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Men's basketball opener highlights top games

By Matt McDonough
On August 26, 2011


The incoming freshmen will make plenty of memories at UConn sporting events over the next few years. Here are five games this autumn that will kickstart the memories this year.

Men's Soccer White Out: The "Goal Patrol" student section will be in full force at Morrone Stadium Sept. 24 when the Red Storm come to town. The Huskies matchup with St. John's at 7:30 p.m. is "White Out Morrone Night." The first 150 fans receive free white t-shirts. UConn cheerleaders and Jonathan the Husky Dog will be making a rare appearance on the pitch.

Homecoming: The Huskies take on South Florida Oct. 16 at Rentschler Field in the annual Homecoming contest. In the conference matchup between the two schools the last two seasons, UConn has relied on clutch kicking from Dave Teggart. The placekicker drilled a game-winning field goal through the snow at the Rent two years ago to give the seniors a happy sendoff in 2009. 

Last season, in perhaps the most important game in school history, Teggart hit a 52-yarder in Tampa to give the Huskies a 19-16 victory and clinch a BCS bowl berth. Although this mid-season meeting may not promise the drama of a December matchup, it is the first Big East home game for UConn.

Fall sports vs. Syracuse: The Huskies have defeated Syracuse four straight times on the gridiron but the Orange appear headed for brighter days. Syracuse won the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium last season and coach Doug Marrone has turned the program around. With UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni back in the Big East and facing his former school for the first time on Nov. 5, this classic hardwood rivalry is headed for a heated series on the football field. 

The Huskies and Syracuse aren't best of friends on the wet astro turf either. On Oct. 23 in Storrs, the field hockey seniors will take the field at the Sherman Family Sports Complex for the final time and will look to avenge two losses against the Orange last year. UConn fell by a goal in both the regular season and Big East championship meetings.

Football vs. Rutgers: The Huskies will look to snap a three-game losing streak to Rutgers on Nov. 26 in East Hartford. The last time the two teams met at Rentschler Field, in 2009, it was an emotional affair. In the first home game following the murder of Jasper Howard, UConn lost a lead late after two fourth quarter scores put the Huskies ahead by three. Tim Brown caught an 81-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds remaining to defeat UConn 28-24. This year's contest will be on Senior Day and will have possible bowl and Big East title implications. 

Men's Basketball Opener: UConn officially begins its national title defense at home against Columbia on Nov. 11. Although "First Night" in October will have plenty of fanfare and reminders of last year's NCAA championship, the banner will be unveiled at Gampel Pavilion before the Huskies take on the Lions. The most-anticipated game of the season may be the February 25 game against Syracuse at 9 p.m. That morning, the Huskies will host ESPN's College Gameday at Gampel Pavilion.


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