Monday, November 15, 2010
Week 11 review/Week 12 preview
By Brian Bennett
The Week (11) that Was:
Team of the week: Connecticut. Every other Big East team cheered on the Huskies as they knocked off Pitt 30-28 on Thursday night. That was the second straight big home win for UConn, following the upset of West Virginia two weeks ago.
This TD grab by Dontavia Bogan helped South Florida to an important win against Louisville.
Best game: Three of the four games were decided by three points or less. But I'm a sucker for overtime games, so I'm going with South Florida's 24-21 win against Louisville, which featured a late touchdown, field goal intrigue in the final seconds and a controversial coaching decision in OT.
Biggest play: Ross Krautman's 24-yard field goal with 1:07 left in Syracuse's 13-10 victory against Rutgers. It wasn't the most exciting play or the prettiest game to watch, but that field goal meant the Orange will be going bowling for the first time since 2004.
Best call: Randy Edsall doesn't normally have a reputation as a riverboat gambler. But on 4th-and-1 from his own 19, and his team clinging to a two-point lead with 2:50 left, Edsall decided to go for it. Jordan Todman picked up four yards, Pitt never got the ball back and the Big East race got a lot tighter.
Big Man on Campus (Offense): Todman, RB, Connecticut. Todman rushed 37 times for 222 yards in the win against Pittsburgh.
Big Man on Campus (Defense): Lawrence Wilson, LB, Connecticut. Wilson had 11 tackles and a sack in the Huskies' big win.
Big Man on Campus (Special teams): Krautman, K, Syracuse. In addition to his game-winner, the freshman from New Jersey helped sink Rutgers with a 48-yarder in the third quarter of a game where points were scarce.
Strangest moment: According to West Virginia players, Cincinnati receiver D.J. Woods woofed to them in pregame warm-ups, saying Milan Puskar Stadium "is my house and my field." Why Woods would want to fire up the Mountaineers defense on the road is anybody's guess. West Virginia linebacker J.T. Thomas told teammates that he wanted Woods' head "or I'll go get it myself." Woods was held well below his average, with just three catches for 32 yards, as Cincinnati got blasted 37-10.
Worst hangover: Rutgers. Yeah, Pitt lost a game it shouldn't have, but the Panthers still have a one-game lead. The Scarlet Knights have now lost three straight games and could onlymuster 10 points at home. The offensecontinues to be one of the worst in the nation, and now the program is in danger of missing a bowl game for the first time in six years. And Saturday was its second straight loss to Syracuse.
Now let's look ahead to Week 12, where we actually have all Saturday games and even some night contests. (Games listed in descending order of interest and importance):
˙˙Pittsburgh (5-4, 3-1 Big East) at South Florida (6-3, 3-2): Can Pitt maintain its first-place lead? Or will the red-hot Bulls move into a first-place tie? (ESPN2, Noon ET)
Connecticut (5-4, 2-2) at Syracuse (7-3, 4-2): Something's got to give, as UConn is winless on the road and the Orange are 0-2 at home in Big East play. Winner remains in the BCS hunt. (ESPNU, 7 p.m. ET)
West Virginia (6-3, 2-2) at Louisville (5-5, 2-3): The Cardinals try to get that elusive sixth win in their home finale, while the Mountaineers try to build some momentum. (ESPN3.com, Noon ET)
Rutgers at Cincinnati (3-6, 1-3): It's a basement bowl! Rutgers can't score, and Cincinnati can't stop anybody. (ESPN3.com, 7:30 p.m. ET)