Big East Roundup Week 2

Well, nothing makes looking at other scores and games better than when your team wins. The Irish looked a lot better against Penn State and sent a message to the critics with a 41-17 debacle. But the Irish weren't the only ones to shake up college football fans. Here's a look at some of the games from the Big East this past weekend.

LOUISVILLE vs. TEMPLE

This was a laugher going in, but the Cardinals looked impressive. But then again a diamond ring looks better when it's compared to the 25 cent ring found at your local grocery store's toy vendor. The Bush-less Cardinals bushwhacked the Owls 62 - 0. Brian Brohm threw for 307 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The real stories of this game were the running backs of Louisville. A three-headed tailback monster consisting of Kolby Smith, Sergio Spencer, and George Stripling combined for 231 yards rushing and five touchdowns. The game was over the minute Louisville put on their pads. The tune-ups are now over, as the mighty Miami Hurricanes come to town out to prove that their week one loss to Florida State was not indicative of their season.

My Prediction: Louisville 42 -3 My Record (1-0)

RUTGERS vs. ILLINOIS

I told everyone this game would be one to watch and said there would be three keys to winning for either team. The first key would be whoever rushed the ball better would win. Rutgers outran Illinois 166 yards to 66 yards. The second key was the battle of time of possession. Rutgers controlled the ball, forcing Illinois to punt on 10 of their 14 possessions. The third key was that the game was at home, but I should have said that whoever won the turnover battle would win, as Rutgers forced three turnovers to match their own. The SUNJ Knights returned a blocked punt and an interception both for scores, and Ray Rice led the rushing attack as Rutgers dominated Illinois 33-0. Rice had 23 carries for 108 yards and one touchdown. The mighty Rutgers defense held the Illini to a paltry 126 yards of offense. The Illini had nothing to cheer for, as they could only manage 60 yards through the air with two interceptions. Rutgers looks to continue their unbeaten streak as they welcome the Bobcats of Ohio and Frank Solich.

My Prediction: Rutgers 24-17 My Record (2-0)

WEST VIRGINIA vs. EASTERN WASHINGTON

Steve Slaton had eight rushes for 103 yards and two scores as the Mountaineers rolled over the Eagles 52-3. As expected, the game was not even close with Pat White only throwing five passes, and completed all of them for 55 yards. West Virginia manhandled EWU offensively to the tune of 591 yards. The Mountaineer defense also did its job, only allowing 186 yards of offense and had one interception. West Virginia finishes up 2-0 against minor talented teams, but the ante goes up as Maryland comes to Morgantown in week three.

My Prediction: WVU 55 – 9 My Record (3-0)

PITTSBURGH vs. CINCINNATI

As predicted, the Panthers used a consistent pass attack with the run to dismantle the Bearcats. Underrated Pitt QB Tyler Palko threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns. The Panther offense also contributed 90 rushing yards. Even the defense got involved, causing a safety in the middle of the third quarter, and then a 57 yard interception return with under a minute left. The Wannstache defense only surrendered 35 total rushing yards in the contest. Pitt rode all three facets of the game to their first conference win. Cincinnati is one step closer to ending the quarterback rotation between Dustin Grutza and Nick Davila. Grutza led the way on the Bearcat offense with 189 passing yards and a touchdown, however, Cincinnati's loss will leave them scrambling to make a bowl game as they have a very tough schedule ahead. Pitt, on the other hand, has a very good match-up coming as the Michigan State Spartans come to town. This should be a good battle between two mobile quarterbacks and Irish fans will want to tune in as they travel to East Lansing in week four. Cincinnati will look to rebound from this loss by facing No. 1 Ohio State at the Horseshoe. The road doesn't get any easier for Coach Dantonio.

My Prediction: Pitt 38 – 13 My Record (4-0)

SYRACUSE vs. IOWA

Talk about a near miss on my prediction. Kirk Ferentz and Co. decided to keep it hidden from the media that Iowa QB Drew Tate would not play as he was nursing chronic abdominal pain. Coach Robinson and his crew were up to the task through the first four quarters as they fought and clawed to a 10 – 10 tie at the end of regulation. The Orange fought again in the first overtime to tie the game at 13, and pushed the Hawkeyes to a second overtime, as both connected on field goals. On the ensuing possession, Iowa RB Albert Young scored a touchdown from one yard out to give Iowa the lead. Syracuse got as close as the two yard line. The Orange ran seven consecutive plays, resulting off of an Iowa pass interference call, and could not break the plane. The Orange gave Iowa all they could handle, but the Hawkeyes were victorious 20-13 in double overtime.

Orange QB Perry Patterson showed some promise as he threw for 186 yards and a score. But the Orange could only muster a measly 58 total rushing yards and that would prove to be their undoing. On the other side, Iowa QB Jason Manson had a tough day filling in for the injured Tate as he threw for 178 yards with one score, but also had four interceptions. Hawkeye RB Albert Young matched the Syracuse rushing total and had a score of his own. Syracuse could not capitalize on four Iowa turnovers, and falls to 0-2. Coach Robinson and his team should find a moral victory in this match, and have a chance to rebound as they face off against a very miserable Illinois team in Champaign.

My Prediction: Iowa 47 – 6 My Record (5-0) barely!

SOUTH FLORIDA vs. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

This was a tight battle between the Golden Panthers of FIU and the Bulls of USF. The difference in the game was a missed extra point in the first quarter after a punt return for a touchdown. The Bulls of South Florida survived a scare by eking out a 21-20 win in what was a near upset. Matt Grothe led the Bulls aerial offense, throwing for 174 yards and a touchdown and two picks, and also led the rushing attack with 80 yards rushing. The Bulls defense surrendered an impressive 19 rushing yards total. Defense and special teams would be the key to this game. The match opened when Florida International's Chandler Williams returned a punt for a score. The Bulls would later answer with a punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, followed by the Panthers returning a Matt Grothe interception for a score. Both teams would match each other with another pair of touchdowns, but the Bulls would have the final say on a 29 yard pass from Grothe to Taurus "I'm not a Ford" Johnson. Johnson also rushed for a score, accounting for both offensive touchdowns. South Florida escaped this game with a win, but has a test with George O'Leary and the Central Florida Golden Knights next weekend.

My Prediction: USF 39 – 13 My Record (6-0)

UCONN – BYE

UCONN was off this week, and will face off with an equally tough Wake Forest squad at the Huskies home field in Storrs.

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