Big East Preview

For the first time this year, all eight Big East teams are in action against each other on the same day, inviting the prospect of a conference standing shakeup.

ON TARGET

Connecticut placekickerDave Teggart set a Big East Record for most consecutive PATs in the Huskies' loss to Pitt. Teggart made both of his point-after tries, which gave him 117 cosecutive successful conversions. That total moved him past the previous record of 116, set by Louisville's Art Carmody. T eggart is a perfect 117 for 117 in his career.


STREAKS SNAPPED FOR BAILEYS

Two Big East Baileys saw personal 100-yard game streaks snapped last week. West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey saw his streak of five consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards end against Rutgers, while Syracuse running back Antwon Bailey had a streak of four straight games with 100 rushing yards stopped Louisville.


HARD LINE

It's just a thought, but if the Big East had put as much energy into adding new members and solidifying the football side of the league as it has in saying it will hold West Virginia to the 27-month notification period before departure, the league might not be in the dire straits it is today.


PICKS

  • Louisville doesn't score a lot, but doesn't give up many points. WVU is just the opposite, scoring in bunches but yielding a lot as well. The Mountaineers get the edge in this match-up of differeing styles, but it's not a large one.

  • Syracuse and UConn battle to move out of a sixth-place tie. The 'Cuse gets the edge on the theory that it has more to play for, being just one game away from bowl eligibility.

  • USF and Rutgers square off in what amounts to an elimination game for the Scarlet Knights. The Bulls play much better at home than on the road, so Rutgers gets the nod to bounce back with a win.

  • The marquee game of the week features Cincinnati at Pitt. The Panthers could move into a tie for first place in the league with a win, but the Bearcats are solid on both sides of the ball. Look for the visitors to take home the River City Rivalry.


    CINCINNATI at Pitt
    Sat 11/5
    7:00 PM
    ESPNU
    Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have met 10 times prior to Saturday's game and the Panthers hold an 8-2 series lead … Pittsburgh won the first seven meetings before Cincinnati won back-to-back matchups in 2008 and 2009 … The last two meetings have directly impacted the Big East title race — Cincinnati rallied for a 45-44 win at Heinz Field in 2009 in what amounted to a winner-take-all game for the league championship, while Pitt earned a share of the 2010 Big East title with a 28-10 win last year at Nippert Stadium.

    Cincinnati has won five straight and comes off a bye week … Saturday's game is the second in a stretch in which the Bearcats play on the road four times in five games … Cincinnati leads the Big East and is 10th nationally in scoring offense (41.0 ppg) … The Bearcats are second nationally in rushing defense (72.7 ypg) … RB Isaiah Pead is third in the Big East in rushing (100.4 ypg) … Pead has rushed for 703 yards and eight touchdowns on 114 carries and is averaging a league-leading 6.2 yards per carry … QB Zach Collaros has completed 128 of 200 passes for 1,576 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions … WR Kembrell Thompkins (30 receptions, 388 yards, 2 TDs) and WR Anthony McClung (29 receptions, 371 yards, 3 TDs) comprise one of the top receiving tandems in the Big East … LB JK Schaffer is fourth in the Big East in tackles (7.7 per game), while DT Derek Wolfe has 32 tackles to go with five sacks, 10 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles … P Pat O'Donnell leads the Big East and is ninth nationally in punting average (45.5 ypp).

    Pittsburgh snapped a two-game slide with a 35-20 win against Connecticut last Wednesday … The Panthers are 4-0 when scoring at least 35 points and 0-4 when they have been held to fewer than 35 points … The win against Connecticut came with a heavy price, however, as three starters were lost to season-ending injuries, including RB Ray Graham … Graham entered last week's game as the nation's secondleading rusher, but suffered a knee injury on his second carry against the Huskies … WR Cameron Saddler (sternum) and OG Matt Rotheram (ankle) also saw their seasons end due to injury against the Huskies … QB Tino Sunseri threw for a careerhigh 419 yards in the win against Connecticut …Sunseri has thrown for 1,623 yards and seven touchdowns with seven interceptions this season … WR Mike Shanahan has a team-high three touchdown receptions … LB Max Gruder is second in the BIG EAST in tackles (71, 8.9 per game) … DT Aaron Donald leads the Big East with seven sacks, while DT Chas Alecxih and DE Brandon Lindsey have 4.5 sacks each.


    CONNECTICUT vs. Syracuse
    Sat 11/5
    12:00 PM
    ESPNU
    Syracuse and Connecticut meet for the eighth time Saturday as the Huskies go for their fifth straight series win … Connecticut holds a 5-2 lead in the series, which began in 2004 and has been played each year since … Connecticut is 3-0 against the Orange at Rentschler Field … Saturday's game will be the first for Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni against the team he coached for 14 years … Pasqualoni served as Syracuse's head coach from 1991-2004 and went 107-59-1 with the Orange, including four Big East titles.

    Syracuse saw a stretch of back-to-back wins end with last Saturday's loss at Louisville … The Orange have gone 4-1 at home and are 1-2 on the road this season … The loss to Louisville snapped a streak of four straight Big East road wins … The Orange have played three overtime games this season — the most of any Bowl Subdivision team — and are 2-1 in those contests … QB Ryan Nassib is ranked fourth in the BIG EAST in passing (210.6 ypg) … Nassib has completed 170 of 260 passes for 1,685 yards and 16 touchdowns with four interceptions … WR Alec Lemon has team highs of 38 receptions, 374 receiving yards and three touchdown catches … TE Nick Provo is a receiving threat as well with 32 catches for 357 yards and a team-high five touchdowns … RB Antwon Bailey is fourth in the Big East in rushing (93.5 ypg) … Bailey had rushed for at least 100 yards in four straight games before the streak was snapped against Louisville … S Phillip Thomas leads the team with 58 tackles and a Big East-high four interceptions … LB Dyshawn Davis has a team-high four sacks.

    Connecticut has dropped three of its last four games … The Huskies have won their only Big East home game and are 0-2 on the road in league games … … Connecticut had forced at least one turnover in each of its first seven games, but did not have a takeaway against Pittsburgh last Wednesday …The Huskies have scored just two offensive touchdowns in their last three games … QB Johnny McEntee has settled in as the primary signal-caller with QB Scott McCummings seeing spot duty … McEntee has completed 116 of 222 passes for 1,402 yards and eight touchdowns with four interceptions … RB Lyle McCombs is ranked second in the Big East in rushing at 103.6 yards per game … WR Isiah Moore has a team-high 28 catches for 364 yards, while WR Kashif Moore has 27 catches for 398 yards and a team-leading four touchdowns … LB Jory Johnson is third in the Big East in tackles (8.8 per game) … DT Kendall Reyes is the Big East leader in tackles for loss (11.0, 1.38 per game) … Connecticut is the least-penalized team in the Big East, averaging just 38.0 yards in penalties, while the Huskies' opponents have been flagged for a league-high 76.1 yards.


    LOUISVILLE at WVU
    Sat 11/5
    12:00 PM
    Big East
    Saturday's game will be the 13th meeting between Louisville and West Virginia in a series that dates to 1984 … The Mountaineers hold a 10-2 series lead and have won the last four meetings … West Virginia is 7-1 against Louisville at Milan Puskar Stadium … The 2006 meeting — a 44-34 Louisville win — saw both teams ranked in the top five as West Virginia was No. 3 and Louisville was No. 5 … Last year's matchup was a defensive battle as the teams combined for only 432 yards of offense in the Mountaineers' 17-10 win.

    Louisville has won back-to-back Big East games for the first time since 2006 … Louisville is one of two teams (along with Alabama) that has held each of its opponents to 25 points or fewer this season … The Cardinals lead the Big East and rank 11th nationally in scoring defense (16.3 ppg) and are 12th nationally in total defense (295.6 ypg) … QB Teddy Bridgewater has started the last five games as a true freshman … Bridgewater has thrown for 1,029 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions … The Cardinals have used three running backs regularly, but have just four rushing touchdowns this season … WR Devante Parker has a team-high four touchdown catches … Louisville's defense has held opponents to just 97.4 rushing yards per game and 2.8 yards per carry … The Cardinals rank fourth nationally in tackles for loss, averaging 8.3 TFL per game … LB Dexter Heyman and LB Preston Brown have team-high 55 tackles each … Heyman has a team-high 10 tackles for loss … DE Marcus Smith leads the team with four sacks.

    West Virginia moved into a three-way tie for second place with its come-from-behind win at Rutgers … West Virginia is ranked No. 24 in this week's Bowl Championship Series rankings … The Mountaineers have outscored their opponents by a 103-37 margin in the third quarter and by a 167-79 margin in the second half … The Mountaineers lead the Big East in total offense (482.1 ypg) and passing offense (354.8 ypg) … West Virginia is averaging 38.7 points per game, good for second in the BIG EAST … QB Geno Smith is ranked fifth nationally in passing (339.4 yards per game) … Smith has completed 209 of 330 passes for 2,715 yards and 20 touchdowns with five interceptions … WR Stedman Bailey is averaging 101.9 receiving yards per game to lead the Big East and rank 16th nationally … Bailey has 43 catches for 815 yards and seven touchdowns … WR Tavon Austin is averaging 86.4 receiving yards per game and is fourth nationally in all-purpose yards (180.5 ypg) … RB Dustin Garrison leads the team in rushing (517 yards, five touchdowns) … DB Darwin Cook has a team-high 54 tackles, while LB Najee Goode has 53.


    PITTSBURGH vs. Cincinnati
    Sat 11/5
    7:00 PM
    ESPNU
    Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have met 10 times prior to Saturday's game and the Panthers hold an 8-2 series lead … Pittsburgh won the first seven meetings before Cincinnati won back-to-back matchups in 2008 and 2009 … The last two meetings have directly impacted the Big East title race — Cincinnati rallied for a 45-44 win at Heinz Field in 2009 in what amounted to a winner-take-all game for the league championship, while Pitt earned a share of the 2010 Big East title with a 28-10 win last year at Nippert Stadium.

    Cincinnati has won five straight and comes off a bye week … Saturday's game is the second in a stretch in which the Bearcats play on the road four times in five games … Cincinnati leads the Big East and is 10th nationally in scoring offense (41.0 ppg) … The Bearcats are second nationally in rushing defense (72.7 ypg) … RB Isaiah Pead is third in the Big East in rushing (100.4 ypg) … Pead has rushed for 703 yards and eight touchdowns on 114 carries and is averaging a league-leading 6.2 yards per carry … QB Zach Collaros has completed 128 of 200 passes for 1,576 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions … WR Kembrell Thompkins (30 receptions, 388 yards, 2 TDs) and WR Anthony McClung (29 receptions, 371 yards, 3 TDs) comprise one of the top receiving tandems in the Big East … LB JK Schaffer is fourth in the Big East in tackles (7.7 per game), while DT Derek Wolfe has 32 tackles to go with five sacks, 10 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles … P Pat O'Donnell leads the Big East and is ninth nationally in punting average (45.5 ypp).

    Pittsburgh snapped a two-game slide with a 35-20 win against Connecticut last Wednesday … The Panthers are 4-0 when scoring at least 35 points and 0-4 when they have been held to fewer than 35 points … The win against Connecticut came with a heavy price, however, as three starters were lost to season-ending injuries, including RB Ray Graham … Graham entered last week's game as the nation's secondleading rusher, but suffered a knee injury on his second carry against the Huskies … WR Cameron Saddler (sternum) and OG Matt Rotheram (ankle) also saw their seasons end due to injury against the Huskies … QB Tino Sunseri threw for a careerhigh 419 yards in the win against Connecticut …Sunseri has thrown for 1,623 yards and seven touchdowns with seven interceptions this season … WR Mike Shanahan has a team-high three touchdown receptions … LB Max Gruder is second in the BIG EAST in tackles (71, 8.9 per game) … DT Aaron Donald leads the Big East with seven sacks, while DT Chas Alecxih and DE Brandon Lindsey have 4.5 sacks each.


    RUTGERS vs. USF
    Sat 11/5
    7:00 PM
    ESPN3
    Saturday's game is the seventh meeting between USF and Rutgers … The Scarlet Knights hold a 4-2 series lead, with a four-game winning streak bookended by USF wins in 2005 and 2010 … Rutgers has been a spoiler of sorts for USF — the Scarlet Knights scored a 30-27 win in 2007, when the Bulls were ranked No. 2 in the nation, and were 31-0 winners in 2009 when USF was ranked No. 23 … USF was a 28-27 winner last year in Tampa as the Bulls got the game-winning points on a fumble recovery in the end zone by OT Jacob Sims.

    USF looks to snap a losing streak that reached three games after a 37-34 setback to Cincinnati Oct. 22 … The Bulls opened the year with four straight wins in which they averaged 45.5 points … USF is 1-2 on the road this season and in the middle of a stretch in which it plays four of five away from home … USF is second in the Big East in total offense (478.9 yards per game) and rushing offense (196.7 ypg) … The Bulls have scored 156 of their 243 points in the first half this season … QB B.J. Daniels is second in the Big East in passing (266.7 yards per game) and is eighth in the conference in rushing (53.7 ypg) … Daniels has thrown for 1,867 yards and 11 touchdowns with four interceptions … RB Darrell Scott is the leading rusher with 511 yards and five TDs on the year … The Bulls lost leading WR Sterling Griffin to a season-ending ankle injury against Cincinnati … LB DeDe Lattimore has a teamhigh 50 tackles, while LB Michael Lanaris has 49 stops … DT Claude Davis leads the team with four sacks.

    Rutgers enters Saturday's looking to snap a two-game slide after the Scarlet Knights fell to West Virginia last weekend … The Scarlet Knights need just one more win to clinch bowl eligibility … The Scarlet Knights are second in the Big East in total defense (317.1 ypg), and are third in scoring defense (19.1 ppg) … Rutgers had just 17 sacks last season and has 26 through seven games this year, good for ninth nationally (3.1 per game) … The Scarlet Knights are second in the nation with 26 takeaways (15 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries) … LB Khaseem Greene leads the Big East in tackles (75 total, 9.4 per game) … DE Justin Francis has a team-high 4.5 sacks, while LB Steve Beauharnais has 10 tackles for loss … Freshman QB Gary Nova has completed 91 of 178 passes for 1,125 yards and nine touchdowns with seven interceptions … WR Mohamed Sanu leads the Big East in receptions (8.8 per game) and is second in receiving yards (91.4 ypg) … S Duron Harmon leads the BIG EAST with four interceptions … Rutgers leads the Big East and is seventh nationally in average time of possession (34:19).


    SYRACUSE at UConn
    Sat 11/5
    12:00 PM ESPNU
    Syracuse and Connecticut meet for the eighth time Saturday as the Huskies go for their fifth straight series win … Connecticut holds a 5-2 lead in the series, which began in 2004 and has been played each year since … Connecticut is 3-0 against the Orange at Rentschler Field … Saturday's game will be the first for Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni against the team he coached for 14 years … Pasqualoni served as Syracuse's head coach from 1991-2004 and went 107-59-1 with the Orange, including four Big East titles.

    Syracuse saw a stretch of back-to-back wins end with last Saturday's loss at Louisville … The Orange have gone 4-1 at home and are 1-2 on the road this season … The loss to Louisville snapped a streak of four straight Big East road wins … The Orange have played three overtime games this season — the most of any Bowl Subdivision team — and are 2-1 in those contests … QB Ryan Nassib is ranked fourth in the BIG EAST in passing (210.6 ypg) … Nassib has completed 170 of 260 passes for 1,685 yards and 16 touchdowns with four interceptions … WR Alec Lemon has team highs of 38 receptions, 374 receiving yards and three touchdown catches … TE Nick Provo is a receiving threat as well with 32 catches for 357 yards and a team-high five touchdowns … RB Antwon Bailey is fourth in the Big East in rushing (93.5 ypg) … Bailey had rushed for at least 100 yards in four straight games before the streak was snapped against Louisville … S Phillip Thomas leads the team with 58 tackles and a Big East-high four interceptions … LB Dyshawn Davis has a team-high four sacks.

    Connecticut has dropped three of its last four games … The Huskies have won their only Big East home game and are 0-2 on the road in league games … … Connecticut had forced at least one turnover in each of its first seven games, but did not have a takeaway against Pittsburgh last Wednesday …The Huskies have scored just two offensive touchdowns in their last three games … QB Johnny McEntee has settled in as the primary signal-caller with QB Scott McCummings seeing spot duty … McEntee has completed 116 of 222 passes for 1,402 yards and eight touchdowns with four interceptions … RB Lyle McCombs is ranked second in the Big East in rushing at 103.6 yards per game … WR Isiah Moore has a team-high 28 catches for 364 yards, while WR Kashif Moore has 27 catches for 398 yards and a team-leading four touchdowns … LB Jory Johnson is third in the Big East in tackles (8.8 per game) … DT Kendall Reyes is the Big East leader in tackles for loss (11.0, 1.38 per game) … Connecticut is the least-penalized team in the Big East, averaging just 38.0 yards in penalties, while the Huskies' opponents have been flagged for a league-high 76.1 yards.


    USF at Rutgers
    Sat 11/5
    7:00 PM
    ESPN3
    Saturday's game is the seventh meeting between USF and Rutgers … The Scarlet Knights hold a 4-2 series lead, with a four-game winning streak bookended by USF wins in 2005 and 2010 … Rutgers has been a spoiler of sorts for USF — the Scarlet Knights scored a 30-27 win in 2007, when the Bulls were ranked No. 2 in the nation, and were 31-0 winners in 2009 when USF was ranked No. 23 … USF was a 28-27 winner last year in Tampa as the Bulls got the game-winning points on a fumble recovery in the end zone by OT Jacob Sims.

    USF looks to snap a losing streak that reached three games after a 37-34 setback to Cincinnati Oct. 22 … The Bulls opened the year with four straight wins in which they averaged 45.5 points … USF is 1-2 on the road this season and in the middle of a stretch in which it plays four of five away from home … USF is second in the Big East in total offense (478.9 yards per game) and rushing offense (196.7 ypg) … The Bulls have scored 156 of their 243 points in the first half this season … QB B.J. Daniels is second in the Big East in passing (266.7 yards per game) and is eighth in the conference in rushing (53.7 ypg) … Daniels has thrown for 1,867 yards and 11 touchdowns with four interceptions … RB Darrell Scott is the leading rusher with 511 yards and five TDs on the year … The Bulls lost leading WR Sterling Griffin to a season-ending ankle injury against Cincinnati … LB DeDe Lattimore has a teamhigh 50 tackles, while LB Michael Lanaris has 49 stops … DT Claude Davis leads the team with four sacks.

    Rutgers enters Saturday's looking to snap a two-game slide after the Scarlet Knights fell to West Virginia last weekend … The Scarlet Knights need just one more win to clinch bowl eligibility … The Scarlet Knights are second in the Big East in total defense (317.1 ypg), and are third in scoring defense (19.1 ppg) … Rutgers had just 17 sacks last season and has 26 through seven games this year, good for ninth nationally (3.1 per game) … The Scarlet Knights are second in the nation with 26 takeaways (15 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries) … LB Khaseem Greene leads the Big East in tackles (75 total, 9.4 per game) … DE Justin Francis has a team-high 4.5 sacks, while LB Steve Beauharnais has 10 tackles for loss … Freshman QB Gary Nova has completed 91 of 178 passes for 1,125 yards and nine touchdowns with seven interceptions … WR Mohamed Sanu leads the Big East in receptions (8.8 per game) and is second in receiving yards (91.4 ypg) … S Duron Harmon leads the BIG EAST with four interceptions … Rutgers leads the Big East and is seventh nationally in average time of possession (34:19).


    WEST VIRGINIA vs. Louisville
    Sat 11/5
    12:00 PM
    Big East
    Saturday's game will be the 13th meeting between Louisville and West Virginia in a series that dates to 1984 … The Mountaineers hold a 10-2 series lead and have won the last four meetings … West Virginia is 7-1 against Louisville at Milan Puskar Stadium … The 2006 meeting — a 44-34 Louisville win — saw both teams ranked in the top five as West Virginia was No. 3 and Louisville was No. 5 … Last year's matchup was a defensive battle as the teams combined for only 432 yards of offense in the Mountaineers' 17-10 win.

    Louisville has won back-to-back Big East games for the first time since 2006 … Louisville is one of two teams (along with Alabama) that has held each of its opponents to 25 points or fewer this season … The Cardinals lead the Big East and rank 11th nationally in scoring defense (16.3 ppg) and are 12th nationally in total defense (295.6 ypg) … QB Teddy Bridgewater has started the last five games as a true freshman … Bridgewater has thrown for 1,029 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions … The Cardinals have used three running backs regularly, but have just four rushing touchdowns this season … WR Devante Parker has a team-high four touchdown catches … Louisville's defense has held opponents to just 97.4 rushing yards per game and 2.8 yards per carry … The Cardinals rank fourth nationally in tackles for loss, averaging 8.3 TFL per game … LB Dexter Heyman and LB Preston Brown have team-high 55 tackles each … Heyman has a team-high 10 tackles for loss … DE Marcus Smith leads the team with four sacks.

    West Virginia moved into a three-way tie for second place with its come-from-behind win at Rutgers … West Virginia is ranked No. 24 in this week's Bowl Championship Series rankings … The Mountaineers have outscored their opponents by a 103-37 margin in the third quarter and by a 167-79 margin in the second half … The Mountaineers lead the Big East in total offense (482.1 ypg) and passing offense (354.8 ypg) … West Virginia is averaging 38.7 points per game, good for second in the BIG EAST … QB Geno Smith is ranked fifth nationally in passing (339.4 yards per game) … Smith has completed 209 of 330 passes for 2,715 yards and 20 touchdowns with five interceptions … WR Stedman Bailey is averaging 101.9 receiving yards per game to lead the Big East and rank 16th nationally … Bailey has 43 catches for 815 yards and seven touchdowns … WR Tavon Austin is averaging 86.4 receiving yards per game and is fourth nationally in all-purpose yards (180.5 ypg) … RB Dustin Garrison leads the team in rushing (517 yards, five touchdowns) … DB Darwin Cook has a team-high 54 tackles, while LB Najee Goode has 53.


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