Week 9 rewind/Week 10 on tap
I'm still having a hard time believing what happened over the weekend in the Big East. So let's look back at it:
Best Game: Louisville's 24-20 win over South Florida game could have had an even tighter finish, if the Bulls' Tyrone McKenzie hadn't been called for holding on a Louisville missed field goal with 1:19 left. Jim Leavitt disputed the call, while Steve Kragthorpe said it was obvious and something McKenzie had done it in previous games.
Biggest play: We'll stay in Louisville and go with Johnny Patrick's interception of Matt Grothe with 3:43 left. Patrick cleaned up after Earl Heyman grabbed a handful of Grothe's jersey and forced him into a bad throw.
Big Man on Campus (Offense): No matter your rooting interest, you have to feel good for Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel. The senior has endured all kinds of criticism and was even booed by his own fans while he struggled this season. He finally put it all together by throwing a school-record six touchdown passes in a 54-34 stunner at Pittsburgh.
Big Man on Campus (Defense): Connecticut defensive end Cody Brown terrorized Cincinnati with two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two pass breakups in a 40-16 victory.Big Man on Campus (Special Teams): A week after Tony Ciaravino missed three field goals in UConn's 12-10 loss to Rutgers, Dave Teggart stepped into the starting place-kicking role and went 4-for-4, including a 47-yarder.
Worst Hangover: Pittsburgh was 5-1, moving up steadily in the polls. Then the Panthers somehow gave up 54 points to Rutgers, lost their starting quarterback to a concussion and their starting center for the season with an ankle injury. Pitt fans have seen this before. In 2006, their team was 6-1 before losing to Rutgers. That was the start of a five-game losing streak that left the Panthers 6-6 and out of the postseason.
Strangest moment: With six seconds left in the first half, South Florida had the ball inside Louisville's 10-yard line. The Bulls' offense stayed on the field until Leavitt called a timeout. Then the kicking team came out, and Kragthorpe called a timeout. This continued as the two coaches called five consecutive timeouts, three of them by Louisville. The half finally ended with a South Florida field goal.
"Jim and I probably would have called four more if we'd had them in our pocket," Kragthorpe said.
Now let's look ahead to Week 10, which promises to be just as unpredictable. Games listed in descending order of significance.
West Virginia (5-2, 2-0 Big East) at Connecticut (6-2, 2-1): The Huskies like to remind you they were co-champs last year. The Mountaineers like to point out that they beat UConn 66-21. This year's title might also be decided by this game.
Pittsburgh (5-2, 2-1) at Notre Dame (5-2): The Panthers need to bounce back in a big way after Saturday's disappointment, and seeing the gold helmets should have them focused.
South Florida (6-2, 1-2) at Cincinnati (5-2, 1-1): This Thursday night tilt looked like a big one before both teams went out and stumbled this weekend. Still, each needs a win to have any shot of staying in the Big East hunt.
Louisville (5-2, 2-1) at Syracuse (1-6, 0-3): The Cardinals seem to be moving in the right direction, and now they will confront the team that handed them their most embarrassing loss a year ago.