Thursday, September 17, 2009

Big East: Week Two Review


We take a look back on a record set, a game-losing safety, and the week that was in the Big East.

Game of the Week: Sloppy field, sloppy offenses, and a sloppy finish. That’s the best way to describe Connecticut’s 12-10 loss to 16th ranked North Carolina in a game that saw the deciding points come on a safety. Neither team ran or passed the ball well, and each gave up two turnovers. The Tar Heels’ valiant fourth quarter comeback was sparked by the offensive line winning the battle in the trenches. Running back Ryan Houston’s clutch 30 yards on six carries led North Carolina on a game-tying touchdown drive. The player of the game was Lindsey Witten. The 6’ 4” senior sacked the quarterback 3.5 times and is the conference leader with a seven on the season. Unfortunately for the Huskies, a holding penalty in the end zone committed by Dan Ryan was just enough for North Carolina to grab the win.

Team of the week:
This is cautious praise because it was against Buffalo, but this week Pittsburgh did something they rarely did last year—looked good on offense. Quarterback Bill Stull threw for three touchdowns for the first time in his career. The 54-27 win was charged by true freshman Dion Lewis. If his debut wasn’t impressive enough—20 carries for 137 yards and a pair of TDs versus Youngstown St.—this week he put on a clinic, rushing for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Four Buffalo turnovers left them with little chance to match the Panthers’ firepower. When was the last time you heard that? It’s the most points Pittsburgh has scored since 1999. The only blemish in the win was Pitt’s inability to stop Buffalo wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt, who racked up 157 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns.

Record Setter: Congratulations to Matt Grothe for passing Pat White as the all-time Big East career yardage leader. Grothe broke the record on a 12-yard scramble in the Bulls’ 35-13 victory over Western Kentucky. The senior threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns.

Don't Forget About: Jarrett Brown was just too much for East Carolina to handle, as the West Virginia quarterback threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns in the Mountaineers 35-10 win. A key hookup with wide receiver Alric Arnett for a touchdown put the game away in the third quarter.

Freshman Watch: A win over Howard isn’t likely to stem the tide of panic at Rutgers just yet, but quarterback Tom Savage surely gave Knights fans something to smile about. The true freshman threw for 223 yards and displayed a cannon of an arm. He connected twice with Tim Brown on big plays, including a 49-yard bomb on his first throw of the day.

Wide Out Week: Four different Big East wide receivers put up big performances in week two: The 'nice hands award' goes to Jock Sanders (West Virginia) for the second consecutive week. The Mountaineer led all wide outs in receptions, pulling down nine balls for 99 yards. In the ‘it’s been a while’ category, Carlton Mitchell (South Florida) hit the century mark (130 yards) for the first time since his freshman year (2007). You can call Tim Brown (Rutgers) ‘Big Plays’. He led the conference in yards, racking up 132 for the Scarlet Knights on just three catches. Finally, it should come as 'no surprise' that Marshwan Gilyard (Cincinnati), had his way with SE Missouri State, posting 111 yards and two touchdowns.

Photo Courtesy of USF Athletics Communications