BIG EAST members comprise exactly one quarter of the nation’s remaining unbeaten teams, as three BIG EAST clubs remained perfect on the season in Week 7.
Rutgers improved to 3-0 in BIG EAST play for just the second time in league history as the 6-0 Scarlet Knights were 23-15 winners against Syracuse at High Point Solutions Stadium
. Defense and special teams proved to be the difference as Rutgers scored a touchdown on a 75-yard blocked field goal return by S Duron Harmon as the Orange were threatening to take a third-quarter lead. LB Khaseem Greene was an immense presence as he finished with 14 tackles, three forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and an interception, leading a Rutgers defense that forced four turnovers. Greene was honored Sunday as the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, becoming the third BIG EAST defensive player to earn national weekly honors.
Syracuse was led by QB Ryan Nassib, who threw for 356 yards and a touchdown, surpassing the 300-yard mark for the fourth time this season, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Orange from falling to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in BIG EAST play.
Louisville was one of the last teams in the nation to play a conference game, but the Cardinals made a successful foray into BIG EAST action with a 45-35 win against Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. Louisville (6-0, 1-0 BIG EAST) trailed 21-17 at halftime, but reeled off 21 straight points in the third quarter behind a 75-yard touchdown pass by QB Teddy Bridgewater and two of the four rushing touchdowns on the day from RB Senorise Perry. Perry rushed for 101 yards and four TDs on just 12 carries, while WR DeVante Parker had a career day with 153 receiving yards on four receptions. Bridgewater, meanwhile, threw for 304 yards to turn in his second 300-yard game of the season.
Pittsburgh (2-4, 0-3 BIG EAST) got a solid performance from QB Tino Sunseri, who completed 28 of 37 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns, while WR Devin Street had 11 catches for 111 yards and a TD.
Connecticut, which fell to 3-4 overall and 0-2 in BIG EAST play, suffered its third loss in which it held its opponent to 20 points or fewer. S Byron Jones and LB Yawin Smallwood had 13 tackles each for the Huskies, who have a short week to regroup before heading to Syracuse for a Friday-night matchup.