Around the BIG EAST Conference

Cincinnati at Penn State highlight this weekend's slate of games

This Weekend's Schedule
Pittsburgh at Ohio University (ESPN2)
Cincinnati at Penn State (ESPN Regional)
Liberty at Connecticut
Buffalo at Syracuse
Villanova at Rutgers
Wofford at West Virginia
Florida A&M at South Florida


Pittsburgh @ Ohio U.

Pittsburgh will look to get back on track against Ohio University. The Panthers have never lost to the Bobcats, as they lead the overall series by a 7-0 margin. The two met last season on Sept. 11, with Pitt handing Ohio a 24-3 defeat. The Panthers ran for 168 yards against the Bobcats, including 100 from tailback Raymond Kirkley. Pitt forced three Ohio turnovers – one of which was a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown by Malcolm Postell. The Panthers' last four wins against the Bobcats have come by a combined 116-36 margin. Ohio lost in week one at Northwestern, 38-14. The Bobcats turned the ball over three times and were 0-for-9 on third down conversions.

Cincinnati @ Penn State

Penn State leads the all-time series versus Cincinnati by a 7-1 margin. The two teams haven't met since Sept. 5, 1992, when the Nittany Lions defeated the Bearcats by a 24-20 margin. The lone UC win in the series came in 1983 – a 14-3 win by the Bearcats at Beaver Stadium. This is the second consecutive game for Penn State against a BIG EAST Conference team. The Nittany Lions won their week one matchup with USF, 23-13. This week's Cincinnati-Penn State contest is the first ESPN Regional Television Game of the Week this season. The Bearcats last faced a Big Ten opponent in their 2004 season opener. Cincinnati lost at Ohio State, 27-6.

Liberty @ Connecticut

This is the first meeting between Connecticut and Liberty. The Huskies have shut out opponents in two of their last three regular season games dating back to last season. Both of those shutouts came against Buffalo, including last week's 38-0 win at Rentschler Field. UConn held the Bulls to 125 yards of total offense in week one, including 60 yards passing and 65 yards on the ground. Down 6-0 at the half in its week one contest, Liberty scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to defeat Concord, 17-6. Running back Marcus Hamilton posted 138 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the winning Flames.

Villanova @ Rutgers

The Villanova-Rutgers series is tied at seven games apiece. Villanova won the last meeting between the two schools, 37-19, on Aug. 21, 2002. Tight end L.J. Smith caught two touchdown passes for the Scarlet Knights in the loss. Villanova did not play in week one. The Wildcats are coming off a 2004 campaign in which they went 6-5 overall and 3-5 in Atlantic 10 Conference play. The Villanova offensive line allowed 42 sacks last season. The Rutgers defense led the BIG EAST in sacks a year ago with 31. RU fullback Brian Leonard has a streak of 16 games with at least 100 all-purpose yards. Wide receiver Tres Moses has caught a pass in 23 straight games.

Florida A&M @ South Florida

This is the first meeting between Florida A&M and USF. Running back Andre Hall (1,357 yards in 2004) and a potent Bulls' running game will match up against a Rattlers' defense that allowed just 83 yards on the ground in their week one loss to Delaware State (21-17). Running back Rashard Pompey ran for 139 yards on 18 carries to go along with one touchdown in week one for Florida A&M. The Rattlers turned the ball over five times against Delaware State. Last week was the first game for Rubin Carter as head coach of Florida A&M. The Rattlers were 3-8 overall in 2004. USF's defense held Penn State to just 97 yards in the air last week in a 23-13 loss. Quarterback Pat Julmiste will start for USF after going 21-of- 35 for 200 yards and two touchdowns at Penn State.

Buffalo @ Syracuse

Buffalo leads the all-time series against Syracuse by a 3-2-1 margin, but the last win by the Bulls in the series came in 1899 (16-0). The two teams last met on Sept. 11, 2004 – a game won by the Orange, 37-17. Running back Damien Rhodes had 85 yards rushing in the game, including a 46-yard touchdown run. Safety Anthony Smith recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a score. Syracuse forced three turnovers, one of which went for a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Kelvin Smith. Buffalo lost in their season opener to another BIG EAST Conference opponent – Connecticut – 38-0.

Wofford @ West Virginia

Wofford and West Virginia will be meeting for the first time. Both West Virginia and Wofford had big games on the ground in week one. The Mountaineers ran for 183 yards in the ground, with 72 coming from quarterback Adam Bednarik. Wofford gained 413 yards on 74 carries in a week one 34-24 win over Georgetown, Ky. Running back Michael Hobbs led the way with 115 yards rushing on 21 carries. The West Virginia defense held Syracuse to just 103 yards of total offense in week one (18 yards rushing, 85 yards passing). The 15-7 win was the Mountaineers' fourth consecutive victory over the Orange. WVU prevailed despite not scoring an offensive touchdown.

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