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West Virginia a mighty host for Connecticut

| Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia fans cheered Connecticut as the Huskies entered the stadium on Saturday, and the teams held a moment of silence for UConn cornerback Jasper Howard, who was stabbed to death last week after an on-campus dance.

UConn running back Andre Dixon held up Howard's helmet, and wide receiver Kashif Moore held up Howard's jersey as the team ran out onto the field. As UConn left the field, WVU fans cheered once again, and the student section started chants of "Jasper Howard."

WVU coach Bill Stewart was impressed with his school's fans.

"I've never seen anything like that," Stewart said. "I want to thank each and every person in the stadium for the class that the Old Gold and Blue showed toward the UConn Huskies. I'm so proud to be a West Virginian today."

UConn coach Randy Edsall echoed Stewart's sentiments.

"The sportsmanship and the love and concern that they showed for our team — I don't know if you've ever seen that in sport," he said. "My hat is off to them."

• Through the first 20 games of Stewart's tenure as head coach at WVU, he has the highest win total (15-5) of any coach in school history.

• Former WVU fullback and current Seattle Seahawk Owen Schmitt was on the sidelines for Saturday's game. Schmitt made headlines earlier this season for bashing his head with his helmet prior to a game, causing him to bleed. He poked fun at himself when the stadium cameras captured him on the sidelines.

• West Virginia has now beaten UConn in all six meetings. The Mountaineers are the only Big East team Connecticut has not defeated.

• The 501 yards given up by West Virginia is the most by an opposing offense since the 2006 Sugar Bowl.

• The Mountaineers have played five of their first seven games at home. They now play three of their final five on the road, starting Friday at South Florida.

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