By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
Post-Week 2 Big East Power Rankings
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1. West Virginia (2-0) – It was a tale of two halves in Morgantown on Saturday. The Mountaineers did not have a good showing in the first half, but looked like a different team over the final two quarters. Quarterback Geno Smith threw for 371 yards and four scores against Norfolk State and has yet to throw an interception in two games. The offensive line and rushing attack remain a concern for coach Dana Holgorsen. The Mountaineers will be tested over the next two weeks, as they visit Maryland this Saturday and host LSU in Week 4.
2. South Florida (2-0) – After beating Notre Dame in Week 1, coach Skip Holtz had to be worried about a letdown with his team. However, the Bulls looked sharp in Saturday’s win over Ball State. Quarterback B.J. Daniels passed for a career-high 359 yards, while the defense did not allow a score until the fourth quarter. The Bulls have another tune-up this week, as they host Florida A&M. After two weeks, it's pretty clear there is a significant gap between South Florida and Syracuse in this week’s Big East power rankings - at least right now.
3. Syracuse (2-0) – This is where the fun starts in the Big East power rankings for Week 2. After South Florida and West Virginia, there’s a lot of uncertainty. The Orange haven’t looked impressive, but then again, who has out of the remaining teams? Syracuse posted a lethargic 21-14 win over Rhode Island on Saturday, but will have to play a lot better this week, as they travel to Los Angeles to take on USC. Quarterback Ryan Nassib is off to a solid start this year, throwing for 496 yards and six scores.
4. Pittsburgh (2-0) – The Panthers are 2-0, but coach Todd Graham can’t be too pleased. Pittsburgh posted a so-so 35-29 win over Maine on Saturday. The offense has scored 35 points in both games, but quarterback Tino Sunseri has yet to find his rhythm in the new offense. Sunseri was benched against Maine in favor of Trey Anderson, but will remain the starter for Saturday’s matchup against Iowa. The Panthers also need to clean up a leaky pass defense, allowing 305 yards a game so far this season.
5. Cincinnati (1-1) – As expected, the Bearcats will have no trouble moving the ball this year. However, the defense is remains a question mark. Cincinnati allowed over 500 yards of offense to Tennessee in Saturday’s 45-23 loss. After struggling with turnovers last year, it’s a positive sign the Bearcats have yet to lose one through two games. Expect Cincinnati to get back on track in Week 3 against Akron.
6. Rutgers (1-1) – Turnovers by North Carolina kept the Scarlet Knights alive, but in the end, the offense came up just short. Quarterback Chas Dodd threw for 243 yards and two scores, but was sacked four times, and the rushing attack didn’t give him much help. Rutgers ran into a very good Tar Heel defensive line, which allowed only one rushing yard to the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers is off this week.
7. Connecticut (1-1) – The Huskies hung tough against Vanderbilt, but the inability to establish anything on offense eventually cost them the game. The offense managed only 193 yards and turned the ball over four times. The quarterback situation continues to be a mess, with Johnny McEntee, Michael Nebrich and Scott McCummings all playing. Running back Lyle McCombs has been the lone bright spot on offense, but needs a passing attack to help take the pressure off. The Huskies have a short week to prepare, as Iowa State visits Storrs for a Friday night matchup.
8. Louisville (1-1) – With a handful of young players stepping into the starting lineup, Louisville coach Charlie Strong knew it would be a challenge this year. The Cardinals dropped a 24-17 decision to FIU on Friday night. The defense allowed too many big plays to FIU receiver T.Y. Hilton, while the offense struggled to establish the rushing attack once again. Louisville will hit the road to play Kentucky this Saturday. With both teams struggling on offense, points could be hard to come by next week.