Big East Roundup

Notre Dame's is not the only one whose confidence took a hit this weekend. Like my beloved Irish, I too fell from grace with some of my predictions regarding the Big East teams. But much like Charlie and Company, I too shall rise from the ashes and use this weekend to rebound. Here is a recap of the Big East weekend that was:


This Thursday night showdown was just as advertised. And much like my prediction, Steve Slaton made Maryland pay. The sophomore RB had 149 yards rushing in the first quarter with two touchdowns. Pat White threw some great passes and the Mountaineer offense simply was on fire from the opening kickoff. I think I even saw Ralph Friedgen scratch his head as if to ask "what do I do now?"

West Virginia opened the can on Maryland 45-24. The score is a little inflated as the Mountaineers were up 45-17 going into the fourth quarter and the Terps added a late touchdown to stop the bleeding. Slaton finished with 192 yards rushing and two scores. Pat White ran for 85 yards and a score, and also threw for one. The Maryland offense was not horrible as they managed 333 yards of offense, but much like the Irish, their 5 turnovers killed any chance they had. West Virginia prepares themselves for bakery classes when another cupcake plays host, as the East Carolina Pirates invites the ‘Neers to Greenville.

My Prediction: WVU 42 – 10 My Record (7-0)


"Bad news for Irish fans is that these types of games will only keep Troy Smith ahead of Quinn for Heisman talk." That was my first line in the prediction for this weekend and two things happened. Quinn played poorly and struggled while Smith again lit up another cheap opponent. The Bearcat defense was beaten up by Ted Ginn and the Buckeyes 37-7. Troy Smith threw for 205 yards and two scores, both to Ginn, who had 34 yards receiving. Antonio Pittman rushed for 154 yards and a score as well. Ohio State's defense played well forcing three interceptions and holding the Bearcats to 11 rushing yards.

About the only truly positive aspect that the Cincinnati team saw was KR Dominick Goodman taking one back 53 yards to give Dantonio's crew great field position. One thing that really bothered me about this game was with a little over a minute left in the game, the Buckeyes were up 34-7. Rather than just punt the ball away or take a knee, as victory was well in hand, Tressel sent out his field goal team and let his kicker put a 52 yard field goal to add insult to injury. Pretty classy move there Jim, especially against a lesser opponent. The road only gets a little more vaunted as No. 11 Virginia Tech Hokes come calling.

My Prediction: OSU 56 – 6 My Record (8-0)


This was supposed to be my game of the week in the Big East. I thought Miami would beat Louisville and then the Cardinals would beat West Virginia, putting a halt to any Big East team talking national title. I was wrong. The Cardinals defense held the ‘Canes to 67 yards rushing and forced two turnovers en route to a dominant 31-7 victory.

Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm threw for 181 yards and a score, however, he injured ligaments in his right (throwing) hand and could miss four to six weeks. That blow was tempered a little with the solid play of Hunter Cantwell and his 113 yards passing with a score. The revamped rushing monster of Louisville could only muster 87 yards but they did score twice. The Miami defense surrendered 389 yards of offense and could not stop the Cardinals. Louisville will have some time to recuperate and get some quality playing time as they face off with a young Kansas State team in Manhattan.

My Prediction: Miami 31-21 My Record (8-1)


I was a little off on this prediction as early reports were that neither Jehuu Caulcrick nor Javon Ringer was playing due to injury. That was not the case. The Spartans rode their running game for 334 rushing yards to a 38-23 win. Both Stanton and Ringer went over 100 yards rushing each, and Caulcrick had two rushing scores. Stanton also threw for 191 yards passing with two scores and an interception.

Pitt QB Tyler Palko played admirably as he managed 274 yards and two scores, but also threw two costly interceptions. Derek Kinder continues to emerge as the next great Pitt WR with 119 yards receiving and a score. Michigan State's WR Kerry Reed had a good game as well with 102 yards and one score. The Wannstache era will rebound as Pitt faces off with the Citadel next weekend at Heinz Field.

My Prediction: Pitt 38 – 28 My Record (8-2)


Illinois fans must be lamenting in the new Ron Zook era. The Illini fell to Syracuse this weekend 31-21. Perry Patterson had a modest 167 yards passing with two scores and one interception. The game ball went to Orange WR Taj "Not the Mahal" Smith who had 106 yards receiving with a score, and returned a fumble 41 yards for a score in the first quarter. The vaunted Orange defense gave up 398 yards of offense to Illinois, 301 yards of which were through the air.

Illini QB Tim Brasic led his team in rushing with 39 yards and a score. Midway through the third quarter, Zook put in freshman Juice "Freshly Squeezed" Williams and he made the most of it with 227 yards passing and two scores, one to highly touted RB Rashard Mendenhall. Syracuse is the second Big East team in as many weeks to defeat Illinois. The Orange will look to keep alive their new found winning streak next weekend against the Miami Redhawks.

My Prediction: Syracuse 24 – 7 My Record (9-2)


I said the Demon Deacons would need a big game from RB Micah Andrews to beat UCONN, and while he did not have a big game, a solid one worked. Andrews had 73 yards rushing along with one touchdown to power Wake Forest to a 24-13 win. Huskies RB Terry Caulley ran for 82 yards, and QB D.J. Hernandez threw for 207 yards and a score, but also threw two interceptions. Aaron Hernandez was surely watching, but was not in attendance. UCONN will need to rebound quickly as they face off with the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington.

My Prediction: UCONN 30 – 12 My Record (9-3)


Rutgers continues its unbeaten streak defeating the Ohio Bobcats 24-7. Ray Rice continues to be dominant as he ran for 191 yards and two scores. The Knights only threw for 90 yards passing but ran for 219 yards en route to victory. The SUNJ defense scored as well as LB Brandon Renkert recovered a fumble in the end zone. Rutgers will need to find better quarterback play though, as Mike Teel threw three interceptions. The New Jersey bandwagon continues as Rutgers faces off with Howard next weekend.

My Prediction: Rutgers 31 – 13 My Record (10-3)


The Bulls rode the arm of QB Matt Grothe to a 24-17 victory over George O'Leary's Golden Knights. Grothe threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns to only one interception. He also led the Bulls in rushing with 70 yards. The Bulls gave up 368 yards of offense, and had a punt blocked and returned for a score. USF WR Ean Randolph was the Bulls' key target with 127 yards receiving and a score. South Florida remains unbeaten and will tangle with the Fighting Manginos of Kansas.

My Prediction: USF 41 – 24 My Record (11-3) Top Stories