would put UConn in the International Bowl in Toronto on Jan. 3.
“We’re still playing for a lot,” Brown said. “We win and we’ll go to a better bowl.”
Big East champion Cincinnati already owns the league’s automatic BCS bowl bid.
Connecticut is the only Big East team to have beaten the Bearcats, but that was one of just two wins the Huskies have earned in their last six games.
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