BY CHRISTOPHER J. MOGOLLON
BIG EAST INSIDER
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: RUTGERS
After taking a 14-0 lead, Syracuse thought they a chance to pull off another upset victory, but a couple of Ray Rice runs and a blocked punt and the Orange were back to their losing ways. Rutgers moved the ball all game especially in the third quarter when they scored 17 points. Rice rushed for a season-high 196 yards and three touchdowns, adding four receptions for 29 yards. Mike Teel shook off an early interception by Ben Maljovec and finished the game throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Kevin Britt had a season-high six receptions and a career-high 176 yards. The punt block in the second quarter that led to a one-yard touchdown really turned the game over the Knights. It was nice to see the Orange actually have some sort of rushing game as the banged up Curtis Brinkley had a season-high as well, rushing for 98 yards and 6.1 yards per carry. As the fourth quarter started, Rutgers scored two quick touchdowns and took a 38-14 lead, which was the same score when the clocked reach zero. Senior tight end Jawad Nesheiwat had a great game catching a season-high four balls for 81 yards.
South Florida continued their undefeated season with a blowout victory over instate rival Central Florida 64-12. USF was so dominant, holding UCF to only 145 total yards, 2-for-15 on third downs and one touchdown, while forcing three turnovers. Matt Grothe bounced back with a much stronger performance throwing for 212 yards and rushing for 100 yards. Grothe rushed for a touchdown and threw one in the second quarter to put the game away, hitting Taurus Johnson for a nine-yard touchdown. Johnson had six receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Mike Ford was again a contributor rushing for 39 yards on eight carries and a touchdown.
WORST LOSS: PART I
Cincinnati was undefeated going into their rivalry game versus struggling Louisville but could not keep up with Brian Brohm and that Cardinal passing offense. Brohm put up tremendous numbers once again throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns. Cincinnati took a 21-14 lead late in the third quarter when Brian Brohm led an 83-yard drive that ended on a touchdown reception by Patrick Carter to tie the game. The big play that gave the Cardinals the lead for good was a 51-yard catch by superstar Harry Douglas, which set up the three-yard touchdown run by Anthony Allen. The Louisville defense as usual gave up plenty of passing yards, and a total of 460 yards. Junior receiver Dominick Goodman had a season-high eleven catches for 141 yards and a touchdown, but it was not enough this week, as the Louisville defense forced two fumbles and two interceptions. Juniors Richard Raglin and Chris Vaughn were the culprits picking off a pass from Ben Mauk and Tony Pike. Mauk did throw for 324 yards and three touchdowns but the Bearcats had too many turnovers and couldn't keep Brohm out of the end zone.
WORST LOSS: PART II
Pittsburgh made it four straight loses in an overtime thriller in Heinz field 38-35. LeSean McCoy continues to dominate rushing for 165 yards. The freshman rushed for three touchdowns for the second time this year and gave Pittsburgh the lead in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard run, but Navy came back, nailing a field goal to force overtime. The inexperienced defense had more trouble stopping Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada than the announcers had trouble pronouncing his name. Kaheaku-Enhada rushed for 122 yards his season-high and a touchdown. He also passed for 166 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-tying 25-yard pass touchdown on the first play in overtime. Freshman Pat Bostick started at quarterback for Pitt and completed 20 out of 28 passes but mostly threw short passes, as Pittsburgh really couldn't get any big pass plays. In the second overtime down three, the Panthers were at the Navy nine-yard line and couldn't punch it in. After two short runs and an incomplete pass they were forced to make a decision -- either go for the win or settle for the tie. From the two-yard line, they called a play for Bostick to make a tough touch pass in the corner of the end zone to Darrell Strong, which was easily batted away.
OH SO CLOSE
The Huskies were riding an undefeated season as well and some experts thought a win at Virginia would give Connecticut a spot in the polls. Connecticut couldn't really get their offense rolling, as Tyler Lorenzen was held to only 176 yards, his second worst total this season. He did lead a clutch touchdown drive to open up the second half, which he finished with a six-yard touchdown pass to Steve Brouse. Andre Dixon rushed for 63 yards on 14 carries. Connecticut took the lead with about ten minutes left in the game, but Virginia took back the lead 17-16 with a field goal by Chris Gould. Virginia’s Jameel Sewell finished the game throwing for 149 yards and rushing for 66.