Big East

Wild, Wild...East?

Smith, the Big East's player of the week, has WVU back in the hunt.

Pittsburgh appeared to be kicked back in a comfy recliner heading into last week. The Panthers had a two-game lead in the loss column in the race for the Big East’s BCS bowl berth.

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Athlon recaps the week of action in the Big East. Pitt opened the door while South Florida and West Virginia helped their cause.

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Big East Preview: Wk 11

Louisville hosts USF, Pitt visits UConn and more in the Big East.

Pittsburgh at Connecticut, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST

Connecticut’s football team showed a little life in its last outing, a 16–13 overtime win against West Virginia. However, if the Huskies don’t defeat Pittsburgh on Saturday, it will be the death of UConn’s longshot Big East title hopes.

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Athlon previews Week 11 in the Big East as South Florida visits Louisville, Pitt travels to UConn and Cincy heads to Morgantown.

One Crazy Conference

Charlie Strong continues to surprise at Louisville.

Half of the Big East football teams were off last week. And Pittsburgh was one of those with a bye. Which worked out quite nicely for the Panthers.

Among those in action was second-place Syracuse. The Orange went against a Louisville team without two of its key players — running back Bilal Powell and quarterback Adam Froman. Still, the Cardinals won 28–20, giving Pitt, 3–0 in league play, a nice cushion.

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Week 10 featured only two games in Big East action, but Louisville moved one step closer to bowl eligibility with a win over Syracuse.

Big East Preview: Wk 10

There is only one game in the Big East this Saturday.

Louisville at Syracuse, Saturday, noon EST

Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said this week that even though his team is 6–2 it really hasn’t accomplished anything this season. That, of course, isn’t exactly correct. The Orange is the surprise team of the Big East, sitting at 3–1 in conference play and in second place, behind only 3–0 leader Pittsburgh. The SU faithful are alive again and should provide a nice crowd for this game in the Carrier Dome.

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Athlon previews the week of action in the Big East. Only Louisville and Syracuse are on the field this Saturday.

Collaros Banged Up

The defending Big East champs have a banged up quarterback.
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Concern over Collaros
Cincinnati, 3–4, needs three wins in its last five games to qualify for a bowl and may be in trouble if quarterback Zach Collaros can’t recover from a knee injury suffered in the loss to South Florida. UC coach Butch Jones said he’d be listed as “questionable” now and an MRI showed nothing that needed surgery. If Collaros can’t go, Chazz Anderson would likely take his place against Syracuse.

Boxed out
Connecticut tried redshirt quarterback Michael Box against Louisville, but the move didn’t pan out. Box left the game with a concussion after completing 4-of-12 passes for 35 yards and an interception. Senior Zach Frazer, who replaced Box, went 6-of-8 for 52 yards.

Sacked — again
After allowing eight sacks against Army, Rutgers allowed seven in its loss to Pittsburgh. The Scarlet Knights are ranked last among FBS teams in the category, allowing an average of 4.7 per game. And it’s not even close. Washington State, ranked No. 119, is allowing an average of 3.88.

Big days in the Steel City
The back-to-back 40-plus point offensive outbursts by Pitt marked the first such occurrence in Big East play. Also, the 513 yards put up against Rutgers were the most since a 2006 blowout of The Citadel.