Associated Press Photo
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
CINCINNATI: A week after routing Pittsburgh in its conference opener, Cincinnati won yet again, this time with an easy 23-7 victory over FCS opponent Delaware State. The Bearcats have now won 22 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents. Scoring early has been a key to the Bearcats' 3-0 start. After outscoring Delaware State 20-0 in the first half, the Bearcats have now outscored their opponents 37-0 in the opening half this season. Cincinnati played well on offense and defense, out-gaining Delaware State by more than 200 yards (467-261). George Winn was the most important offensive player on the day, rushing for a career-high 147 yards on 24 carries. However it was quarterback Munchie Legaux (20-for-27, 208 yards) who accounted for two of the team's touchdowns with both coming through the air. Highly touted sophomore Jameel Poteat made an impact as well, rushing for 44 yards on eight attempts and scoring a touchdown. Winn and company helped the Bearcats rush for more than 200 yards for the third consecutive game. Cincinnati will yet again be on a bye this week, after the team was also off in week one. The next time the Bearcats hit the field will be against Virginia Tech at FedEx field in Landover, Maryland on Sept. 29.
CONNECTICUT: It wasn't the prettiest win but a win just the same, as Connecticut pulled out a 24-21 victory on the road over Maryland and former head coach Randy Edsall. The Huskies led 17-7 going into the fourth quarter but needed a stand from their defense on Maryland's last drive to secure the win, their fifth all-time against ACC competition. The game was a defensive struggle with neither team topping 223 total yards. UConn had only 70 yards through the air and turned to its backfield to carry the offense. In all the squad ran the ball 40 times. Lyle McCombs had the bulk of those attempts, 27 in all, and ended with 94 yards and a touchdown. Linebackers Sio Moore and Yawin Smallwood led the Huskies' strong defensive attack which allowed only 205 total yards. The pair combined for three sacks in the game, while Moore had a game-high 14 total tackles. The Huskies did not allow a point in the first quarter and have yet to do so this season. Connecticut continues on the road next weekend with a date against Western Michigan. The Huskies will try to make up for a 38-31 loss to the Broncos last season.
LOUISVILLE: Charlie Strong's squad looked positively unbeatable for the first two quarters this past weekend against North Carolina. However the Cardinals regressed in the second half and needed a big stop on the Tar Heels' last drive to secure a 39-34 win. The Cardinals moved up to No. 20 in the top-25 and are now 3-0 for the first time since 2006. Louisville's offense had no problem moving up and down the field in the first half with 360 total yards and a 36-7 lead at halftime. It was the seventh highest first half point total in program history. However the squad finished with 462 total yards. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was yet again at the center of the offensive effort. The sophomore completed 23-of-28 pass attempts for 279 yards and three scores. Bridgewater got some help from the running game as well, with Jeremy Wright (117 yards) and Senorise Perry (87) each having big games on the ground that included touchdowns. The defense was stingy against the run, allowing only 47 yards but that was partially due to UNC abandoning the running game in favor of a passing game that amassed 363 yards. Louisville will be making its first road trip next weekend, heading to the Sunshine State to take on FIU.
PITTSBURGH: Pittsburgh finally managed to get its first win over the weekend and in surprising fashion. After losing back-to-back games in embarrassing fashion, the Panthers dished out a convincing 35-17 win over then No. 13 Virginia Tech at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh has now won the past four meetings against the Hokies, all coming with Tech in the top-25. The Panthers scored 21 unanswered points to open the game, led by Ray Graham, who had a pair of rushing touchdowns during that span. Graham added an 18-yard receiving touchdown in the second half, while finishing with 111 all-purpose yards (94 rushing). While Graham was able to get into the end zone, it was Rushel Shell who had the better day on the ground with 157 yards on 23 carries. He is the first true freshmen to rush for 100 yards since 2009. Tino Sunseri and the passing game were also effective with the quarterback completing 19-of-28 passes for 283 yards and three scores. Mike Shanahan was the biggest beneficiary with career-highs in receptions (five) and yards (111) along with a touchdown. On defense the Panthers allowed 324 yards with only 59 coming on the ground, while also snagging three interceptions. Pittsburgh has a great chance to build on the momentum next weekend when the Panthers take on FCS opponent Garnder-Webb before the Big East schedule begins in earnest.
RUTGERS: In a game with serious Big East title implications despite the early date on the calendar, Rutgers bested South Florida 23-13 to move to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play this season. Jawan Jamison was the definition of a workhorse in the contest, carrying the ball a school-record 41 times for 161 yards. Jamison's longest run of the game was a 41-yard touchdown scamper with 1:19 left on the clock. The Scarlet Knights' offense, especially the passing game, was effective on third down with the team getting 18 of its 22 first downs through the air, while going 7-for-18 on third down attempts. The staunch Rutgers' defense was opportunistic in the game, with three interceptions. Khaseem Greene had 10 tackles in the game which was a team- high. He has now had five straight 10-plus tackle games. Rutgers will face a reeling Arkansas squad on the road in what was originally supposed to be a marquee matchup on the schedule.
SOUTH FLORIDA: While Rutgers enjoyed its Big East opener, South Florida was not so fortunate in falling 23-13 to the Scarlet Knights. The Bulls lost thanks in large part to a number of costly errors by the offense. Quarterback B.J. Daniels threw three interceptions, including a costly one in the red zone with the Bulls trailing 13-6 late in the third quarter. Daniels was erratic throwing the ball throughout the game, completing just 15-of-33 passes for 242 yards. The signal-caller was also the team's leading rusher with 68 yards on 15 carries. Demetri Murray's one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter accounted for the only other red zone trip for the Bulls in the game. The Bulls' defense limited the Knights on the scoreboard but could not get enough stops on third down, surrendering seven third down conversions. South Florida will be back on the road next week in a contest against Ball State before a big matchup at home against nationally ranked Florida State.
SYRACUSE: It was a less exciting affair than the first two games, but Syracuse finally pulled out its first win of the season with a 28-17 defeat of FCS opponent Stony Brook. It didn't begin as the easy game the Orange might have expected, with the team down 10-7 at the end of the first quarter. However, from there the Orange outscored SBU 21-7 to capture the victory. The win ended a seven-game losing streak that dates back to last season. Wide receiver Marcus Salas has been impressive in his return to the Orange this season and after catching five passes for 117 yards and a score, is now averaging 116.7 yards per game. It helps that Salas has Ryan Nassib throwing him the ball. The quarterback completed 22-of-35 pass attempts for 335 yards and three scores and is currently ranked second in the nation in passing yards. Led by Jerome Smith (95 yards), the Orange rushed for 214 yards as a team, marking the first time an Orange team has reached over 200 yards on the ground since 2010. Syracuse's defense was not sharp in the first half, allowing 261 total yards. They turned it around though in the second half, surrendering just 50 yards in the final two quarters. It's back to the road next week for Syracuse with a date against Minnesota before opening Big East play in the first weekend of October.
TEMPLE: After a disappointing loss to Maryland in week two, Temple was on bye this past weekend. The extra week of rest will be needed as the Owls travel to Happy Valley to take on instate foe Penn State, which is fresh off its first win of the season.