Saturday, September 4, 2010
Reviewing the afternoon Big East games
By Brian Bennett
The Big East is now 0-3 against FBS teams to open this season, though Syracuse could get the league on the board Saturday night.
Connecticut didn't deliver against Michigan, though many people -- including yours truly -- liked the Huskies in that game. Denard Robinson brought back nightmares of Pat White for the UConn defense, shredding them in a record performance. The Huskies had a chance to cut the lead to 24-17 at one point, but D.J. Shoemate made a costly fumble near the goal line.
The 30-10 loss was a setback, for sure, but I still expect Connecticut to have a good season.
Louisville fell 23-16 to Kentucky, losing for the fourth straight time in that rivalry. The Cardinals battled back after trailing 20-3 early, but they just couldn't come up with enough big offensive plays. The lack of difference makers at receiver -- especially once Josh Bellamy got hurt early on -- really showed, as Adam Froman's most reliable target was tight end Cameron Graham.
At least Louisville rallied after it looked like Kentucky would destroy its defense and hang a big number on the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium scoreboard. Charlie Strong still has a lot of work to do.
I mentioned on Twitter earlier Saturday that West Virginia was "pulling a Rutgers" by leading Coastal Carolina only 10-0 at halftime. And ironically, the Mountaineers won by the exact same score Rutgers did against Norfolk State: 31-0. Lot of similarities between the games, including a dominant defensive effort: the Chanticleers netted just 186 total yards -- and an offense that eventually got going in the second half.
The best news for West Virginia was that Geno Smith threw two touchdown passes, which should give him confidence going forward. Whether it was 60-0 or 31-0 doesn't matter in the end, as long as the Mountaineers continue to win and improve.