BIG EAST Teams Start Season 7-1
Seven of the eight BIG EAST football teams won their season-openers last week. West Virginia, the league favorite in most preseason publications, knocked off Western Michigan, the preseason favorite in the Mid-American Conference, 62-24. Louisville had little trouble with Murray State, winning 73-10. Rutgers handled Buffalo 38-3. USF beat Elon 28-13 and Cincinnati rolled past Southeast Missouri State 59-3. Pittsburgh stopped Eastern Michigan 27-3. Connecticut, the only league squad that opened on the road, surged past Duke 45-14.
Great Performances From New Faces
The first week of the season also brought some new names to the headlines. No collegiate receiver gained more yards last week than Rutgers' Tiquan Underwood, who caught 10 passes for a school-record 227 yards in the win over Buffalo. UConn quarterback Tyler Lorenzen, in his first career start, threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns against Duke. Cincinnati cornerback Mike Mickens had two interceptions, one for a touchdown, in the win over Southeast Missouri State. USF defensive end George Selvie had 10 tackles, including six tackles for loss and four sacks against Elon.
Rutgers RB Ray Rice surpassed 3,000 career rushing yards in last week's win against Buffalo. Rice enters this week's game against Navy with 3,098 career yards on the ground, just 16 shy of the school record.
Take The Day Off
Neither Rutgers nor Louisville had to punt in their season-opening wins. West Virginia had to punt just once in its Week 1 victory. Cincinnati punted just twice.
West Virginia, Louisville, Rutgers Inch Up In The Polls
With three impressive victories, West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers all moved up in the national polls this week. West Virginia remained third in the Associated Press poll and slid up to fourth in the USA Today poll. Louisville was bumped up a couple of spots to eighth in both polls. Rutgers is No. 15 in the AP and remained No. 16 in USA Today. USF received votes in both polls.
Five Games On National Television This Week
Five of the eight games involving BIG EAST teams this week are on national television. You could say ESPN is carrying what could be called a "BIG EAST Game of the Night" with BIG EAST teams appearing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. On Thursday, Cincinnati will battle visiting Oregon State on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. ET, while Louisville hosts Middle Tennessee State on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. On Friday, Rutgers meets visiting Navy at 7 p.m. on ESPN. On Saturday, ESPN2 will have West Virginia at Marshall at 11 a.m. and USF at Auburn at 9 p.m.
BIG EAST Has National Radio Game Of The Week
In association with ISP Sports, the BIG EAST will broadcast a national radio game of the week. The package, which began last week with the Washington at Syracuse game, continues with Thursday's Oregon State at Cincinnati contest. The radio network, which includes over 75 affiliate stations, reaches into eight of the top 10 markets in the U.S. The broadcasts also will be available on the BIG EAST's official web site at BigEast.tv. ISP Sports is the country's largest collegiate multimedia rights holder and producer of the fastest growing sports radio network in America.