Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib produced a record-setting performance in Saturday's opener but faces stiff competition from a deep quarterback pool, as he looks to improve his draft stock. (Getty Images)
Nassib earned Big East offensive player of the week honors on Monday after rallying the Orange from a 22-point third-quarter deficit in the narrow loss. Nassib set a Big East record for attempts (65) and tied the mark for completions with 45. The Orange senior also set school records in both categories and for passing yards with 482.
Nassib heads our list of Big East players whose stock may have gone up after Week 1.
3 on the rise
- Ryan Nassib, Syracuse: Despite Nassib's effort against the Wildcats, the Orange quarterback still placed 13th among quarterbacks in CBSSports.com draft expert Rob Rang's rankings for the 2013 NFL Draft. Nassib demonstrated his powerful arm strength on Saturday by hitting wide receiver Jeremiah Kobena in stride on a 50-yard fly pattern down the left sidelines for a touchdown. Nassib's performance is even more impressive considering several Orange receivers missed the game, including All-Big East performer Alec Lemon. With their absence, coach Doug Marrone said the offense was fairly vanilla in the opener. As Marrone adds complexities throughout the season, it can only help Nassib prepare for the next level. You can see him next: Saturday vs. Southern California at MetLife Stadium, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN 2)
- LB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers: Greene assuaged concerns that his horrific ankle injury from the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl might limit his aggressiveness with his performance against Tulane. The Scarlet Knights' senior linebacker finished with 14 tackles and a sack in leading a defense that allowed just eight rushing yards. Greene is ranked ninth by Rang among inside linebackers. If Greene's strong play continues, he could move into the top 5 early in the season. You can see him next: Saturday vs. Howard, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN 3)
- LB Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut: Sio Moore, not Smallwood is the only Huskies' linebacker that is highly-ranked by Rang. Smallwood, though, is just a redshirt sophomore and could remain in school another season. Still, the middle linebacker could test the waters if he improves on an impressive first season (94 tackles). In Thursday's opener, Smallwood recorded a sack, 3.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup. The Big East defensive player of the week helped the Huskies' defense finish with their first shutout since 2007. You can see him next: Saturday vs. N.C. State, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN 3)
3 who are falling
- DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh: Though Donald received little help from his teammates on the Panthers' inexperienced front four, the junior lineman didn't stand out in a surprising 31-17 defeat to Youngstown State. Donald had a stellar sophomore season, but has a steep learning curve in moving from defensive end. Pitt coach Paul Chryst expressed disappointment in the lack of aggressiveness exhibited by the Panthers' up front, as Pitt allowed 204 yards on the ground. Donald had just four tackles. You can see him next: Thursday at Cincinnati, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- WR Devin Street, Pittsburgh: The Panthers' senior wide receiver is regarded for running crisp routes and is one of the fastest wideouts in the league. Street, however, lost a critical fumble late in the loss. The 6-foot-3, 192 pound receiver must avoid such missteps if he wants to remain a mid-round pick. You can see him next: Thursday at Cincinnati, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- LT Justin Pugh, Syracuse: The league's top left tackle missed the opener, as he continues to recover from an upper-body injury. Concerns about Pugh's health could mount if he remains sidelined for an extended period. You can see him next: Pugh's status vs. USC is unknown.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.