Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
CINCINNATI: Despite leading heading into the fourth quarter, Cincinnati dropped a heartbreaking 34-31 decision in overtime to then No. 16 Louisville. The Bearcats got the ball first in overtime but Munchie Legaux threw and interception and the Cardinals got a field goal on its possession to seal the win. The overtime interception was one of three thrown by Legaux who finished with 157 yards passing while completing 13-of-28 pass attempts. Legaux did throw a touchdown pass to Damon Julian who led the team with four receptions for 52 yards. George Winn ran the ball a game-high 26 times for 125 yards but it was Ralph David Abernathy that found the end zone twice on the ground. Legaux also ran in for a touchdown but had only 32 yards rushing. The Bearcats were just 5-for-15 on third downs but did convert all three of its red zone trips into touchdowns. On defense the Bearcats were lit up for 524 yards of total offense including 416 through the air. Greg Blair racked up 19 total tackles including 1.5 sacks. Maalik Bomar had six tackles, 1.5 for loss and an interception. The loss ended a four-game winning streak for Cincinnati versus Louisville. Up next for Cincinnati is one of three home games the Bearcats will have in the next four weeks as they host Syracuse at Nippert Stadium next Saturday.
CONNECTICUT: After taking a 40-10 drubbing in the Carrier Dome to Syracuse, the Huskies were idle this past weekend. Connecticut now sets its sights on South Florida with the hopes of ending a current three-game losing streak. It is the first losing streak of three or more games since 2009.
LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals trailed heading into the fourth quarter but still managed to come out on top and remain undefeated with a 34-31 win over Cincinnati. John Wallace nailed a 30-yard field goal in overtime after Terell Floyd intercepted a pass from Bearcat quarterback Munchie Legaux on Cincinnati's possession. The Cardinals are now 8-0 for the first time since 2006. It was the fifth straight home win for the Cardinals which is the longest such streak for Louisville under current head coach Charlie Strong. The Cardinals are also 3-0 in Big East play for the second time in school history. It was also the team's first overtime win since 2002. Louisville held a 524-353 advantage in total yards including a 416-157 edge in yards through the air. Louisville could have put the game away in regulation if not for the team did not settle for two field goals, along with two touchdowns, in four red zone trips. Teddy Bridgewater completed 24-of-41 passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted once. It was the first time Bridgewater had thrown for 400 or more yards. He has now thrown a touchdown pass in 10 straight games. Bridgewater was especially efficient in the second half, completing 15-of-19 attempts for 262 yards and both touchdown passes. DeVante Parker caught four of those passes for 120 yards and both touchdowns. Jeremy Wright finished with 74 yards rushing and a touchdown. Preston Brown and Keith Brown each finished with a team-high 13 tackles. The win ended a four-game losing streak to the Bearcats. Louisville will play host to Temple next weekend.
PITTSBURGH: The Panthers have won consecutive games for the second time this season after posting a 47-17 thrashing over in-state foe Temple. The victory was the first for the Panthers versus a fellow Big East opponent in four tries. Pittsburgh now holds a 27-8-1 edge in the all-time series with the Owls. The 47 points scored by the Panthers were the most against an FBS opponent since 2009 and the most in a home game since 1999 when Pittsburgh also beat Temple 55-24. Tino Sunseri completed 20-of-28 pass attempts for 321 yards in his third 300-yard effort this season. Ray Graham ran for 109 yards on 19 carries for his second 100-yard performance this season. Graham also scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one through the air. It is the second time this season Graham has accumulated three scores with the other coming in a 35-17 win over Virginia Tech. Devin Street caught six passes for a career- high 140 yards and a touchdown. Street is the leading receiver in the conference in yards (695) and receptions (50). Pittsburgh held a 528-324 edge in total yards and held Temple to just three red zone trips. Pittsburgh had seven red zone chances of which five turned into touchdowns and two to field goals. The 31 points the Panthers scored in the first half marked the first time since 2009 the Panthers had scored 30 or more points in the first half since 2009. Dan Mason had a team-high 10 tackles while Shayne Hale had six total and three for loss. Pittsburgh faces a tough challenge next week when the Panthers travel to South Bend to face off with No. 4 Notre Dame.
RUTGERS: Kyle Flood suffered his first loss as head coach at Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights fell 35-26 at home to Kent State. The loss pushed Rutgers, which had been ranked No. 15 in the AP Top 25 entering play, out of the national rankings and ended an eight-game winning streak that dated back to last season. Rutgers normally staunch defense was torched for 224 yards on the ground the most given up since 2011. Rutgers also allowed an 100-yard rusher for the first time in 11 games with Kent State's Trayion Durham posting 131 yards. Rutgers turned the ball over a season-high seven times which was the most in a game for the Scarlet Knights since 2001. Big East leading rusher Jawan Jamison finished the game with 172 all purpose yards (84 rushing, 88 receiving). His eight receptions and 88 yards receiving were a career-high. Gary Nova threw for 313 yards on two scores on 25-for-46 passing but was intercepted a career-high six times. Rutgers suffered from a deficit of just over 14 minutes in time of possession. Logan Ryan had a career-high 13 tackles in the loss. Scott Vallone had a season-high seven tackles and a team and career-high 2.5 tackles for loss. Marcus Cooper also set a career-high with nine tackles. Khaseem Greene had seven tackles as well and forced and recovered a fumble. Rutgers will try to get back on track next weekend when the Scarlet Knights battle the Black Knights of Army at High Point Solutions Stadium.
SOUTH FLORIDA: The Bulls suffered a crushing 37-36 defeat at home to Syracuse last weekend. USF lost despite holding a 23-3 edge at halftime with Syracuse's Ryan Nassib throwing a one-yard touchdown pass to Alec Lemon with three seconds left in regulation. The Bulls could have put the game out of reach on the previous possession but after a 12-play drive settle for a 47-yard field goal from Maikon Bonani which kept Syracuse in striking distance. USF had a 552-520 edge in total yards, 369 of which came on the ground. Lindsey Lamar rushed for a team-high 145 yards on just 10 carries and also scored a touchdown. B.J. Daniels threw for 183 yards and a touchdown on 17-for-30 passing and also added 134 yards on the ground. He is now just the eighth player from any Florida school to have more than 10,000 yards of total offense for a career. Bonani knocked in five field goals in the game to set a career- high and single game record at USF for points scored (18). The Bulls converted on 8-of-15 chances on third down but scored only one touchdown in three red zone trips, settling for field goals twice. USF also had the only turnover in the game, a fumble by Demetris Murray in the third quarter. Kayvon Webster had a game-high with 12 total tackles while Reshard Cliett added 11, including the team's only sack which was one of just three tackles for loss by the Bulls. USF is now 0-4 in Big East play a record the Bulls will yet again hope to improve when they play a second consecutive home game next weekend against Connecticut.
SYRACUSE: Ryan Nassib connected on a one-yard passing touchdown to Alec Lemon with three seconds remaining in the game to lift Syracuse to a 37-36 win over South Florida. The win moves the Orange to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play. It was also the second straight win for the Orange. Syracuse had to overcome a 23-3 halftime deficit to win the game. Syracuse outscored USF 21-3 in the third quarter. The Orange gave up 369 yards rushing to the Bulls but out gained USF through the air by a 328-183 margin. Syracuse was penalized a game-high 19 times which accounted for 89 yards while also have a more than three minute disadvantage in time of possession. Syracuse scored on 5-of-6 red zone trips and did not allow a sack. Nassib completed 27-of-40 attempts for 328 yards and four touchdowns. It was his fourth game of more than 300 passing yards this season and the eighth fourth-quarter comeback of his career. Although Lemon caught the game-winning pass it was Marcus Sales that had the superior game in receiving with nine receptions for 125 yards and two scores, all team highs. Lemon had five receptions for 40 yards, while Jarrod West had seven receptions for 98 yards and a score of his own. Jerome Smith carried the ball 28 times for 127 yards, while Prince-Tyson Gulley added 67 yards on 14 attempts. Deon Goggins and Shamarko Thomas tied for a team-high nine tackles while Dyshawn Davis had two of only five tackles for loss by Syracuse. The Orange will play three of their final four games on the road beginning with a contest against Cincinnati next weekend.
TEMPLE: A cross-state road trip ended in disappointment as the Owls were routed 47-17 in Heinz Field by the Pittsburgh Panthers. Temple is now 3-4 overall on the season and 2-2 versus conference opponents. The Owls have lost two straight games by a combined score of 82-27. Temple was out-gained by more than 200 yards of total offense (528-324) in the loss. The Owls also lost a pair of fumbles which were the only turnovers of the game. Temple did not put together very many long drives with only three red zone trips as compared to seven by the Panthers. In his 11th career start at quarterback Chris Coyer completed 16-of-25 pass attempts for 143 yards and a touchdown. The score went to tight end Cody Booth who has three touchdown receptions in his career, all of which have come this season. Montel Harris rushed for 72 yards on a team- high 18 carries and also scored a touchdown. Jalen Fitzpatrick did not find the end zone but recorded team-highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (55). Matt Brown finished with a team-high 126 all purpose yards, 120 of which came on kick returns. Linebacker Tyler Matakevich had a team-high in tackles for the fourth straight week with 10. John Youboty had a sack which was one of just two tackles for loss by Temple. Things won't be any easier next week as Temple travels to Papa John's Cardinals Stadium to take on undefeated and nationally ranked Louisville in its next matchup.