Big East news and notes

Here are some news and notes from the Big East coaches call earlier today:


Cincinnati and Louisville open Big East play against one another on Saturday in Paul Brown Stadium. When asked the importance of getting off a 1-0 start in league play, coach Butch Jones said, “You want to start fast and you want to be 1-0, but no one game in particular is more important than the other. The big thing is focusing on the task at hand. The team that ends up being the champion at the end of the season can handle adversity, persevere through the good times and the bad times. That's how we've approached our season."


The Huskies will be without starting cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson for a third straight game when they host USF on Saturday. As for keeping spirits up after a 2-4 start, coach Paul Pasqualoni said, "The attitude of our players is very positive. We're halfway through. It's still relatively new to the kids, the systems, and they're getting better at it. We'll just focus on getting better."


Coach Charlie Strong said Shawn Watson will continue to call the plays, but he had yet to reassign former offensive coordinator Mike Sanford. Strong said Sanford remains with the team, and also made clear the two did not get into an altercation after the Marshall game.

When asked why he chose to remove Sanford as coordinator, Strong said, "Any decision I make I want to make it in the best interest of the program. In business, people get reassigned to different positions. I just thought at the time that (Watson) would do the job that we needed to move this team forward."


Coach Todd Graham continued to take the blame for his team's 34-10 loss at Rutgers, repeatedly saying he didn't do a good enough job to get his team ready to play. He also admitted that installing his hurry-up spread offense has been harder than he anticipated.

"It's been more difficult than I thought it would be, but it has a lot to do with being prepared," he said. "The injuries have contributed to making it more challenging. We're capable, we just have to execute and get it across."


Coach Greg Schiano said true freshman Gary Nova would make his second straight start Saturday against Navy. Nova went 11-of-24 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions last week against Pitt.

"Early on Gary was ... excited. As he calmed down, things slowed down," Schiano said. "He did a good job. ... I have a good feeling about the way he's playing."


Dorian Graham had career highs for catches, yards and touchdowns against Tulane, when he had four receptions for 55 yards and two scores.

"He's been a very good player for us, someone who has shown if you continue to work hard, you can put yourself in situations where you can make plays," coach Doug Marrone said. "Dorian has done an excellent job. I would say he's one of the hardest workers in practice that we have, a competitive kid. He's got a good chip on his shoulder -- he uses it the proper way. He's been able to win on the outside and make plays, and is someone becoming more and more involved in our offense."


Coach Skip Holtz says this Saturday's game against UConn will not have a revenge factor, but he knows his players remember exactly what happened in a 19-16 last-second loss to the Huskies last season.

"I don't think you're going to build that into, 'Hey they beat us last year,' but this team knows," Holtz said. "We had an interception returned for 6 points, two 50-yard field goals kicked against us. That game will play in the back of the minds of the players from what happened a year ago."

West Virginia

Coach Dana Holgorsen was pleased to see redshirt freshman Michael Molinari step in as the punter against UConn last week and do a nice job. Molinari replaced Corey Smith and had five punts that went an average of 43 yards, including three that landed inside the 20.

Holgorsen praised Molinari for his "fantastic performance."