|Stingy UConn defense to host high-scoring Baylor|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 18 September 2008 10:53|
The two burgeoning stars get to display their talents before a national television audience Friday when UConn (3-0) hosts Baylor (2-1) in the first meeting between the schools.
Brown comes into the game as the nation's second-leading rusher, averaging almost 189 yards. He's had back-to-back 200-yard efforts, including a 206-yard, three-touchdown performance in Connecticut's 45-10 win over Virginia last Saturday. The junior has 79 carries this season for 566 yards and eight touchdowns.
``I think he's a stud,'' Baylor coach Art Briles said. ``The guy can play. He's compact. He's got great hips. He's got great vision and balance. He's fast. There's a reason he's No. 2 in the country. He's good.''
he was expected to split time with Andre Dixon, a second-team all-conference running back a year ago. But Dixon has been hampered by an ankle injury suffered in the preseason, leaving Brown with the bulk of the carries.
Brown ran the ball a career-high 36 times for 214 yards during a driving rain at Temple two weeks ago, but had just 20 carries against Virginia.
UConn coach Randy Edsall said he plans to get Brown about 20 to 25 touches a game as Dixon works his way back from the injury. Freshman Jordan Todman, who had 81 yards rushing last week, also will see some action, Edsall said.
Griffin, Baylor's freshman star, took over the quarterbacking duties from last year's starter, Blake Szymanski, in a season-opening 41-13 loss to Wake Forest.
Griffin has not looked back in leading Baylor to consecutive blowout wins, 51-6 over Northwestern State and 45-17 over Washington State.
``We do have a high confidence right now,'' Griffin said. ``But we haven't taken down any of the big ones yet.''
Griffin is a dual threat and a track star who already holds the school record in the 400-meter hurdles. He has rushed 32 times for 314 yards and four touchdowns, and completed 33 of 53 passes for 548 yards and another four scores.
In last week's win over the Cougars, Griffin scrambled or ran for 217 yards on 11 carries and three touchdowns, and had three runs over 50 yards.
West Virginia's Pat White.
``He doesn't look like a freshman when you watch him on tape,'' Edsall said. ``He's a guy who is going to give people fits for the next four years.''
This will be the first road test for Baylor since Briles brought his spread offense from Houston in the offseason. The Bears were just 1-5 on the road last year and will be facing a UConn team that has won nine straight at home. Connecticut's defense has given up just one touchdown this season while holding opponents to an average of 229 yards.
Cornerback Darius Butler called Griffin a defense's worst nightmare, but said the Huskies have the benefit of having played other good running quarterbacks such as White and South Florida's Matt Grothe.
``We feel confident in the guys that we have up there that we can handle him up front,'' Butler said. ``And the guys we have in the back understand their coverage. So, we're pretty confident as a defense right now.''