Rising Connecticut to face Sooner 'giant'
The Sooners’ season-ending opponent is anything but typical for a BCS bowl.
This year, the Connecticut Huskies (8-4) will represent the Big East and face the Big 12 champion Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.
It will be OU’s seventh appearance in a BCS bowl and UConn’s first.
In fact, the Huskies have only attended four bowl games in program history.
This year’s BCS bowl will make it four straight seasons the Huskies have been to a bowl — a remarkable feat considering they were an FCS (then, Division I-AA) team for years until jumping up to FBS stature (then, Division I-A) in 2000, when OU was winning its most recent national championship.
While the Huskies’ history is short, they have climbed the ranks quickly, earning a spot in a BCS conference just two years after being recognized statistically by the NCAA in 2002.
Two years later, the Huskies were on their way to their first bowl game.
UConn currently holds a 3-1 record in bowl games with their only loss coming to Wake Forest in the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Since then, UConn has won two straight — the International Bowl in 2008 and the PapaJohns.com Bowl last year.
Eleven seasons into their FBS tenure and the Huskies are already in their first BCS game; not many teams can say that.
The Huskies have been led all season by junior running back Jordan Todman, who has accumulated 1,574 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns so far in a run-heavy UConn offense.
While Todman leads a rushing unit that features four backs with 25 or more carries and 20 total rushing touchdowns, the Huskies’ passing game has netted just 10 touchdowns and their starting quarterback, senior Zach Frazer, has thrown for only 1,202 yards.
To put that into perspective, OU junior receiver Ryan Broyles alone has 1,452 receiving yards this season.
Todman leads a unit that averages 179.9 rushing yards per game — good for 31st nationally — while its passing attack nets just 145.1 per game and ranks 112th.
Although they started out the year 1-2, the Huskies have managed to turn things around, going 2-2 their next four games and winning their last five, starting with an overtime win over West Virginia.
Much of the Huskies’ late-season success can be attributed to their stellar defensive play, which allowed no more than 30 points all season.
In its last nine games, UConn allowed just 19.4 points per game.
The Huskies have done a lot of growing up in their first 11 seasons in the big leagues by making it to a BCS game — something most FBS teams will likely never accomplish.
However, the biggest test of UConn’s maturity has yet to come as it will be tested against OU, one of the most storied programs in college football.
I’d suggest you prepare yourself for a plethora of “David vs. Goliath” references in the coming weeks.
- Yes 50%
- No 50%
14 total votes.