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Big East Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
CINCINNATI: Cincinnati got involved in a defensive battle with Rutgers but wound up on the losing side, 10-3 to the Scarlet Knights at Nippert Stadium. The loss was the first at home for the Bearcats, who are 7-3 overall and 3-2 in Big East play now. It was the first time since 1987 Cincinnati allowed 10 or fewer points and still lost. Cincinnati finished with 341 yards of total offense but had a season-low 90 yards rushing. George Winn, who led the Big East in rushing entering the game, finishing with 38 yards on 11 carries but did eclipse the 1,000 yard plateau for the season. Brendon Kay got the start at quarterback again and threw for 251 yards on 17-of-31 passing. His totals in yards, completions and attempts were all career-highs. On defense, Greg Blair led the team with 12 tackles giving him 101 stops for the season. Cincinnati suffered from a nearly 15 minute discrepancy in time of possession and converted only one red zone attempt into a score. There are two more games left on the docket for the Bearcats beginning at home against South Florida.
CONNECTICUT: The Huskies were off this week giving them extra time to prepare for a nationally ranked Louisville squad next Saturday. Connecticut is 4-6 overall this season and 1-4 on the road.
LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals were idle this week on the heels of their first loss of the season, a 45-26 rout in the Carrier Dome to Syracuse. Louisville now has its sights set on Connecticut, which the Cardinals host at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium next Saturday.
PITTSBURGH: Also idle this week were the Panthers who had lost back-to-back games before the bye week. The Panthers next contest will be at Heinz Field, were they are 3-2 overall this season, when Pittsburgh hosts Big East leading Rutgers next Saturday.
RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights have their defense to thank after posting a 10-3 victory over Cincinnati in Nippert Stadium. The win pushes Rutgers to 9-1 overall this season and a perfect 5-0 in Big East play which gives Rutgers sole possession of first place in the conference. The 9-1 mark is the best start to a season for Rutgers since 2006. Rutgers had eight total nine win seasons in school history, three of which have come in the last four games. Cincinnati was the conference's highest scoring team (34.2 ppg) but was held to just three points and a season low 90 yards rushing. Savon Huggins was the primary ball carrier in the game for Rutgers putting up 179 yards on 41 carries while normal starter Jawan Jamison, who was dealing with an injury had 37 yards on just four carries. Gary Nova threw for 186 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice while completing 11-of-19 pass attempts. Mark Harrison brought in four passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Khaseem Greene finished with 11 tackles, 3.5 TFLs and a pair of sacks. Rutgers will have its perfect conference record tested next week on the road against Pittsburgh.
SOUTH FLORIDA: In a late season non-conference finale the Bulls were trounced by instate rival Miami-Floirda 40-9. The loss dropped the Bulls to 3-7 overall this season which includes a 1-4 mark on the road. The Bulls dug themselves a big hole early on trailing 16-0 at one point and 22-3 at the end of the first half. All nine of the Bulls' points came on field goals from Maikon Bonani who was 3-of-5 overall on the day on field goal attempts with one blocked and the other missed entirely. Bobby Eveld got the start for B.J. Daniels who was sidelined with an injury. He threw for only 29 yards while completing 3-of-8 pass attempts before being spelled by Matt Floyd. Floyd completed 20-of-35 pass attempts for 175 yards but was intercepted twice. Demetris Murray was the lead rushing in the contest with 108 yards on 16 carries. The Bulls as a team were on the short side of a 548-358 difference in total offensive yards and were guilt of three total turnovers. The Bulls also converted on only 3-of-14 third down attempts and settled for field goals on all three red zone attempts. South Florida returns to Big East play next weekend with a Friday night matchup with Cincinnati.
SYRACUSE: Ryan Nassib hooked up with Alec Lemon for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds remaining on the clock as the Orange rallied for a 31-27 win on the road over Missouri. With the win Syracuse is now 6-5 overall and bowl eligible for the second time in the last three seasons. The win was also the first against an SEC team on the road since 1990. Nassib threw for 385 yards while completing 26-of-40 pass attempts. Nassib is now the all-time passing leader (8.466 yards) at Syracuse. Nassib also had two touchdown passes in the game which set a school record of 23 in single season. Lemon brought in 12 passes for 244 yards and now has the most career receiving yards among active players in the Big East (2,515 yards). The effort was his fifth 100-yard game of the season and was also a career-high. Marcus Sales brought in eight passes for 85 yards. The regular season will come to a close next Friday for Syracuse when it visits Big East newcomer Temple at Lincoln Financial Field.
TEMPLE: Montel Harris put together an incredible performance out of the backfield for the Owls as they topped Army 63-32 in West Point on Saturday. Harris rushed for a school record of 351 yards and seven touchdowns on 36 carries. Harris' efforts also helped Temple set school records in rushing yards in a single game (534) and rushing touchdowns (nine). Matt Brown rushed for the other two touchdowns and finished with 71 yards on just four carries. Clinton 'Juice' Granger got his first career start at quarterback and rushed for 85 yards, while completing only 2-of-4 passes for 31 yards. With the win Temple is now 4-6 overall including a 2-3 mark on the road but with only one game left to play will not qualify for a bowl bid. Tyler Matakevich led the squad in tackles for the seventh straight week with 13 stops. It is the sixth time in that stretch that Matakevich has finished with double-digit tackles. The Owls return home for their season finale next Friday against Syracuse.
11/19 12:13:30 ET
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