Big East Roundup

When we think of the Big East conference, basketball powers seem to ooze into thought. Not much exudes in the form of football powers. But with recent teams having major success, the Big East is out to prove that they have legitimate bowl contenders. Here's a recap of the recent games from Week 1 for teams in what will be an ongoing update of conference outcomes.

Louisville vs. Kentucky

No surprises here right!? Wrong. The Brohm and Bush show was supposed to be the highlight of this season. Many experts have been picking the Cardinals to beat Miami and the winner of the West Virginia game to represent the Big East in BCS play. Those dreams took a huge hit when super talented back, Michael Bush, broke his tibia early in the third quarter. Not all was lost though as Louisville easily dispatched Kentucky 59-28. The loss of Bush could dampen any glimmer of a national title bid for Louisville, as they face off with Miami in two weeks at Louisville.

As for the game, Brian Brohm put up respectable numbers throwing 19-of-38 for 248 yards and a TD. The running game absolutely dominated this game, even after Bush's injury with the Cardinals racking up an amazing 363 yards on the ground. Bush led all rushers with 17 carries for 128 yards and 3 TDs. His first carry…..a great 48-yard touchdown to set the pace for the Cardinals. With Bush's injury look for the Cardinals to turn to George Stripling, who managed 90 rushing yards of his own as well as two trips the end zone.

Kentucky wasn't without its share of sparks as WR Keenan Burton returned a kick 100 yards for a score. The Wildcats have some good play to build off of with QB Andre' Woodson was 9-of-24 for 238 yards and three scores. The Wildcats will need to focus some attention to an anemic running game that netted only 24 yards on 19 carries.

West Virginia vs. Marshall

Another dynamic duo put their shoes on and did the dance with much better results as the Mountaineers gave the Thundering Herd all they could handle in a 42-10 laugher. Pat White and Steve Slaton took turns making bids for each other's Heisman candidacy, as well as baffling the Herd defense. White threw 10-of-14 for 168 yards and 2 TDs as well 48 rushing yards. But the hero this game was Steve Slaton. The super sophomore rushed for 203 of the Mountaineers 312 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Even WR Brandon Myles made the most of his three catches for 33 yards, scoring twice. The Mountaineer defense gave up 322 yards of offense to Marshall, but the game was never in doubt. The Slaton/White duo was too much and will be on the move again in week two when they host the might Eastern Washington Eagles in what should be another audition for post season accolades.

Rutgers vs. UNC

In my favorite game of all conference teams, the Scarlet Knights of SUNJ are really putting a good series of wins together. They finished last season strong and coach Greg Schiano has his players working tough. No game was more evident than the season opener against the Tar Heels as Rutgers won 21-16. Most were expecting to see future NFL FB/RB Brian Leonard, but tailback Ray Rice stole the show running for 201 yards and three scores. UNC did have some bright spots with WR Brooks Foster catching 11 passes for 120 yards. Nebraska transfer Joe Dailey passed 24-of-36 for 234 yards and a TD and 2 INTs. ND fans will surely be licking their chops when John Bunting's crew comes to South Bend as Charlie and Co. will put another long distance NJ spanking on this team. Rutgers next test will be at home against Illinois and the Fighting Zookies.

UCONN vs. Rhode Island

So what do you say about an August 31 romp of Rhode Island by UCONN by way of a 52-7 drubbing? First, tell yourself, "Self…..the Rams are a Division 1-AA team". Then look at the stat line and realize that the rabid Rams defense gave up 418 yards rushing with five ground TDs and not much more needs to be said. Next up for UCONN, the mighty Demon Deacons of Wake Forest……..not a bad hard court match-up either.

Syracuse vs. Wake Forest

Is it possible for a coach to be on the hot seat so early in his tenure? It can if you are Greg Robinson and coming off a 1-10 season without a conference win, and then lose to Wake Forest 20-10. Wake RB Micah Andrews scampered for 142 yards and the Deacon defense held Syracuse QB Perry Patterson to 5-of-18 passing for only 45 yards and one TD. The real story behind this game is the injury to Wake Forest starting QB Ben "Don't call me Chance" Mauk, who injured his arm trying to reach for a fumble in the 3rd quarter. The Orange will fall to 0-2 next week when no.16 Iowa comes to Syracuse.

South Florida vs. McNeese St.

The Bulls dispatched McNeese State, 48-10, in another mismatched game, as QB Matt Grothe threw for 171 yards and 2 TDs to go with USF's 286 rushing yards and four TDs. The biggest play was probably the last play of the game when RB Keeley Dorsey took the hand off, and with no time left, ran 52 yards for the score. McNeese State's lone TD came from a fumbled punt by South Florida punter Ilia Petrov (who doubles as a Ukrainian gymnast….not really, what else can you say about such a game?). Next up for USF is in state power Florida International.

Cincinnati vs. Eastern Kentucky

The post Rick Minter era seemed to jump off fine as the Wildcats easily dispatched the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky 31-0. The Wildcat defense seemed to do fine without their old coach, cashing in on a weak offense with 3 INTs. Highlights were split among Cincy's two QBs, Nick Davila and Dustin Grutza, who each threw for over 100 yards and a TD. I hope the Wildcats enjoy this win as their next three games are against conference foe Pittsburgh, No.1 Ohio State, and No.17 Virginia Tech. OUCH!

Pitt vs. Virginia

The second year of Wannstache got off to a great start as the Panthers outplayed Al Groh and the Cavaliers, 38-13. Pitt QB Tyler Palko was very effective, throwing 17-of-22 for 283 yards and 3 TDs with only 1 INT. Panther WR Derek Kinder made his season debut in hopes of continuing the legacy of outstanding Pitt receivers catching four passes for 77 yards and a score (albeit his first catch was a 78-yard touchdown….you do the math). The telling stat of this game…….311 vs. 209. The first number is the number of punting yards by UVA versus the total offensive yards put up by the Cavs. ND fans might remember the name Christian Olsen, who transferred to UVA four years ago, was the starting QB for the Cavs, and didn't let Davieham down throwing for 133 yards and 1 INT. Pitt will have a little less work to do when they face off against conference foe Cincinnati next week. Top Stories