UConn (2-2, 0-1 American) at No. 6 Houston (4-0, 1-0), 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Houston by 27 1/2.

Series Record: UConn leads 1-0.


Last season, the Huskies kept Houston from a perfect season, with a 20-17 win in Connecticut with Cougars quarterback Greg Ward sitting out with an injury. The Cougars haven't forgotten the sting of that defeat and are determined not to let them blemish another season. A win would give Houston consecutive 5-0 starts for the first time in school history. Connecticut has beaten a ranked team just three times, and has never knocked off a top-10 team.


Houston's run defense vs. Connecticut RB Arkeel Newsome and QB Bryant Shirreffs. The Cougars are first in the nation by allowing just 37 yards rushing a game. Newsome leads the Huskies with 211 yards rushing and two touchdowns, but Houston will also have to watch out for Shirreffs, a dual-threat QB who is second on the team with 187 yards rushing and a rushing TD.


UConn: WR Noel Thomas. He had two touchdown receptions in the win last season, and has 40 catches for 388 yards and a score this year. Thomas had a career-high 14 reception against Syracuse on Saturday, and ranks fourth in the country and second in the conference in receptions this season.

Houston: Ward. Ward is eager to face Connecticut after not starting last year's game because of an ankle injury. He did come in on the final drive of that game after backup Kyle Postma was injured. Ward, who has won his last 17 starts, has thrown for 936 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 113 yards and three more scores.


Connecticut is 4-3 all-time against teams from Texas. ... UConn CB Jamar Summers has 10 career interceptions. ... K Bobby Puyol has made all five of his field goal attempts for the Huskies this season. ... S Obi Melifonwu Connecticut with 36 tackles and has broken up two passes. ... Houston LB Steven Taylor is second in the nation with 5 1/2 sacks. ... The Cougars rank fifth in the country in total defense. ... RB Duke Catalan leads Houston with 225 yards rushing. ... WR Linell Bonner's 280 yards receiving is first for the Cougars.


AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org