"He's capable of being as good a quarterback as there is in college football," Holgorsen said. "I'm not saying he is right now, but he's capable of it if he keeps improving and improving over the course of this year and next year."Dustin Garrison, who set the school's freshman rushing record with 291 yards last week, finished with 80 and a touchdown. Bailey caught seven passes for 178 yards and later added a 27-yard touchdown reception. Ivan McCartney caught six passes for 131 yards.
The Mountaineers finished with 541 yards of offense.
WVU's defense allowed 275 yards of offense and just 97 after halftime. It's the third time this season an opponent hasn't scored an offensive touchdown. UConn scored its only touchdown on Brown's 48-yard interception return on backup quarterback Paul Millard's first pass in the fourth quarter.
"That's a dominant performance by the defense stopping the run, getting after the passer and creating turnovers," Holgorsen said.The Mountaineers led 10-9 at the half when UConn made its third field goal as time expired. WVU set that up with a failed quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 at the Huskies 41-yard line. Smith lost a yard with 55 seconds to go in the half and UConn moved to the WVU 5 in seven plays.
Dave Teggart hit from 22 yards for his third straight successful attempt after striking the left upright and the crossbar on a miss from 42 yards on the game's opening drive. He recovered to make a 40- and 53-yard attempt.
The 53-yard kick is the longest in the Big East this season and tied former Syracuse and Morgantown High kicker Patrick Shadle for the longest by an opponent in Mountaineer Field history.
Tyler Bitancurt opened the scoring with a 31-yard field goal following Teggart's miss, but the Mountaineers lost McCartney's fumble on one possession and then punted on three straight. Garrison scored the only touchdown of the half on a 14-yard run following a holding penalty. Garrison faked Brown to the ground in the open field on that score, too.
The Huskies helped out on that drive and the Mountaineers needed it. On second-and-10, Smith stepped forward from the shotgun to make a change at the line of scrimmage, but center Joe Madsen snapped the ball. Smith recovered and then WVU had to call two timeouts before running a play on third down.
Smith tried to fit a pass between defenders to McCartney, but had it intercepted. Safety Byron Jones, who had the interception, was called for defensive holding and gave the Mountaineers a first down.
"When you've been having success on offense, you want to score every time you've got it, but that's not reality," Holgorsen said. "I think everyone is still happy with 43 points."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.