West Virginia gets another second-half comeback

BY foxsports • October 26, 2009

The answer for what ailed the Mountaineers: a healthy dose of Noel Devine.

The speedy back ran for all but seven of his 178 yards in the second half, including a 56-yard touchdown run with 2:10 left to give the Mountaineers a 28-24 win over Connecticut on Saturday.

It didn't hurt that the Huskies' Cody Endres threw three interceptions after halftime, either.

"Our defense carried us and kept us in the game," coach Bill Stewart said. "Then, in the end, the offense found a way to win. I want to compliment the defense. They ran this football game until the offense could get in and share."

UConn (4-3, 1-2) held the Mountaineers to 163 yards of offense in the first half and led 17-14.

"Offensively, we were out of whack. we were scrambling," Stewart said. "They blitzed on every down and we didn't have an answer until we regrouped," Stewart said. "Today, the first 47 snaps were blitzes."

Jarrett Brown, returning from a mild concussion sustained a week earlier against Marshall, overcame a slow start to improve to 8-1 as a starter. His only loss came on the road earlier this season at Auburn.

No. 20 West Virginia (6-1, 2-0 Big East), which improved two spots in this week's Associated Press poll, will need Brown on top of his game when it travels to South Florida (5-2, 1-2) on Friday night.

"We had to do a lot of adjusting at halftime," Brown said. "I guess because of the concussion from last week, they wanted to come out and throw a lot of different looks at me and try to get me rattled a little bit."

It took Brown seven series against UConn to find his rhythm. He avoided three tackles and completed a 23-yard pass to Alric Arnett, then found Jock Sanders on a screen pass for a 31-yard gain that set up Brown's 5-yard scoring run just before halftime. He also had a 1-yard TD toss to Urban in the third quarter.

But it was Devine who made the difference.

Despite being bottled up in the first half, Devine said he was confident he was going to break a long run.

"You have to tell yourself you're going to do something," Devine said. "When you put your mind to it, you can do it. And I had my mind set on it that I was going to do it no matter what. I was going to do whatever I had to do to get into the end zone and help my team out."

Brown threw the lead block that sprang Devine on a 62-yard run late in the third quarter that led to Urban's score.

The loss only added to a draining week for Connecticut. The Huskies headed to Miami after the game for Monday's funeral of cornerback Jasper Howard. Howard was stabbed to death outside a university-sponsored dance last week.

UConn plays at home against Rutgers (5-2, 0-2) next Saturday.

"I know this," said Connecticut coach Randy Edsall. "He is going to give us more strength. We have one more tough thing to do through on Monday. We will get through that and be ready to go."

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