As we get ready to formally kick off the 2011 BIG EAST football season, let’s take a last look at some of the top games of 2010.
The game featured seven field goals and just one offensive touchdown, but makes the top of the list because of the stakes and the finish. Needing a win to clinch a spot in the Bowl Championship Series for the first time, Connecticut answered USF’s tying field goal with 1:16 left with a 39-yard kickoff return by Robbie Frey, two completed passes by Zach Frazer and a 52-yard field goal by Dave Teggart with 17 seconds left to give the Huskies a share of the BIG EAST title.
Syracuse 36, Kansas State 34 (New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Dec. 30) - HIGHLIGHTS
The first New Era Pinstripe Bowl will be tough to top as the Orange rode a five-reception, 172-yard, three-touchdown effort from receiver Marcus Sales to a narrow win against Kansas State at Yankee Stadium. Sales caught touchdown passes of 52, 36 and 44 yards, while Orange running back Delone Carter capped his career with 198 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
USF 23, Miami (Fla.) 20 (ot) (Nov. 27) - HIGHLIGHTS
USF quarterback Bobby Eveld came off the bench in the second half and scored the tying touchdown with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. Miami got within field goal range in the closing seconds on the following possession, but Jerrell Young picked off a Jacory Harris pass with five seconds left to send the game to overtime. The Bulls spotted the Hurricanes a field goal in OT, but responded with Demetris Murray’s 1-yard touchdown run to give USF a key win against its’ Sunshine State rival.
West Virginia 24, Marshall 21 (ot) (Sept. 10) - HIGHLIGHTS
With five-and-a-half minutes left in the fourth quarter, West Virginia was on the short end of a 21-6 score in the annual Friends of Coal Bowl. But the Mountaineers scored twice in the last 5:12 of regulation, including a 5-yard touchdown pass from Gen o Smith to Will Johnson to force overtime. The Mountaineers had the ball first in overtime and Tyler Bitancurt’s 20-yard field goal stood up as the winner as Marshall missed a 39-yard attempt on its possession.
Louisville 31, Southern Miss 28 (Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, Dec. 21) - HIGHLIGHTS
The Cardinals ended a three-year hiatus from postseason play with a thrilling win against a strong Southern Miss squad in St. Petersburg. The Cardinals trailed 21-7, but tied the game on a 95-yard kickoff return by Jeremy Wright before Chris Philpott’s 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter stood up as the gamewinner.
Rutgers 23, Army 22 (ot) (Oct. 16)
Army was putting forth its best team in years when Rutgers welcomed the Black Knights to New Meadowlands Stadium. Army held a 17-3 halftime lead, but Rutgers used a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes by Chas Dodd to force overtime. The Scarlet Knight defense held Army to a field goal on the first possession of overtime and Joe Martinek won it for Rutgers with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Oklahoma 31, Cincinnati 29 (Sept. 25) - HIGHLIGHTS
It wasn’t a win for Butch Jones and the Bearcats, but Cincinnati gave the eighth-ranked Sooners their toughest test of the regular season, rallying from a 24-9 third-quarter deficit to get within two down the stretch. Cincinnati’s Zach Collaros threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns and wide receiver D.J. Woods had seven receptions for 171 yards and a TD, showing that the Bearcats would be heard from before the season was over.