BY CHRISTOPHER J. MOGOLLON
BIG EAST INSIDER
South Florida - In what might be the biggest Big East victory since WVU over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl just two seasons ago, the South Florida Bulls went into Auburn and defeated the Tigers in an overtime thriller. Let’s get one thing straight this was a huge conference win – NOT an upset. Auburn was not fooled by South Florida but straight up beat. The Bulls defense played very well making big plays to set the tone, forcing five turnovers. This defense is strong, never misses a tackle, is fast, and full of NFL talent. Linebackers Ben Moffitt and Bruce Mompremier had fantastic games keeping the Auburn running game under control. Corners Trae Williams and Mike Jenkins had the Tigers’ receivers on lock down. Although the offense wasn’t great, Matt Grothe threw for 184 yards and rush for 74 (zero interceptions) in a tough place to play. In the second overtime South Florida knew they needed a touchdown to win, Grothe stepped up big time hitting Jessie Hester for a 14-yard touchdown pass to win.
Cincinnati - Before the year started Cincinnati was projected to battle with the rest of the conference for a meaningless bowl, but after their big win over Oregon State…maybe people are sleeping on the Bearcats. Oregon State is no SE Missouri State and putting up points against them is the real deal. Quarterback Ben Mauk threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns (zero interceptions). It was a blocked punt for a touchdown in the third quarter than put the game away making it 24-3, and the defense made sure the Beavers would not make it game forcing, eight turnovers. The Bearcats made a statement by crushing a team many experts have ranked, the Cats and their spread offense are for real.
Syracuse - The Orange were not expected win in Iowa but a 35-0 loss is just unacceptable. The team has showed zero improvement from last year and to be blunt, the team and program are a mess right now. In defense of the Cuse, they didn’t catch a break by playing a tough Washington team and a road game versus a Big Ten squad that could be ranked in a couple of weeks. The O-Line again was dominated, as they were held to 24 yards rushing with no time for the passing game to do anything. The D-Line was dominated as well, as the Orange gave Jake Christensen so much time all he had to do was wait for receivers to get open, as he throw for 278 yards and four touchdowns. Tight End Tony Moeaki took advantage of some horrendous play by the SU linebackers, scoring three touchdowns and hauling in 112 yards through the air. Syracuse was dominated in every single aspect of the game, after this week it looks obvious that Syracuse is on the way to a very long season.
Louisville/ West Virginia Defense - We all know how much talent is on these two offensive powerhouses but if Louisville and West Virginia want to be considered for the National Title game their defenses must play better. Louisville allowed a total of 554 yards to Middle Tennessee State, that’s right 554 yards. They allowed five touchdowns in the first half including a 78-yard pass play where Demarco McNair just out ran the Cardinal D. Running back Phil Tanner rushed for 144 yards. WVU’s defense just couldn’t put the game away and the only reason why they won was because Pat White and Steve Slaton were just too fast for the Thundering Herd. Marshall scored some key touchdowns late in the game when the Mountaineer defense should have stepped up, as Bernard Morris threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns, significantly better numbers than he put up when he faced the Miami D…that’s Miami of Ohio.