Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Tricks and treats in the Big East
By Andrea Adelson
Happy Halloween one and all! I know you all are just waiting on pins and needles to know what I am dressing up as this year. My children picked my costume for me.
Drum roll ...
I will be a lady bug. Because nothing says lady like college football blogging! Hope you have fun tonight. To get you in the spirit, here are some tricks and treats from the Big East so far this year.
Scary movie: Youngstown State 31, Pitt 17. I know Pitt fans want to forget this game ever happened, so skip to the next category if you do not want to relive the pain from this game. It was not the best start to the Paul Chryst era. Youngstown State beat an FBS team for the first time in school history, while Pitt lost to an FCS team for the first time in program history. The loss also broke the Big East's 57-game winning streak over FCS programs.
Trick or treat: Louisville at Rutgers, Nov. 29. Just the way the Big East scheduling gods planned this one -- it is looking more and more like this game is going to determine the Big East representative in the BCS. Rutgers did lose to Kent State last week, but the Scarlet Knights and No. 10 Cardinals remain the only teams undefeated in Big East play. If they can get to their Thursday night meeting in New Jersey unbeaten, the winner goes to the BCS.
Boo (boo): Cincinnati defensive end Walter Stewart. This is a really tough loss for Cincinnati and the Big East. Stewart got hurt early on against Fordham and ended up playing the rest of the game. But when he went for further testing, doctors advised him to give up his career because he could risk further injury to his back. Stewart was the best edge pass-rusher in the Big East and ends the season with five sacks. That still ranks him No. 3 even though he missed the last two games. Without him, the Bearcats are 0-2.
Jason Voorhees: MAC. That is right. The MAC is the league that WOULD NOT DIE. It was Friday the 13th for four different Big East teams in the first nine weeks of the season. Ball State struck first, beating USF. Then Western Michigan beat UConn for the second straight season. But USF and UConn are quite beatable this year. Surely the ranked, undefeated Big East teams would handle their MAC competition. Uhhhhhh. Toledo beat No. 21 Cincinnati; Kent State beat No. 15 Rutgers.
Cursed: USF. When are the Bulls going to win a close game you ask? Great question. Four of their six losses came in the closing minutes. Their last two came by a combined three points. Go back to last year, and USF lost four games in the closing minutes as well -- three on a field goal. That means eight of their 13 losses in the past two seasons have come down to the wire, and the Bulls have not been able to find a way to win.
Graveyard: UConn. The Huskies do not have as many heartbreaking losses as the Bulls, but they are close. Last year they had a problem closing out games in the fourth quarter. This year, three of their five losses have been by six points or less -- including an overtime defeat to Temple. Coach Paul Pasqualoni is 8-13 in a little less than two seasons there, and has never won consecutive games with the Huskies.
Thriller: Louisville 34, Cincinnati 31, OT. The best Big East game of the season to date featured a wild fourth quarter in which Louisville took the lead with 1:56 remaining only to see the Bearcats send the game into overtime with 1:03 remaining. Munchie Legaux threw an interception into the end zone on Cincinnati's possession in overtime. Louisville got the ball back and lined up for the game-winning field goal. Cincinnati coach Butch Jones called timeout just as the snap was botched. He shrugged his shoulders. Louisville got one more chance, and John Wallace hit the 30-yard field goal to win the game and keep Louisville's unbeaten season alive.