Big East Recap Week 5

The Bulls and Huskies both turned in impressive victories this week and are the only Big East teams left unscathed after five weeks. Meanwhile, Pitt continued to get back on the right track (at the expense of the disgrace that currently is SU football) and West Virginia got a win (though not without some cost) over in-state rival Marshall.

The Bulls and Huskies both turned in impressive victories this week and are the only Big East teams left unscathed after five weeks. Meanwhile, Pitt continued to get back on the right track (at the expense of the disgrace that currently is SU football) and West Virginia got a win (though not without some cost) over in-state rival Marshall.

Connecticut kicked off the week on Friday night, travelling to Louisville and earning a come-from-behind 26-21 victory, despite being nearly doubled up in total yards gained. Donald Brown, the nation's leading rusher, was at it again, tallying 190 yards and a touchdown. But Louisville still took a 21-17 lead to the final quarter. Trailing by one in the waning minutes, Connecticut linebacker Lawrence Wilson intercepted a Hunter Caldwell pass and returned it for a touchdown. UConn failed on its ensuing two-point conversion attempt, but was able to hold off the Cardinals' offense in the final 2:45 of the game. The win, however, didn't come without a cost. Starting quarterback Tyler Lorenzen broke his foot in the game and had surgery Sunday. The injury is expected to keep Lorenzen out for 6-8 weeks. Sophomore Zach Frazer took his place in the game, throwing a touchdown pass and leading a critical drive that cut Louisville's lead to just four points late in the third quarter.

ESPN.com's Brian Bennett writes in his Big East blog that UConn pulled a "magic trick" of sorts out Friday night. He also notes the presence of a competitor; UConn defensive lineman Rob Lunn is blogging about the football season and so far, his blog has received nothing but rave reviews. While the Huskies continue to scrape by and impress, they will face a stiff challenge in their next contest. UConn travels to North Carolina to face Butch Davis's resurgent squad in a game that can be seen on ESPN2 at seven o'clock Saturday.

From one extreme to the other, that's how the Big East, like any conferences work. Pitt handed SU its twentieth loss in its last 22 Big East games under GOG (Greg Robinson) 34-24 on Saturday afternoon. Phenom tailback LeSean McCoy had his best rushing performance of the season, while backup LaRod Stephens-Howling punched in two short touchdowns. SU led the game 24-13 midway through the third quarter on the strength of two Cam Dantley touchdown tosses. However, Pitt scored the last 21 points of the game to pull away with ease, as the SU defense tired and the coaches made questionable decisions.

Greg Schiano's ballclub earned its first win of the season, blanking Morgan State 38-0. Jourdan Brooks had three short touchdown runs but despite the lopsided margin of victory, some of Rutgers' other statistics didn't look so impressive. The Scarlet Knights turned the ball over three times, did not score at all in the second half and didn't even tally three hundred yards of total offense. The three backs combined to average merely a modest 3.3 yards per carry. After a loss to Navy the previous week, some of these stats must be alarming for Rutgers fans. The loss to Navy, perhaps not so much now; the Midshipmen unseated Wake Forest, who was the ACC's leader in the clubhouse at the time. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights should have their hands full with West Virginia in a game that can be seen on ESPN360.com at noon Saturday.

West Virginia thundered past the Herd 27-3 behind two Pat White touchdown tosses. White, however, injured the thumb on his throwing hand in the third quarter and did not return to the game. Coach Bill Stewart likes White's chances to play in next weekend's game against Rutgers though. White, along with Noel Devine, paced the Mountaineers stats-wise. White totaled nearly two hundred yards of total offense, while Devine averaged almost nine yards per carry from his backfield position. West Virginia more than doubled Marshall's offensive output with its ground game alone (319-158).

Like Navy, the Akron Zips may have risen up and proven that their victory over Syracuse was not a fluke. The Zips lost narrowly 17-15 to the Cincinnati Bearcats this weekend. Cincinnati's Tony Pike tallied over three hundred yards passing and two touchdowns before suffering a broken arm (left, non-throwing) and leaving the game. Pike underwent successful surgery Sunday and the team can't get him back fast enough. Their backup came in and threw for just two yards. By then, Cincy had connected on a long field goal with eight minutes to go that would give them their final margin of victory. This injury is the second to a Bearcats starting QB on the season. Dustin Grutza previously broke his leg in a game against Oklahoma and was lost for the season. Akron led this contest 9-7 at the half, but was unable to capitalize on its 358 yards of total offense and two Bearcat turnovers they forced. After sneaking through this roadblock, the Bearcats travel to Marshall for a Friday night affair.

Meanwhile, the conference's most dominant team made another emphatic statement Saturday night. The South Florida Bulls assaulted North Carolina State 41-10 in a game they led by three touchdowns only midway through the second quarter. Matt Grothe threw for 259 yards and a touchdown. The offense tallied over five hundred yards of total offense in a balanced attack, but perhaps most impressive was the defense. It forced three interceptions and two safeties (back to back in the second quarter). The Bulls open Big East play on a short week, home against Pittsburgh tomorrow night. The game will be televised on ESPN and starts at 7:30.

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