Big East Week 13 Wrap Up
Getting hot when they had to, visiting Louisville (7-5, 5-2) got a great offensive outing from freshman QB Teddy Bridgewater to beat USF (5-6, 1-5), 34-24, Friday afternoon in Tampa. The youngster went 19 of 28 for 241 yards and three scores to clinch at least a share of the Big East title. The Cardinals had to rally from a 2-TD deficit in the first half, securing their fifth win in the last six regular-season contests after starting 2-4. As for the Bulls, this loss is on the D. USF was up 17-3 and coasting but let Louisville sustain drive after drive, getting out-scored 24-7 in the second half. The Louisville defense, on the other hand, came to play especially stopping the run, holding the Bulls to just 64 yards on the ground. Now the Cards have to watch and wait as their regular season is over. USF finishes at home with West Virginia, Thursday night at 8:00.
Rallying from 10 points down, host West Virginia (8-3, 4-2) beat Pitt (5-6, 3-3), 21-20, in a critical close- one Friday night at Mountaineer Field. The Neers’ defense sacked Panthers’ QB Tino Sunseri 10 times including four on Pitt’s final drive when time ran out. The Cats led 17-7 at the intermission but managed only 80 yards in the 2nd half. Special teams play by WVA was awful with bad punting, penalties and fumbles. Fortunately, the offense came alive with QB Geno Smith completing 22 of 31 for 244 yards and set school single-season records for pass completions (291), attempts (448) and yards (3,741) formerly held by Marc Bulger in 1998. The Mountaineers travel to Tampa for a must-win conference finale against USF Thursday at 8:00. Pitt concludes at home with Syracuse Saturday at 12:00.
Crushing hopes for a share of the Big East title, host UConn (5-6, 3-3) upset Rutgers (8-4, 4-3), 40-22, Saturday afternoon in Rentschler Field. For the Huskies, they still can become bowl-eligible with a win at Cincinnati next Saturday. Early turnovers by the Scarlet Knights set the tone and the Sledders held Rutgers to -9 rushing yards. There were six sacks, as well. UConn had just 290 offensive yards but started five drives in Rutgers territory. RB Kyle McCombs and QB Scott McCummings each ran for 2 scores and Nick Williams excited with 158 special teams’ yards on punt and kickoff returns. The Knights turned the ball over six times which usually doesn’t bode well on the scoreboard.
Losing for the 4th straight time, host Syracuse (5-6, 1-5) fell to Cincinnati (8-3, 4-2), 30-13, Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome. Backup QB Munchie Legaux for the Bearcats threw for two touchdowns going 13 of 22 for 169 yards without a turnover or sack. But the workhorse this day was RB Isaiah Pead who finished with 244 all-purpose yards. It was a field position game with Syracuse starting no better than their own 26. The Bearcats fared much better due to excellent special teams play.