Monday, November 21, 2011
Weekend Rewind: Big East
By Andrea Adelson
Let's take one look back at the Big East in Week 12 and a quick lookahead to the games in Week 13.
The Bearcats had trouble containing Rutgers running back Jawan Jamison in Saturday's game.
The good: Rutgers snapped a five-game losing streak to Cincinnati and is now in position to earn a share of its first Big East title. The Scarlet Knights did everything right -- as Jawan Jamison notched a career-high 200 yards rushing and Rutgers limited Cincinnati to 67 yards rushing. Rutgers held Cincinnati to 225 yards of total offense. The Scarlet Knights are 39-4 (.907) under coach Greg Schiano when holding an opponent under 300 yards of total offense. They are also 28-7 when rushing for 150 yards or more in a game, since 2006. Mohamed Sanu had a relatively quiet day with six catches, but he now has 100 on the season. ... Louisville rebounded from an uninspired loss to Pitt last week with a win over UConn. The Cardinals (6-5, 4-2) have their most wins in Big East play since 2006, when they went 6-1. Adrian Bushell made his return to the field after serving a one-game suspension with a huge play, returning the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. He was the fourth player in school history to return a kickoff 100 yards for a score, and the first since Trent Guy did it against Kentucky in 2007. The Cardinals had success on the ground again, rushing for 126 yards against the No. 6 run defense in the country. Dexter Heyman had a monster day, with 3.5 tackles for loss. ... Though Cincinnati lost, linebacker JK Schaffer had a huge game, with 13 tackles, including three for loss and 1.5 sacks. He now has over 300 career tackles, the most of any active Big East player.
The bad: What more can be said for the way Cincinnati played on offense in a 20-3 loss to Rutgers. Everybody knew it was going to be difficult for backup Munchie Legaux to step in for Zach Collaros at quarterback, but did anybody envision it would be as bad as it looked? Cincinnati was held to a season-low 225 yards of offense -- its lowest total since gaining 146 against Rutgers in 2005. Legaux only completed 12 passes with an interception. Not only did he have several passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, his receivers dropped many catchable balls as well. The Bearcats' inability to throw was a huge reason why they could not get anything going on offense. Rutgers was locked in on stopping the run, and worked its game plan perfectly. ... How many heartbreaking losses can one team take? USF dropped yet another game by three points, losing to Miami 6-3 when Jake Wieclaw made a 36-yard field goal as time expired. USF lost in overtime to Rutgers when San San Te made a field goal and Maikon Bonani missed his short attempt at the end of regulation. The Bulls also lost to Cincinnati when the Bearcats rallied to win in the fourth quarter. It was a tough loss to take when you consider how good the defense played all game. USF had six sacks, the second-highest total in school history, and allowed the fewest points all season. In fact, it was the lowest scoring game in school history. But when it came down to crunch time, Miami was able to drive into field-goal range and USF simply could not get a stop when it was needed. Miami converted three third downs on that final drive, which went 15 plays. ... UConn running back Lyle McCombs had a season-low 33 yards rushing but went over 1,000 yards on the season in a loss to Louisville. The Huskies were totally stymied on the ground, a big reason why they only had the ball for 21 minutes against Louisville. What hurt even more -- dropped passes. UConn had nine of them, including two that very well could have been touchdowns. Poor tackling was also a problem, and coach Paul Pasqualoni described his team's overall effort as "puzzling." Now UConn has to win out just to become bowl eligible.