Big East Preview

Only four Big East league teams are in action this week, but both games are featured on television.

CINCINNATI vs. Syracuse
Sat 10/28
Noon
ERT
Syracuse and Cincinnati will meet for the seventh time as the Orange travel to Cincinnati. In the all-time series, SU holds a 4-2 advantage over the Bearcats. Last season, Cincinnati defeated Syracuse 22-16 as UC received strong contributions from quarterback Dustin Grutza and wide receiver Earnest Jackson. Grutza went 16-of-25 for 150 yards and one touchdown, while Jackson caught seven passes for 86 yards.

Syracuse enters this week's game after falling to Louisville, 28-13, on Oct. 21. Senior quarterback Perry Patterson had the best statistical game of his career versus the Cardinals, as he completed a personal- best 24 passes on 38 attempts for a career-high 303 yards and a touchdown. Patterson's total marked the first 300-yard passing performance by an SU signal caller since R.J. Anderson threw for 336 yards against West Virginia in 2003.

Cincinnati enters the game against Syracuse after defeating USF, 23- 6, at home on Oct. 22 in front of an ESPN audience. With a 16-yard reception in the fourth quarter, Brent Celek became the school's all-time leader for receptions by a tight end (82). The Bearcats are looking to capture back-to-back wins for the second time this season.

SU kicker Patrick Shadle has made his last 11 field goal attempts. It is the longest streak since Nate Trout made 16 in a row during the 1998-99 seasons. Syracuse is one of only 10 teams in the nation to throw three or fewer interceptions. Five of Perry Patterson's 10 touchdown passes have gone for more than 25 yards.

Cincinnati ranks 18th in the nation in rush defense (92.9). The Bearcats are also 16th nationally in kickoff returns (24.95). Syracuse is ranked among the NCAA statistical leaders in sacks (8th, 3.5), turnovers gained (t9th, 20), interceptions (t10th, 11) and turnover margin (t10th, 1.13).

SU linebacker Kelvin Smith is second in the BIG EAST with 76 tackles. Syracuse defensive end Jameel McClain is tops in the conference in sacks with 7.5.


CONNECTICUT At Rutgers
Sun 10/29
8:00 p.m.
ESPN
The Scarlet Knights will look to extend their winning streak to eight games as they welcome Connecticut to Rutgers Stadium. RU holds a 17-8 series lead over the Huskies. In last year's meeting, Rutgers rallied from a 10-3 halftime deficit to score 23 points in the second half en route to a 26-24 victory. Running back Ray Rice rushed for a then career-high 217 yards on 27 carries.

Rutgers comes into this week's game after collecting three straight victories on the road. The Scarlet Knights defeated Pittsburgh, 20-10, on Oct. 21. Rutgers' win over the Panthers marked the first time that the Scarlet Knights have won back-to-back games versus Pitt, as well as the first time that RU had won three straight road games since 1979.

Rice rushed for a career-high 225 yards on 39 carries versus Pittsburgh to go over the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. He is only the second Rutgers player to accomplish that feat. Rice, a sophomore, enters the game with the nation's second-highest yards per game average (160.57 ypg) behind only Garrett Wolfe of Northern Illinois (176.63). In addition, Rice ranks fifth nationally in all-purpose yards (164.3) and seventh nationally in scoring (10.3 ppg).

As a team, Rutgers ranks among the NCAA leaders in total defense (2nd, 223.4), scoring defense (3rd, 8.6 points per game), passing defense (7th, 145.0), rushing defense (12th, 78.4) and rushing offense (8th, 204.71 ypg).

Connecticut enters the game in hopes of rebounding from a 37-11 loss to West Virginia on Oct. 20. In road games this season, the Huskies have posted a record of 1-1. The win came at Indiana where Connecticut defeated the Hoosiers, 14-7, on Sept. 23. In UConn's three wins, the Huskies have yielded only seven points in each game. It the four losses, they have given up an average of 35.0 ppg. RU's Brian Leonard is the only BIG EAST running back to lead his team in receptions (23).


LOUISVILLE Open


Louisville is open this week. The Cardinals return to action on Thu., Nov. 2 at home against West Virginia.

PITTSBURGH Open


Pittsburgh is open this week. The Panthers return to action on Sat., Nov. 4 at South Florida.

RUTGERS vs. Connecticut
Sun 10/29
8:00 p.m.
ESPN
The Scarlet Knights will look to extend their winning streak to eight games as they welcome Connecticut to Rutgers Stadium. RU holds a 17-8 series lead over the Huskies. In last year's meeting, Rutgers rallied from a 10-3 halftime deficit to score 23 points in the second half en route to a 26-24 victory. Running back Ray Rice rushed for a then career-high 217 yards on 27 carries.

Rutgers comes into this week's game after collecting three straight victories on the road. The Scarlet Knights defeated Pittsburgh, 20-10, on Oct. 21. Rutgers' win over the Panthers marked the first time that the Scarlet Knights have won back-to-back games versus Pitt, as well as the first time that RU had won three straight road games since 1979.

Rice rushed for a career-high 225 yards on 39 carries versus Pittsburgh to go over the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. He is only the second Rutgers player to accomplish that feat. Rice, a sophomore, enters the game with the nation's second-highest yards per game average (160.57 ypg) behind only Garrett Wolfe of Northern Illinois (176.63). In addition, Rice ranks fifth nationally in all-purpose yards (164.3) and seventh nationally in scoring (10.3 ppg).

As a team, Rutgers ranks among the NCAA leaders in total defense (2nd, 223.4), scoring defense (3rd, 8.6 points per game), passing defense (7th, 145.0), rushing defense (12th, 78.4) and rushing offense (8th, 204.71 ypg).

Connecticut enters the game in hopes of rebounding from a 37-11 loss to West Virginia on Oct. 20. In road games this season, the Huskies have posted a record of 1-1. The win came at Indiana where Connecticut defeated the Hoosiers, 14-7, on Sept. 23. In UConn's three wins, the Huskies have yielded only seven points in each game. It the four losses, they have given up an average of 35.0 ppg. RU's Brian Leonard is the only BIG EAST running back to lead his team in receptions (23).


SOUTH FLORIDA Open


South Florida is open this week. The Bulls return to action on Sat., Nov. 4 against Pittsburgh.

SYRACUSE at Cincinnati
Sat 10/28
Noon
ERT
Syracuse and Cincinnati will meet for the seventh time as the Orange travel to Cincinnati. In the all-time series, SU holds a 4-2 advantage over the Bearcats. Last season, Cincinnati defeated Syracuse 22-16 as UC received strong contributions from quarterback Dustin Grutza and wide receiver Earnest Jackson. Grutza went 16-of-25 for 150 yards and one touchdown, while Jackson caught seven passes for 86 yards.

Syracuse enters this week's game after falling to Louisville, 28-13, on Oct. 21. Senior quarterback Perry Patterson had the best statistical game of his career versus the Cardinals, as he completed a personal- best 24 passes on 38 attempts for a career-high 303 yards and a touchdown. Patterson's total marked the first 300-yard passing performance by an SU signal caller since R.J. Anderson threw for 336 yards against West Virginia in 2003.

Cincinnati enters the game against Syracuse after defeating USF, 23- 6, at home on Oct. 22 in front of an ESPN audience. With a 16-yard reception in the fourth quarter, Brent Celek became the school's all-time leader for receptions by a tight end (82). The Bearcats are looking to capture back-to-back wins for the second time this season.

SU kicker Patrick Shadle has made his last 11 field goal attempts. It is the longest streak since Nate Trout made 16 in a row during the 1998-99 seasons. Syracuse is one of only 10 teams in the nation to throw three or fewer interceptions. Five of Perry Patterson's 10 touchdown passes have gone for more than 25 yards.

Cincinnati ranks 18th in the nation in rush defense (92.9). The Bearcats are also 16th nationally in kickoff returns (24.95). Syracuse is ranked among the NCAA statistical leaders in sacks (8th, 3.5), turnovers gained (t9th, 20), interceptions (t10th, 11) and turnover margin (t10th, 1.13).

SU linebacker Kelvin Smith is second in the BIG EAST with 76 tackles. Syracuse defensive end Jameel McClain is tops in the conference in sacks with 7.5.


WEST VIRGINIA Open


West Virginia is open this week. The Mountaineers return to action on Thu., Nov. 2 at Louisville.


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