- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Thanks to ESPN Stats & Info and these schools' sports information departments for the tidbits.
UConn ranks third in total defense and sacks and fifth in rushing and pass defense. The Huskies are led by Yawin Smallwood, who is tied for the nation lead in tackles for loss, and Trevardo Williams, who is tied for fifth in sacks. Western Michigan is UConn's second MAC opponent this season, and it will face a third next week, Buffalo.
Teddy Bridgewater has completed 17 of 21 passes on third down and has converted a first down on 15 of those plays. The 71.4 third-down conversion percentage is third among FBS quarterbacks with at least five third-down attempts. Louisville has allowed 47.9 percent of opponents’ plays to gain 5 or more yards, the worst percentage in the Big East and the 10th-highest percentage among FBS schools.
Gardner-Webb is led by second-year head coach Ron Dickerson Jr., whose father was a Pitt assistant for Jackie Sherrill in 1979 and 1980. Dickerson Sr. became head coach at Temple (1992-97) and later at Alabama State (1998-99). Pitt secondary coach Matt House served as the defensive line coach at Gardner-Webb in 2005.
Rutgers' Jawan Jamison ranks No. 7 nationally and first in the Big East with 393 rushing yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry and 124.3 yards per game. His 41 rushing attempts last week at USF broke a 39-year-old record school record held by JJ Jennings. Jamison is the first Scarlet Knights running back to rush for 100 yards in each of the first three games of the year since Ray Rice in 2006.
USF travels to Ball State, which ranks 14th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 262.33 yards-per-game. The Cardinals rushed for 329 yards against Eastern Michigan, 252 yards against Clemson Tigers and 206 yards against Indiana.
Ryan Nassib is the first Syracuse quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards in three straight games, joining Marvin Graves (1993) as the only other Orange signal caller to have three 300-plus yard games in the same season. The Big East season record for 300-yard passing games is eight, set last season by Geno Smith (West Virginia).
Temple and Kentucky will try to end two infamous active streaks. The Owls have lost 29 straight against Penn State, the longest active streak in a non-consecutive series. The Wildcats have dropped 25 straight to Florida, the longest active losing streak in an uninterrupted series. (PSU had to vacate seven of those wins, so the Nittany Lions have not officially beaten Temple 29 straight times).