Big East stock report, Week 8

October, 20, 2010
10/20/10
9:00
AM ET
The stock report is kind of like Kenny Powers' career. One week you're on top of the sports world with a hit motivational audiobook. The next week, you're waving a gun around a disinterested crowd in Mexico.

Let's see who's hot and not in Week 8:

Stock up

1. Keith Tandy: Remember last year at South Florida, when Tandy got repeatedly burned by the Bulls' Carlton Mitchell? What a turnaround for the West Virginia cornerback, who was named Big East defensive player of the week for his 10-tackle performance on Thursday against the Bulls that included an interception and a fumble recovery. Tandy is one of the most improved players in the league.

2. Antonio Lowery: The Rutgers linebacker had a whopping 19 tackles against Army and is now leading the league with 10.8 stops per game.

3. Pittsburgh's linebackers: The Pitt linebackers did not play well much of the first half of the season, especially in pass coverage. Well, on Saturday at Syracuse, Tristan Roberts and Greg Williams both played as well as they had in their careers. Add in Dom DeCicco's contributions when he's not playing safety and this position could turn into a strength if they can keep it up.

4. Louisville crowds: Some doubted whether Louisville could consistently fill up an expanded Papa John's Cardinal Stadium as crowds dwindled at the end of the Steve Kragthorpe era. Charlie Strong asked fans to get in their seats earlier last week before the Cincinnati game. Well, fans delivered by contributing to a big-time atmosphere, and despite the loss, Louisville has already announced a sell out this week against UConn. Louisville is second in the Big East in home attendance behind West Virginia.

5. Goodwill: If there's anything good to come out of Eric LeGrand's injury, it's the goodwill shown by other conference schools in their support for the Rutgers players. It's reminiscent of how the league came together last year following the Jasper Howard killing. Let's hope the positive energy and support can help LeGrand in his recovery efforts.

Stock down

1. West Virginia's running game: The Mountaineers are just seventh in the league in rushing at 149 yards per game and have been held to under 100 yards rushing twice this season. That's unusual for a team that was once used to regular 200- and even 300-yard running days. Blame some of it on Noel Devine's foot injury and part of it on the renewed passing game. Either way, some big plays in the running game will be needed during Big East play.

2. Rutgers O-line: I didn't think the stock could get any lower on the Scarlet Knights' offensive front. Eight sacks allowed against Army proved me wrong. Greg Schiano called the problem "an epidemic." Is there any cure?

3. Syracuse's pass defense: The Orange like to bring pressure, but on Saturday they paid for it by being torched by the Pittsburgh passing game in a 45-14 loss. Syracuse got away with it in the South Florida game because B.J. Daniels couldn't make the right reads. If they continue to put their secondary in difficult positions, they're going to get burned again.

4. South Florida's late first-half offense: Daniels threw an interception against Florida late in the first half that helped turn the tide. He threw another one in the final minute before intermission at West Virginia that led to a Mountaineers score and a 17-3 deficit. It could have been worse against Syracuse, when Mo Plancher fumbled deep in his own territory in the final 90 seconds of the first half, but Plancher managed to get the ball back. Perhaps taking a knee before the first-half horn sounds would be a good idea in the future.

5. Cincinnati's turnovers: Turnovers kept the Bearcats from beating now No. 1 Oklahoma, and Cincinnati lost the turnover battle 3-0 at Louisville, nearly losing the game because of it. Butch Jones' team is minus-6 and last in the Big East in turnover margin after last year's team rarely coughed it up. That is no way to succeed in league play going forward.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

BIG EAST TEAM COVERAGE