|Louisville running back Senorise Perry scores a 59-yard touchdown against Pitt during the fourth quarter. The Cardinals won 45-35. (US Presswire)|
Big East scoreboard
No. 18 Louisville 45, Pittsburgh 35: The Cardinals (6-0, 1-0 Big East) fell behind the Panthers (2-4, 0-2 Big East) early, but Louisville battled back behind a career day from running back Senorise Perry and yet another impressive outing from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Perry had four rushing TDs -- on just 12 carries -- and Bridgewater eclipsed 300 yards passing. Pittsburgh led at the half, and a silver lining in this game was the play of highly touted freshman Rushel Shell, who rushed for 96 yards on 18 carries. (For more on the game, check out CBSSports.com's Eye on College Football blog)
No. 20 Rutgers 23, Syracuse 15: The Orange (2-4, 1-1 Big East) had their chances against the Scarlet Knights (6-0, 3-0 Big East), but the Rutgers defense was too stout for Syracuse. Prolific Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib threw for 356 yards, but also had two interceptions, including one on Syracuse's final drive. Wide receiver Brandon Coleman led Rutgers with six catches for 104 yards.
Temple 17, Connecticut 14: The Owls (3-2, 2-0 Big East) are on an improbable two-game conference winning streak. A Brandon McManus field goal in overtime gave Temple the edge over UConn (3-4, 0-2 Big East), which was 0-4 on field goals of its own. Montel Harris had a breakout game for Temple, rushing for 142 yards on 30 carries.
No. 21 Cincinnati 49, Fordham 17: After a slow start, the Big East's top offense picked it up after halftime with three third-quarter touchdowns to put the game away. Cincinnati scored touchdowns on all five of its possessions in the second half. The Bearcats (5-0, 1-0 Big East) received a solid performance from QB Munchie Legaux, who finished with 262 yards and two TDs. Seven different Bearcats, including DB Deven Drane scored touchdowns.
Play of the week: Though it came in a losing effort, Pitt linebacker Todd Thomas' blocked punt and subsequent touchdown gave the Panthers a 14-7 lead over Louisville. Thomas came through vitually unblocked and stuffed the punt before falling on the ball in the end zone. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the momentum didn't stick around, as Louisville marched down the field for a touchdown on its next drive.
They said what?: Louisville RB Senorise Perry on his continued development. Perry had four TDs including a game-clinching 59-yard score in the win over Pitt: "I went from making plays on special teams to making my way up to running back," Perry told the Louisville Courier-Journal. "When you work hard at one thing, Coach said it gets you a chance at the other. When I got the chance I just tried to make plays."
RapidReports defensive player of the week: Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene. Greene finished Saturday's win over Syracuse with 1.5 sacks, an interception and three forced fumbles. He is making a case for repeating as Big East defensive player of the year.
RapidReports offensive player of the week: Perry. A junior, Perry now has nine rushing touchdowns on the season after a four-score outburst against Pittsburgh on Saturday. Perry finished with 101 yards on just 12 carries, leading Louisville to an impressive road victory.
A possible spot on the bench for: Pittsburgh RB Ray Graham. Though he's probably not been healthy all year, Graham was completely ineffective Saturday against Louisville. Meanwhile, freshman Rushel Shell was impressive, showing why he was considered one of the top running back prospects coming out of high school in 2011.
His seat is getting uncomfortable: Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni. Losing to Temple at home is one thing, but the way the Huskies let this one slip away is almost unforgivable. Connecticut was without running back Lyle McCombs on Saturday, but its defense is more than capable of maintaining a 14-0 lead. Pasqualoni and Co. have a chance for redemption Friday night at Syracuse.
Why you care about these three stat lines:
1. Rutgers' blocked kicks: The Scarlet Knights took a 14-7 lead early in the third quarter when LB Jamal Merrell blocked a Ross Krautman field goal that was returned for a 75-yard TD by S Duron Harmon. Since the start of the 2009 season, the Scarlet Knights lead FBS with 11 TDs on blocked kicks.
2. Pitt fourth down efficiency: The Panthers went 0 for 3 on fourth-down conversions, including a lamentable decision by coach Paul Chryst to go for it on a 4th-and-1 from the Louisville 42 late in the first half. The Cardinals stuffed Panthers RB Rushel Shell for a loss of one and connected on a 45-yard FG in the final seconds of the first half. The series provided the Cardinals with momentum in the 45-35 win. Pitt entered the game with a league-best 83.3 percent conversion rate on 4th downs.
3. Syracuse miscues: The Orange committed four turnovers and allowed a touchdown on the aforementioned blocked field goal. Syracuse also committed several costly errors even when it retained the ball. Twice in the first half, the Orange failed to come away with any points after driving inside the Rutgers' 30. Syracuse entered the week ranked sixth in the Big East with a minus-6 turnover margin.
Key number: 75. Perhaps a thing to come, sophomores Teddy Bridgewater and DeVante Parker hooked up for a 75-yard score for Louisville, the longest scoring play for the Cardinals this season. Parker is more than capable of busting big plays, and Bridgewater rarely misses. Could be a sign of things to come for Louisville in Big East play.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.