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Week 6 review/Week 7 preview

10/11/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Like the early seasons of "Lost," let's have a quick flashback:

Team of the week: Pittsburgh. It wasn't always pretty, but the Panthers overcame a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter to beat Connecticut 24-21 and become the first team to go 2-0 in the Big East.

Best game: The Pitt-UConn game had a field goal as time expired and a big comeback. Good enough in a light week.

Biggest play: Trent Guy's 64-yard kick return after Southern Miss had scored to go ahead with 2:14 left. That set up the game-winning field goal for Louisville and for at least a week, gave Steve Kragthorpe a reprieve from rumors. And good for Guy, who fumbled a fourth-quarter punt earlier this season at Kentucky as Louisville squandered a lead.

Best call: Connecticut offensive coordinator Joe Moorehead called for the fly route to Marcus Easley on first down after a Pittsburgh punt late in the first half. Easley burned cornerback Ricky Gary for a 79-yard touchdown to give UConn a 7-3 lead.

Big Man on Campus (Offense): Pitt receiver Jonathan Baldwin was the best player at Heinz Field much of the day. He finished with eight catches for 104 yards and a touchdown and could have three scores with a couple of more accurate throws.

Big Man on Campus (Defense): UConn safety Robert Vaughn had 10 tackles and two interceptions, one of which he returned 20 yards for a score, in the losing effort.

Big Man on Campus (Special teams): Pitt kicker Dan Hutchins had three field goals, including the game-winning 18-yarder with no time left.

Worst Hangover: Connecticut. How do you blow a 15-point lead with a little under 19 minutes left? By producing seven total yards the rest of the way. The Huskies are two fourth-quarter collapses away from being 5-0.

Strangest moment: Doug Marrone's explanation for why he pulled Greg Paulus for the second half against West Virginia, when Syracuse trailed 27-0: "During the course of the game, I was concerned about some of the questions I and some of the coaches were asking and how he was responding to it. ‘Why would you do this? Why would you do that?’ It’s just not characteristic of how my experience with Greg has been in the past, therefore I felt uncomfortable about the situation and made the switch, knowing that Greg will still be our starting quarterback."

Marrone said Paulus wasn't hurt and that there was no quarterback controversy, so was Paulus just having a bad day or what?

Now, like the later seasons of "Lost," here's a flash forward (Games listed in descending order of importance and interest):

No. 8 Cincinnati (5-0, 1-0 Big East) at No. 21 South Florida (5-0, 1-0): I don't know how to put this, but this game is kind of a big deal. People know this game. It has many leather-bound books and its apartment smells of rich mahogany. (7:30 p.m. Thursday, ESPN).

Pitt (5-1, 2-0) at Rutgers (4-1, 0-1): The Scarlet Knight will try to run their winning streak to five against the Panthers. (8 p.m. Friday, ESPN)

Louisville (2-3, 0-1) at Connecticut (3-2, 0-1): The Huskies have won two straight over Louisville and need to make it three to have any chance of competing for the Big East title.

Marshall (4-2) at West Virginia (4-1, 1-0): The Mountaineers have owned "The Friends of Coal Bowl" with a perfect 8-0 record.

Bye: Syracuse