For the first time in school history, UConn will be playing in a BCS bowl game. Unfortunately, they'll be facing a team that has been there many times before in Oklahoma.
Connecticut and Oklahoma will meet for the first time in the 40th annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, one of five BCS bowls, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on New Year's Day at 8 p.m. EST. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN and broadcast on ESPN Radio.
UConn (8-4, 5-2 Big East) gained a Fiesta Bowl berth after defeating South Florida 19-16 in Tampa, FL on Dec. 4 to earn a share of the Big East Conference title with Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Thanks to victories over the Panthers and Mountaineers, Connecticut got the nod as the Big East's BCS auto bid.
Much like the Boston College football team, which will be playing Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on January 9th, Connecticut won its final five games of the regular season. The Huskies defeated West Virginia (16-13), Pittsburgh (30-28), Syracuse (23-6), Cincinnati (38-17) and South Florida to close out the regular season.
Connecticut is led by quarterback Zach Frazer (1,202 passing yards, 5 TDs, 4 INT) and running back Jordan Todman (1,516 rushing yards, 14 TDs). The Huskies top two receivers are Michael Smith (595 receiving yards, two TDs) and Kashif Moore (390 receiving yards, 4 TDs).
UConn ranked 62nd in the country in total offense with 325 yards per game. In addition, the Huskies totaled 1,741 passing yards and 2,159 rushing yards in 12 games this season. Connecticut ranked much better in total defense, as the Huskies were ranked 22nd having allowed 353.7 yards per game.
Oklahoma (11-2, 6-2 Big 12) topped No. 13 Nebraska 23-20 on December 4th in the Big 12 title game. The Sooners closed out the regular season with four straight victories and have won five of their last six games.
The Sooners received outstanding contributions from quarterback Landry Jones (4,289 passing yards, 35 TDs, 11 INT) and running back DeMarco Murray 1,090 rushing yards, 14 TDs; 595 receiving yards, 5 TDs). Ryan Broyles paced the Sooners' receiving core, amassing 1,452 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Kenny Stills had 713 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
Oklahoma's total offense ranked 17th in the nation, as the Sooners racked up 478.1 yards per game (4,061 total passing yards, 1,810 total rushing yards). The Sooners' defense ranked 35th in total defense, giving up an average of 363.9 yards per contest.
It's clear that Oklahoma has the hand up offensively entering the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, as the Sooners average 36.4 points per contest compared to Connecticut's 26.9 points per game. However, UConn has the edge on defense, allowing 19.8 points per game while Oklahoma gave up an average of 21.9 points.