USF 38, Cincinnati 30 - HIGHLIGHTS
Pittsburgh 41, Rutgers 21 - HIGHLIGHTS
Syracuse 19, West Virginia 14 - HIGHLIGHTS
Louisville 26, UConn 0 - HIGHLIGHTS
If we’ve learned anything in the BIG EAST in 2010, it’s that we really haven’t learned anything yet.
The only conference in the nation in which each member has at least three wins, the BIG EAST is reinforcing the old cliche that says that on any given day, any team can beat any other team. How else to explain a week in which the teams projected to finish sixth, seventh and eighth in the BIG EAST preseason poll all came away with wins against teams picked to finish in the top half of the conference?
Pittsburgh was the only favorite — according to the preseason poll — to win in Week 8 as the Panthers pulled away from a tied game at halftime to take a 41-21 win against Rutgers at Heinz Field. QB Tino Sunseri, who threw four touchdown passes last week against Syracuse, added three more against the Scarlet Knights and the Panthers received big-time performances from a pair of 2009 all-America selections as RB Dion Lewis ran for 130 yards and a touchdown, while WR Jon Baldwin had five receptions for 139 yards and a TD.
Rutgers, which had found some offensive rhythm in its previous two games, struggled to get going against the Panthers. The Scarlet Knights had just 203 yards of offense and committed two turnovers.
The result leaves Pittsburgh as the only unbeaten team in BIG EAST play (2-0), while Rutgers evened its BIG EAST record at 1-1.
The otherwise wild weekend got started Friday night as USF put an end to a pair of notable Cincinnati winning streaks in a 38-30 win for the Bulls at Nippert Stadium. The Bearcats had won 14 straight on their home field and had a 13-game BIG EAST winning streak that stood as the third-longest in conference history.
USF QB B.J. Daniels delivered what might have been the best effort of his career as he completed 13 of 16 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns while adding a pair of rushing touchdowns. Most importantly, the Bulls did not commit a turnover, which allowed USF to withstand a 590-yard effort by the Cincinnati offense.
The Bearcats (1-1 BIG EAST) got a 463-yard, three-touchdown effort by QB Zach Collaros, who fed three different receivers to the tune of 100 yards each. WR Armon Binns had 12 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to keep USF (1-2 BIG EAST) from gaining its first BIG EAST win of the year.
Two of the BIG EAST’s top defenses were on display Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va., as Syracuse and West Virginia battled for the Schwartzwalder Trophy. But the Orange had more big plays down the stretch, K Ross Krautman hit four field goals and Syracuse held the Mountaineers scoreless after the first quarter in a 19-14 win.
Syracuse LB Doug Hogue was chosen as the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week Sunday after he had 10 tackles, two interceptions, 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks against the Mountaineers. Hogue led a defense that had three interceptions and five sacks, including a pair of key sacks when West Virginia was threatening on its final drive.
The win lifted Syracuse into second place in the BIG EAST at 2-1 in the league, while West Virginia fell to 1-1 in the circuit.
Defense and special teams were also the order of the day in Louisville as the Cardinals scored 26 points despite getting just one offensive touchdown in a 26-0 win against Connecticut.
Louisville K Chris Philpott made four field goals and the Cardinals (1-1 BIG EAST) got a 74-yard return for a touchdown from WR Doug Beaumont, giving a cushion to a defense that limited the Huskies (0-2 BIG EAST) to 195 yards. Louisville RB Bilal Powell ran for 105 yards on 27 carries, turning in his fourth straight 100-yard game and becoming just the fourth player in the nation to reach 1,000 yards this season (1,003).