Monday, October 3, 2011
Weekend Rewind: Big East
By Andrea Adelson
Let us take a look back at Week 5, and a look ahead to Week 6 in the weekend rewind.
Ray Graham has eclipsed the 200-yard rushing mark twice this season.
The good: Pitt running back Ray Graham had 226 yards rushing in a win over USF, and West Virginia running back Dustin Garrison had 291 yards rushing in a win over Bowling Green. The last time the conference had two 200-yard rushers in the same weekend was Nov. 16, 2006, when Pat White (220) and Steve Slaton (215) did it for West Virginia in a 45-27 win over Pitt. Incredibly enough, Slaton and Rutgers back Ray Rice also hit 200 on the same day that same season. Slaton had 203 against Marshall and Rice had 201 against North Carolina on Sept. 2, 2006. ... Rutgers won a Big East road opener for the second time in school history, taking down Syracuse 19-16 in overtime. ... West Virginia continued to roll on offense, beating Bowling Green 55-10. The Mountaineers scored the last 52 points of the game. ... The Big East has four teams among the top 10 nationally in sacks in 2011. Rutgers is fourth nationally at 3.5 sacks a game, while Cincinnati, Connecticut and USF are tied for 10th with three sacks a game.
The bad: Here we are in October, and there are no undefeated teams left in the Big East for the second straight season. The Big East is the only AQ conference without one, meaning no long-shot national championship odds exist anymore. For a league that had higher expectations this season, that certainly qualifies as a disappointment. Add the Louisville and UConn losses to two non-AQ teams at home and you have a pretty miserable weekend for the Big East. The Cardinals were shut out in the second half of their loss to Marshall and have scored just 17 second-half points all season. They also have serious problems with their run game, getting just 60 total yards. UConn, which was supposed to be led by its defense, had a terrible performance against Western Michigan. The Huskies allowed Alex Carder to throw for 479 yards -- that set a new school record. Meanwhile, Syracuse and Rutgers combined for nine turnovers, five missed field goals and a missed extra point in their Big East opener. ... As for USF, the Bulls dropped to 0-7 in Thursday night games and have lost four straight to Pitt. They allowed the Panthers to run 91 offensive plays -- the most by a Big East team this season.
West Virginia cornerback Keith Tandy had two interceptions against Bowling Green, marking his second career two interception game.
UConn receiver Kashif Moore had eight receptions for a career-high 112 yards and two touchdowns against Western Michigan.
USF receiver Sterling Griffin had five receptions for a career-high 109 yards against Pittsburgh.
Cincinnati linebacker JK Schaffer had seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a half sack, a forced fumble and a 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Miami (Ohio).
Week 6 schedule
UConn at West Virginia, noon, Big East Network
Louisville at North Carolina, noon, ESPN2
Pittsburgh at Rutgers, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
Syracuse at Tulane, 8 p.m., Cox Louisiana