Big East Football Notebook

Statistics fuel most of the items in this week's football notebook, but also included is a turnaround potentially fueled by an injury to a coach.

OOPS

In its game wrap-ups of last week's contests in this week's media notes, the Big East Conference did not mention Connecticut's punt return for a touchdown in the Louisville game. That key play put the Huskies on the scoreboard and kept them in the contest, and provided a springboard for their upset win. The play also should have been called back, as the Husky punt returner clearly signaled for a fair catch before sprinting downfield for a score.

To its credit, the Big East admitted the error earlier this week. However, trying minimize the damage by not mentioning a key play smacks of a P.R. move. A mistake was made – no sense in trying to hide it. Just list it, and then move on.


EASY TO PINPOINT

After putting together a +15 margin in turnovers through their first six games, the Bearcats are -6 in their last two. Not coincidentally, UC was 6-0 starting out, but is 0-2 in its last two contests.


ODDS ON

After road teams had won six of the first seven intraconference games this season, the three home teams (Rutgers, Connecticut, Pittsburgh) all won this past week.


NATIONAL NOMINEE

Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk is a nominee for the 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl Courage Award, which is sponsored in part by the Football Writers Association of America. Mauk suffered a severe arm injury last year while playing at Wake Forest. He transferred to Cincinnati after earning a degree in education. Mauk has three pins in his shoulder and eight attaching a steel rod to his humerus bone.


TRIPLE K

If Ray Rice gains one more rushing yard this season, he would become the first Rutgers player in 138 years of football to register three straight 1,000-yard seasons.


HMMMMMM

Pittsburgh LB Scott McKillop is ranked second nationally in tackles (12.4 per game). He trails only Colorado's Jordan Dizon for the national lead. The Panthers have a long tradition of high-ranking tacklers (in terms of numbers) on its statistical lists.


UPSTAIRS

After injuring his knee and Achilles tendon, Dave Wannstedt underwent surgery prior to his team's game against Cincinnati, the Pennsylvania native was forced to coach from the coaches' box rather than the sidelines. Might Pitt's 24-17 win, which broke a four-game Panther losing streak, influence Wannstedt to stay upstairs for future games?


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