Monday, October 24, 2011
Weekend Rewind: Big East
By Andrea Adelson
Let us take a look at the good and the bad from Week 8:
Ryan Nassib threw four touchdown passes in Syracuse's win over West Virginia.
The good: Syracuse had one of its best performances in recent memory in its 49-23 upset win over then-No. 15 West Virginia on Friday night. The Mountaineers were the highest-ranked team Syracuse had beaten since a 50-42 triple-overtime win over No. 8 Virginia Tech in 2002. The win was also the first over West Virginia at home since 2001. The 49 points were a series high as well, beating its previous high of 45 points in 1960. Nine different receivers caught passes in the game -- including three tight ends -- and Antwon Bailey has reached 100 yards rushing in four straight games. ... Louisville got a much-needed 16-14 win over Rutgers, snapping a four-game losing streak in conference home openers. Chris Philpott made a 52-yard field goal to tie a school record, and is one of just two FBS kickers this season to kick a 50-yard field goal in back-to-back games. The Cardinals had their first 100-yard rusher of the season and a season-high 183 yards on the ground. Louisville also had its first third-quarter touchdown of the season when Teddy Bridgewater threw an 18-yard score to Michaelee Harris. Louisville recorded three interceptions in a game for the second time since it joined the Big East in 2005. ... Cincinnati is not in the BCS standings, but ranked No. 23 in the coaches' poll. The Bearcats are 20-8-1 as a ranked team. In two straight games, they have rallied from a second-half deficit to win. Against USF, they rallied from two second-half deficits to post the victory. After winning four games last season, they are now bowl eligible for the fifth time in the past six years.
The bad: West Virginia fans cannot possibly want to relive the loss to the Orange. There was nothing good about it. The Mountaineers gave up their most points ever to the Orange, and their two losses this season have each been by 26 points. The Mountaineers went into the game having allowed seven total sacks. They gave up four to the Orange. Meanwhile, the run game continues to be an area of concern. West Virginia failed to reach 100 yards on the ground for the fifth time in seven games this season, getting just 70 as the game got out of hand. Despite the loss, West Virginia remained ranked in the BCS standings at No. 25, but clearly the defeat was another hit for the Big East. Two non-AQs are ranked higher than the league, and the Big East is the only AQ league with just one team in the standings. ... Rutgers had its four-game winning streak snapped and it was yet another close call. All three of Rutgers’ road games have been decided by three points or fewer (Syracuse is the lone win). Gary Nova lost his first game as a starting quarterback since eighth grade, but coach Greg Schiano is sticking with him as the starter. Kicker San San Te missed two field goals against Louisville. He has made just 12 of 20 field goals this season. ... USF has lost its three conference games in a variety of ways: starting with a blowout and ending with a heartbreaker. Mistakes have doomed USF in all three. It is now minus-4 in turnover margin in those three games. Penalties have hurt, and coach Skip Holtz was questioned over his clock management on a goal-line situation at the end of the second quarter.
Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia. Bailey had seven catches for 130 yards and has five straight games with at least 100 receiving yards.
Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati. Collaros threw for 389 yards and three touchdowns over USF. He became only the second quarterback in school history, along with Gino Guidugli, to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his career.
B.J. Daniels, QB, USF. Daniels threw for 409 yards in a loss to Cincinnati, a career high and school record for passing yards in a game.
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse. Nassib passed Troy Nunes and Don McPherson and now ranks fourth all-time in completions at Syracuse with 386. Nassib accounted for five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) to move into sixth on the school career list for most touchdowns (40).
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers. Sanu had 10 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown against Louisville. Sanu has had back-to-back games with at least 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards.
Geno Smith, QB. West Virginia. Smith threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns to moved into sixth place on the school career passing list (5,664 yards). Smith is tied with Chad Johnston and current WVU athletics director Oliver Luck for fourth in career touchdown passes (43) at the school.
Deonte Welch, WR, USF. Welch had a career-high 130 yards receiving on five catches against Cincinnati. He went into the game with six catches for 83 yards in six career games.
Week 9 schedule
UConn at Pitt, 8 p.m., Wednesday, ESPN
Syracuse at Louisville, noon, Saturday, Big East Network
West Virginia at Rutgers, 3:30 p.m., Saturday, ABC