Big East Wrap Up Week 1
The Orange of Syracuse rallied from a 15-point 4th quarter deficit to beat visiting Wake Forest, 36-29, in overtime Thursday night. Sr. QB Ryan Nassib was named Rivals.com Big East Player of the Week, delivering three TD passes. He was 20 of 28 for 178 yards and completed 19 of his first 23 attempts, and went 8 of 8 in the 4th period and OT. The Orangemen host Rhode Island this week.
Auditioning four different running backs, host Rutgers routed NC Central, 48-0, Thursday night getting their second straight season-opening shutout and their biggest shutout win in a season debut since a 66-0 blow-out over Ursinus in 1918. True freshman RB Savon Huggins impressed scoring two first-half TD’s and a solid outing by the defense including nine sacks bodes well as the Scarlet Knights travel to Chapel Hill to face UNC.
Louisville opened at home Thursday night besting FCS opponent, Murray State, 21-9. Will Stein threw for 2 touchdowns and finished 17 of 32 for 226 yards. The Cardinals are young with 18 players seeing their first collegiate action and six making their first start including five new guys on the offensive line. The Cards host Florida International.
The host Bearcats of Cincinnati had little trouble with their FCS opponent, Austin Peay, winning 72-10 Saturday night. QB Zach Collaros was proficient throwing four first-half TD passes finishing 12 of 19 for 134 yards before giving way to reserves for the second half. RB Isaiah Pead started things rolling running for two scores as Cincy capitalized on 6 of their first seven 1st-half possessions. The Cats travel to SEC country to face the Volunteers of Tennessee.
Pitt Jr. tailback, Ray Graham, has been named Big East Player of the Week for his performance in the season opener Saturday night against Buffalo. The Panthers bested the Bulls 35-16 as Graham galloped for 201 yards and three scores marking his second-career 200-yard game. QB Tino Sunseri went 16 of 28 for 170 yards and one TD, but the offensive unit was 4 of 11 on third down. New coach Todd Graham will work on his up-tempo system as the Panthers next face Maine at home.
Once again weather had an impact as Hurricane Irene forced UConn to postpone their opener from Thursday to Saturday. No matter. The Huskies throttled visiting Fordham 35-3 as freshman RB Lyle McCombs debuted with 141 yards and four scores. (Incidentally, McCombs didn’t find out he was starting until one hour before game time). The Dogs used all three of their QB’s. Johnny McEntee started and went 8 of 12 for 113 yards followed by Michael Nebrich and Scott McCummings. UConn visits Vanderbilt.
In a game that lasted nearly seven hours, host West Virginia got the win over rival Marshall, 34-13 Sunday afternoon. The contest was ultimately called due to lightning and severe weather with 14:36 remaining in the fourth quarter. Yet Mountaineer fans got what they came for as QB Geno Smith threw two first-half TD passes and Tavon Austin returned a kickoff weaving 100 yards to the end zone. Smith finished 26 of 35 for 249 yards. The defense made a statement also, limiting Marshall to 13 first downs, 187 total yards and no offensive TD’s. #23 WVa welcomes Norfolk State.
You CAN go home again – just ask head coach Skip Holtz as his Golden Bulls of South Florida stunned host Notre Dame Saturday afternoon, 23-20. USF faced the Fighting Irish for the first time ever but Holtz has been to Southbend before having attended ND where his dad, Lou, coached. The Irish took their opening drive down to the Bulls’ 1-yard line before a costly fumble was recovered by USF Kavyon Webster for a 96-yard scamper and TD. In the end the Bulls’ D caused five turnovers and QB B.J. Daniels, did his job as field general. The stats may not jump out at you but he had no INT’s as the Irish tossers threw three. Daniels finished 18 of 30 for 128 yards. USF hosts Ball State.