October 25th, 2008 -- The Bearcats, riding high after a big conference opening win over then conference stalwart Rutgers traveled to East Hartford to take on a Huskies team that seemed to be reeling on the heels of losses to North Carolina and Rutgers. Circumstances conspired on that day to put the Bearcats in a position to take a commanding lead in the Big East race should they beat the Huskies. Instead the Bearcats endured the loss of Tony Pike after the first half (a first half that saw UC lead 13-10). The Bearcats proceeded to meltdown in the second half with Chazz Anderson at the helm. In total the Bearcats committed 6 turnovers, three on interceptions and losing three of the six fumbles for the day. The turnovers turned a close game at the start of the fourth quarter into a 40-16 blowout. That game wound up being the turning point in that 2008 season.
The Sunday following the loss the Bearcats hit the practice field to start their gameweek for the South Florida game. Brian Kelly challenged that team to see what kind of team they wanted to be. To come out and play like champions. He challenged them to respond, and they did with a great week of practice and an annihilation of the Bulls on national TV. The Bearcats wouldn't lose again that Caladnder year*
* See what I did there?
November 27th, 2010 -- 25 months later and a more dispiriting game played out. By the time the Bearcats season was done, and all but the most delusional fans had already moved onto basketball. I was not one of them, I was still hanging on every single game like it was still 2009. I wanted to know that the team that I had come to love was going to be the same, that following from 200 miles away wasn't going to be a problem and like Butch Jones knew what he was doing. Yes, Yes and Sort of.
In the end it was another five turnover meltdown that all but assured the Bearcats of some months of misery, and the rest of the Big East some months of ignominy as the least worthy Big East champ of the all was served up as a delicious morsel to the hungry band from the Sooner state.
Those games are the past, and as is often said the past is prologue. Not that those games will have any impact on how this game will play out. These are different programs at different points in their evolution under new(ish) coaches. The only thing held over from those games are the names on the front of the jersey's. I think UConn is a relatively good match up for the Bearcats if UC can straighten out its turnover issues. That is known and understood, but there is no denying that the Rent has been a difficult place for UC to get a win. Lets hope all of the demons were expelled after the 2012 win,