MORGANTOWN - At first glance, the Connecticut team that comes to Mountaineer Field Saturday as West Virginia's Big East opening foe appears nothing like last year's Huskies.
That was a team that beat WVU in overtime for its first win in the series, went on to tie for the league championship, played in a BCS bowl game for the first time and was coached by Randy Edsall.
This year? Well, the Huskies are 2-3, have beaten only Fordham and Vanderbilt, spent much of the first five weeks trying to find a quarterback and are now coached by Paul Pasqualoni.
How quickly things can change.
Here's the thing, though. They haven't changed that much.
Yes, there's a new coaching staff and a new way of doing things. But remember, Connecticut appeared just as dysfunctional a year ago heading into its game with West Virginia.
"We know that last year we struggled in the beginning and started to do better in conference play,'' UConn quarterback Johnny McEntee said. "We all know that and no one is giving up on the season. We're just going to take it game by game."
That certainly worked last year when, after seven games and with West Virginia on the horizon, the Huskies were 3-4, having beaten only Texas Southern, Buffalo and Vanderbilt. Those Huskies had lost big on the road at Michigan and, yes, Temple and were coming off losses to Rutgers and Louisville, teams that combined for only two other Big East wins all season.
All of that changed when UConn took advantage of four turnovers to beat WVU in overtime and started a five-game win streak. Now, after starting 2-3 and losing sometimes ugly to relative lightweights Vanderbilt, Iowa State and Western Michigan, there seems no reason to panic.
So the Huskies aren't.