|Louisville lost for the first time this season after struggling to stop the run in a 45-26 defeat at Syracuse (AP)|
Here are five things we learned on the 11th week of Big East football:
1. Louisville needs to shore up its run defense
The Cardinals' quest for an undefeated season ended last Saturday when they fell to Syracuse, 45-26, at the Carrier Dome. Louisville allowed a season-high 278 rushing yards, including touchdown runs of 55 and 35 yards. On Monday, Cardinals coach Charlie Strong said his team did a poor job of tackling and remaining in its gaps. In Louisville's last four games, Strong's team has allowed 231.5 rushing yards per game. The Cardinals have a bye this week to address their struggles in defending the run.
The senior quarterback was named the starter for Saturday's key game vs. Rutgers after an effective performance in a 34-10 win over Temple. In his first start of the season, Kay went 13 of 21 for 244 yards and two touchdowns. He also made several plays with his legs in rushing for 71 yards on seven carries. More importantly, Kay didn't commit any turnovers in the victory. Bearcats coach Butch Jones is impressed with Kay's command in the huddle and his ability to manage games.
3. Rutgers' offense needs to step up to take pressure off its defense
The Scarlet Knights improved to 8-1 with a 28-7 win over Army, but the offense had trouble putting points on the board until the late stages of the victory. Although the Black Knights deserve credit for controlling the ball for a large portion of the first three quarters, Rutgers appeared too conservative with its play-calling. The Scarlet Knights can't rely on their defense and special teams to generate the majority of scoring this week, if they hope to upend Cincinnati.
4. Syracuse might not lose again this season
The Orange raced out to a 31-10, second-quarter lead against Louisville, looking virtually unstoppable on offense during a superlative first half. Syracuse has now rolled up 500 yards of total offense five times this season and three times in its last four games. When RBs Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley are breaking tackles and finding the creases in the defense, the Orange have arguably the top offense in the league. QB Ryan Nassib was unflappable on Saturday, as he's been throughout the season. At 5-5, Syracuse has placed itself in position for a spot in the Pinstripe Bowl.
The Huskies' sophomore running back arguably had his best game of the season with 29 carries for 125 yards in a 24-17 win over Pittsburgh. On Monday, Huskies coach Paul Pasqualoni said McCombs hit the holes decisively and received strong blocking from his wide receivers and tight ends. The Huskies ended a four-game losing streak with the victory. During the streak, UConn averaged just 8.25 points per game.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.