Photo courtesy of Temple Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
CINCINNATI: The Bearcats scored touchdowns on all five of their second half drives to secure an easy 49-17 win over FCS opponent Fordham. The win kept the Bearcats in the national rankings where they currently sit at No 21. Cincinnati is now 5-0 for the first time since 2009. The win was also the 24th straight against a non-conference opponent at Nippert Stadium. Cincinnati had 472 yards of total offense to extend its streak of games with at least 400 yards to five. For the third straight game Munchi Legaux accounted for three touchdowns, throwing for two and running for one. He completed 15-of-24 pass attempts for 262 yards. Travis Kelce caught a touchdown pass and had a career- high 101 yards receiving on three receptions. The Bearcats converted all three of their trips to the red zone into touchdowns. Cincinnati's defense held Fordham to only 42 yards rushing in the game. The defense also helped with the scoring with a 76-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Deven Drane. Malcolm Murray had a team-high six tackles. Cincinnati will put its national ranking on the line next weekend in a matchup with in-state foe Toledo.
CONNECTICUT: A 14-0 first quarter lead disappeared in the final minute of Connecticut's 17-14 overtime loss to Temple on Saturday. The loss dropped the Huskies to 3-4 overall this season and 0-2 in Big East play. It was the Huskies' third straight loss to the Owls. Four missed field goals from Chad Christen, including a 28-yard attempt in overtime, doomed the Huskies. Connecticut's defense was stellar in the first half, limiting Temple to eight yards and one first down on its first four possessions. Overall, Connecticut surrendered 334 total yards on defense, including a season-high 202 yards rushing. Connecticut was ranked sixth in the nation in rush defense entering play. The Huskies were without leading rusher Lyle McCombs, who sat with an injured wrist. The team struggled for only 88 yards on the ground. Chandler Whitmer rebounded from a four-interception performance last week against Rutgers and completed 22-of-39 pass attempts for 293 yards, two scores and most importantly no interceptions. Three different players recorded at double- digit tackle totals, led by Byron Jones (13). A trip to the Carrier Dome to take on Syracuse is the next stop for the Huskies.
LOUISVILLE: A big second half propelled Louisville to a 45-35 win on the road over Pittsburgh in its Big East opener. The win moves the Cardinals to 6-0, the program's best start since opening the 2006 campaign 8-0. With the win the Cardinals moved up to No. 16 in the top-25. It was only the second win in eight tries in a Big East opener for Louisville. With the 45 points scored, Louisville has now scored at least 30 points in each of the last four games. Senorise Perry led the offensive charge, scoring a career-high four touchdowns on the ground, while piling up 101 yards on only 12 carries. Three of Perry's scores came in the second half when the Cardinals outscored the Panthers 28-14. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 304 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-26 passing. It was only the second time in his career he has thrown for 300 yards. DeVante Parker hauled in four of those passes for 153 yards and a score. He is the first Cardinal to have more than 150 yards receiving since 2007 when Patrick Carter totaled 154 against Utah. No other receiver had more than 31 yards receiving. Louisville's defense matched its season total with five sacks in the win. Louisville returns home to take on South Florida in its next matchup.
PITTSBURGH: Pittsburgh gave up 21 unanswered points in the third quarter, erasing a 21-17 halftime lead, as the Panthers fell to Louisville 45-35. The 45 points allowed by Pittsburgh were the most since 2009. The 35 points scored by Pittsburgh was the most in a loss since the same game, a 45-44 loss to Cincinnati. Ray Graham had only 20 yards rushing in the game but had 71 all- purpose yards. He is now second all-time at Pittsburgh in career all-purpose yards (4,173). Devin Street brought in 11 passes for 111 yards for his second- straight games with double digit receptions and more than 100 yards receiving. Tino Sunseri threw for 287 yards and two scores, while completing 28-of-37 pass attempts. Pittsburgh was a perfect 4-for-4 in the red zone with all four conversions ending in touchdowns. The Panthers were out-gained in total offense by a 460-380 margin. Pittsburgh had only 93 yards rushing on 34 carries for a 2.7 yards-per-carry average. Todd Thomas blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. It was the 42nd blocked kick by Pittsburgh since 2000. Pittsburgh will step out of conference in its next game when it faces Buffalo on the road.
RUTGERS: For the first time since 2006, the Scarlet Knights are 6-0 to start the season, after a 23-15 win over Syracuse. Kyle Flood is the first Rutgers' coach to begin his career 6-0. It is only the fifth time in the program's 143- year history that it has started 6-0. The Scarlet Knights are also 3-0 in Big East play, the first time that has happened since 1991. A 10-0 third quarter broke a 7-7 tie and proved to be the difference in the game for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have now outscored their opponents 48-3 in the third quarter this season. Khaseem Greene tied a season-high with 14 tackles, while also forcing a career-high three fumbles and snagging an interception. Rutgers won despite being out-gained by a 423-242 margin. That included only 62 yards rushing, as Rutgers held an opponent to less than 100 yards rushing for the seventh straight game. Rutgers defense also limited Syracuse to just one score on four red zone trips. Gary Nova completed 14-of-23 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown and Big East-leading rusher Jawan Jamison had a season- low 64 yards on 28 carries. Brandon Coleman had 104 yards receiving on six receptions. No other receiver had more than 17 yards. Rutgers makes the short trip to Philadelphia to battle the surprising Temple Owls next weekend.
SOUTH FLORIDA: The Bulls were the only Big East team on a bye this past weekend. The week off gives the Bulls some extra time to prepare for a huge road matchup with No. 16 Louisville this Saturday.
SYRACUSE: Yet again the Orange found itself in a tight contest, but a late rally failed as Syracuse dropped a 23-15 decision to Rutgers. Syracuse, now 2-4, has had a game decided by eight points or less four times this season, including each of the last three. Syracuse is just 1-3 in those contests. Marcus Sales brought in four receptions for 100 yards in the game. His four 100-yard receiving games is the most in the Big East. Throwing to him was Ryan Nassib, who leads the Big East in passing yards this season. Nassib completed 25-of-42 passes for 356 yards and a touchdown. He has now thrown for 300 yards or more in four games this season. The Orange lost despite out-gaining the Scarlet Knights by a 423-242 margin. The majority of that production came through the air with the Orange mustering only 62 yards rushing. Jerome Smith was the lead ball carrier with 67 yards on 15 carries. Siriki Diabate led the defense with a career-high 13 tackles, which gives him a team-best 44 this season. Syracuse scored on only one of its four red zone trips in the contest and converted only 5-of-15 third down attempts. Next Friday Syracuse will be back in action when it hosts Connecticut at the Carrier Dome.
TEMPLE: Temple came roaring back in the second half to erase a 14-0 deficit, as the Owls downed Connecticut on the road 17-14 in overtime. The win puts the Owls at 2-0 in Big East play this season and 3-2 overall. The Owls have also won back-to-back games in Big East play for the first time in program history. It was also only the second overtime win in program history. With Matt Brown sidelined, Montel Harris again carried the offense. Harris had 142 yards rushing on 30 carries, while scoring a touchdown. He has now rushed for 100 yards in each of the past two games and 24 times total in his career. Chris Coyer completed exactly 50 percent (13-of-26) of his pass attempts for 132 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Coyer also ran for 51 yards. Temple's defense recorded six sacks and held the Huskies to just one score in three red zone trips. Tyler Matakevich had a career-high 19 tackles to lead the Owls for the second straight week. Next week's matchup with Rutgers at Lincoln Financial Field will pit two undefeated teams in conference play.