Despite Louisville’s beatdown on Saturday Night in Salt Lake City, the Cards’ are still undefeated in conference play, which means that a potential BCS berth is still up for grabs. This is the Big East, where all you have to do is be better than seven other teams, and you’ll be enjoying New Year’s Day in a place like Tempe, Miami, or New Orleans (and not Boise or Memphis). Here’s this week’s Big East Breakdown, including a beatability index for Louisville’s remaining conference opponents.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats took advantage of a noon start time on Saturday, beating visiting Fresno State 28-20. UC only held the ball for slightly more than 16 minutes, yet led the entire game. Quarterback Tony Pike pulled off his best Peyton Manning impersonation with 300 yards and three touchdown throws off 18-26 passing. Fresno had a fourth down opportunity inside the Cincinnati 10 yard line before throwing an interception that all but ended the game. This week, Cincinnati travels to Miami, Ohio to take on the Red Hawks.
Beatability index (10=sure win, 0=no shot): 1.0
Connecticut: UConn had their way with the visiting Rhode Island Rams on Saturday in a 52-10 romp, moving the Huskies to 3-1 on the season. Quarterback Cody Endres threw for 289 yardsa and a pair of scores, while running back Jordan Todman ran for three paydays of his own in totaling 70 yards. Connecticut has a week off before starting conference play next week at Pittsburgh.
Beatability index: 6.5
Pittsburgh: The Panthers suffered their first loss of the season in Raleigh on Saturday, as the defense allowed four touchdown passes in a 38-31 loss to North Carolina State. Pitt committed no turnovers for the game, but were 2-for-10 on third down conversions, which came back to bite them, despite leading by 14 in the third quarter. The Panthers invade Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium this Friday night for the Black Out game with Louisville.
Beatability index: 4.0
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights used 24 unanswered second half points to dismantle Maryland 34-13 in College Park on Saturday. This Rutgers team is all about the running game, even more so after freshman quarterback Tom Savage sat this one out. RU rushed the ball 49 times for 249 yards, and committed no turnovers. Greg Schiano’s boys get the rare two-week bye starting this week. Rutgers returns to the field on Oct. 16 when they host Pitt in front of a national television audience.
Beatability index: 7.0
South Florida: Pulling off the signature Big East win of the season to date, the Bulls controlled Florida State 17-7 in Tallahassee. The win was the team’s first ever against any of the state’s “Big Three” and came in front of the largest Seminole crowd since 2005. New starting quarterback B.J. Daniels came in and controlled the game, throwing for 215 yards and two scores. The scrambler also ran the ball 23 times for 126 yards. The question that lingers off this victory is can the squad keep up the intensity in a game that isn’t against the powerhouse school that looked over every USF player. They will get their first chance this week when they travel to the Carrier Dome for a matchup with Syracuse.
Beatability index: 1.5
Syracuse: The Orange took out Division I-AA opponent Maine on Saturday in Syracuse, 41-24. The game was not without suspense as the Black Bears held a 17-13 halftime advantage. The ‘Cuse rode behind running back Delone Carter’s three second half touchdown runs to rally for the victory. Greg Paulus was 21-for-28 in passing for 270 yards and two touchdowns. The Orange open up their conference slate on Saturday when they host South Florida.
Beatability index: 8.0
West Virginia: The Mountaineers had the week off following their loss at Auburn. They’ll have the spotlight to themselves on Thursday night with a game against coach Dan “Go play intramurals, brother!” Hawkins and the Colorado Buffaloes. The game can be seen on ESPN at 7:30 p.m.
Beatability index: 2.0