BY CHRISTOPHER MOGOLLON
BIG EAST INSIDER
Syracuse - There was nobody who thought the Orange could possibly win this game -- as 38 point underdogs -- this was a historic win. This was the best football played under coach Greg Robinson who earned his second conference win in three seasons. The quarterback Andrew Robinson was efficient and smart, making the tough throws and the easy ones, throwing for four touchdowns. Robinson hit the big plays throwing for 423 yards including a 79-yard touchdown pass to Taj Smith to open up the game. Smith showed nice hands and big play ability catching four balls for 173 yards including a 60-yard touchdown where Smith put the moves on a couple Louisville defenders before taking it to the house for about 50 yards of YAC. Even though they gave up 35 points the ‘Cuse defense was solid and made plays. Jameel McClain has been waiting to break out and it may have started in Louisville where he recorded a sack and an interception. Syracuse forced four turnovers in a 38-35 victory, as Louisville scored two touchdowns in the last four minutes to make it close.
Connecticut - In what was supposed to be a battle -- the Huskies just walked all over Pittsburgh on their home field. The defense for Connecticut played their best ball of the year, forcing four turnovers and holding star freshman tailback LeSean McCoy to 70 yards rushing. The defense forced quarterback Kevan Smith to his worst game of the season, which included two interceptions and a fumble which directly led to 17 points. Smith had to be taken out at halftime after only completing 3/9 passes for 23 total yards. Pittsburgh did not convert any of their first seven third downs.
Louisville - The most noise in Papa John’s Stadium on Saturday was the cheers when Mario Urrutia was taken out of the game after committing a personal foul penalty. In total, Louisville’s 12 penalties cost them 105 yards. For whatever reason the offense ignored their tight ends and running game and instead just kept on throwing the ball up for grabs. Brian Brohm did throw for a remarkable 555 yards and four touchdowns but wasn’t as efficient has his opponent. The secondary was just embarrassed leaving Syracuse receivers open for big plays numerous times, twice the Orange responded after Louisville scores with quick long pass plays for touchdowns.
Setting Up a Showdown
Both South Florida and West Virginia took care of business before their much anticipated match up on Friday night. Neither of these teams looked ahead and blew out their opponents. South Florida came out strong putting up 14 points in the first quarter and never looked back. Matt Grothe threw for 230 yards and a touchdown, he also ran for 35 yards. The running game was strong rushing for a total of 192 yards, with junior Benjamin Williams led the way with 64 yards and a touchdown. The South Florida defense held North Carolina to only 85 passing yards and 164 total yards. North Carolina was four of fifteen on third down conversations and turned the over four times. Meanwhile in Morgantown, it was the Pat White show. White was an outstanding 18/20, throwing for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 42 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Darius Reynaud caught five balls racking up 54 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored on a reverse for a touchdown and had a 12-yard run on an option play. The defense was just as good holding East Carolina to 54 yards passing in the 48-7 win.
Under the Radar
The Cincinnati Bearcats have quietly remained undefeated after a romp over Marshall 40-14. Junior Mike Mickens started the blowout with an interception and a fumble recovery to setup their first two scores. Dustin Grutza played most of the game throwing for 142 yards and was 14/20 with two touchdowns. Ben Mauk was 6/7 with 77 yards and a touchdown. Freshman receiver Marcus Barnett caught 6 balls for 77 yards, and two touchdowns, both coming in the third quarter.