- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Time for a little Big East did you know. Special thanks to the Big East and league sports information departments for many of the notes featured here.
Cincinnati-Miami (Ohio) is the longest-standing nonconference rivalry in the country and the fifth-longest overall behind Minnesota-Wisconsin, Kansas-Missouri, Nebraska-Kansas and Texas-Texas A&M. Saturday's game will mark the 116th meeting between the schools. They first played in 1888. Miami leads the all-time series 59-49-7, but Cincinnati has won five straight.
The Bearcats already have eight interceptions -- matching its total amount for 2010.
Miami coach Don Treadwell served two different stints at Cincinnati -- as receivers coach in 1994 and offensive coordinator from 2004-06.
Syracuse has opened Big East play against Rutgers six times and has won all six meetings. The last time the Orange faced Rutgers to open league play was in 2004. Syracuse won that game, 41-31. On the flip side, Rutgers is 6-14 in Big East openers, including a 3-7 mark under head coach Greg Schiano. In Big East openers on the road, the Scarlet Knights are 1-7 all-time, 1-4 under Schiano. The lone road victory in a league opener for the Scarlet Knights came in 2006 at USF (22-20).
Home sweet Dome: Syracuse went 2-4 last year at home, with its only wins against two FCS opponents. This year, the Orange are 3-0. It’s the first time the Orange has started 3-0 at the Dome since 2001 when it posted a 6-0 home mark on its way to a 10-3 overall record and an appearance in the Insight.com Bowl.
Louisville is 8-2 all-time at home against Marshall, but this will be the Thundering Herd’s first visit to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Marshall defeated Louisville 34-31 at Cardinal Stadium in 1987. Louisville’s last win in the series was a 36-0 victory at home in 1981.
Louisville coach Charlie Strong and Marshall coach Doc Holliday worked together at Florida, and got to know each other years before that on the recruiting trail, when both worked the South Florida area. "The thing you like about Doc, he knows exactly what he wants," Strong said. "As you look at this team, he's going to build an outstanding program at Marshall."
West Virginia has broken down what the offense has done on every down this season:
On first down, the Mountaineers have run a total of 134 plays and have gained 748 yards for a 5.6 average. On second down, the Mountaineers have run 106 plays for 653 yards and a 6.2 average. On third down, the Mountaineers have run 55 plays for 397 yards and a 7.2 average gain. West Virginia has tried six fourth-down plays in 2011, gaining 39 yards for a 6.5 average.
West Virginia's touchdowns have come eight times on first down (5 rushing and 3 passing), six times on second down (1 rushing and 5 passing), one time on third down (0 rushing, 1 passing) and one on fourth down (0 rushing, 1 passing).
Rutgers has put the pressure on the opposition in 2011 as the Scarlet Knights rank third nationally in sacks per game (4.0). They trail only Texas A&M (4.67 per game) and Stanford (4.33 per game) in sacks.
UConn and Western Michigan will play for the second time ever on Saturday. The only other meeting was a 41-27 UConn victory on Nov. 1, 2003 at Rentschler Field -- in the stadium’s debut year. UConn is 17-2 against MAC teams since moving up to FBS in 2002. This is the second straight MAC opponent for the Huskies, after they beat Buffalo last week.