|Temple RB Montel Harris set school and Big East single-game records with 351 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in Saturday's 63-32 win over Army. (AP)|
Big East scoreboard:
No. 22 Rutgers 10, Cincinnati 3: The Scarlet Knights remained in control of winning the Big East title by shutting down the Bearcats for a critical road victory. Rutgers backup RB Savon Huggins filled in admirably for injured starter Jawan Jamison, who only had four carries for 37 yards. Huggins had a career day, rushing 41 times for 179 yards. The Scarlet Knights (9-1, 5-0 Big East) have to beat Pittsburgh and Louisville to remain undefeated in conference. Cincinnati (7-3, 3-2 Big East) had its conference title hopes ended.
Temple 63, Army 32: The story of this game was Temple RB Montel Harris. The Boston College transfer condensed a good season into a single game, rushing for 351 yards and seven touchdowns. It was a run-heavy afternoon, as the teams combined to throw just 13 passes, completing six. The Owls (4-6, 2-4 Big East) threw just four passes. The Black Knights (2-9) were solid on the ground as well, led by QB Trent Steelman, who finished with 139 yards and three touchdowns. The teams combined for 941 rushing yards on 119 carries (7.9 ypc).
Miami (Fla.) 40, South Florida 9: Beset by injuries at quarterback, the Bulls' deficiencies on offense are understandable. B.J. Daniels missed the game with a broken leg and junior Bobby Eveld was knocked out in the first half. But the Bulls' inability to stop the Hurricanes offense can not be excused. South Florida (3-7, 1-4 Big East) allowed season-highs in points, passing yards and total offense in the loss. Hurricanes QB Stephen Morris picked apart the Bulls' secondary for 413 passing yards and three TDs.
Syracuse 31, Missouri 27: Orange senior QB Ryan Nassib orchestrated the ninth game-winning drive of his career as Syracuse (6-5, 4-2) rallied to defeat Missouri (5-6, 2-5 SEC) in the final seconds. Nassib capped the win with a 17-yard touchdown pass to WR Alec Lemon with 20 seconds left. Lemon punished the Tigers on slants over the middle, finishing with more than 200 receiving yards and two TDs. Syracuse is the fourth team in the conference to become bowl eligible.
Play of the week: The Bearcats were poised to tie the game at 7 early in the third quarter but were stuffed on a crucial fourth-and-inches from the Rutgers' 7-yard line. Cincinnati inexplicably ran the play out of the shotgun when a power run by RB George Winn would have sufficed. Bearcats coach Butch Jones said in his postgame press conference that Rutgers was in a Double Eagle formation that forced him to call a run outside the guard. Still, the Scarlet Knights received tremendous backfield penetration by LB Steve Beauharnais, who allowed LB Khaseem Greene to shoot through the gap and hammer Winn.
He said what? Rutgers RB Huggins on his workhorse performance, when he had 41 carries: “I didn't even realize that,” Huggins told ESPN afterward. “If my job is to carry the ball 40 times and help this team win, that's what I'm going to do.”
RapidReports offensive player of the week: Temple RB Harris. This one was pretty obvious. Harris flirted with LaDainian Tomlinson's all-time FBS record of 406 yards in a single game, but he got yanked near the end of the fourth quarter. But Harris broke the Temple record for yards (351) and touchdowns (7) in a game. The Boston College transfer also set Big East records for yards (previously held by West Virginia RB Kay-Jay Harris, 337 in 2004) and touchdowns (previously held by Miami RB Willis McGahee, six in 2002) in a single-game. For more on Harris' performance check out CBSSports.com Eye-on-College Football blog.
RapidReports defensive player of the week: Rutgers LB Beauharnais. There was much (justified) belly-aching when Beauharnais was selected as a finalist for the Butkus Award several weeks ago while Greene was snubbed. Beauharnais made a big play on the aforementioned stop of Winn and added an interception on the ensuing drive. The senior linebacker led a defense that held Cincinnati to a season-low three points. The Bearcats entered this week with a league-high 34.2 ppg.
A possible spot on the bench for: Cincinnati QB Brendon Kay. It's a recurring theme, but a Bearcats' starting quarterback seemingly receives the dubious distinction on a weekly basis. A penchant for tossing interceptions caused Munchie Legaux to lose his starting spot to Kay two weeks ago. The Bearcats were headed for scores both times Kay threw interceptions, including a leaping second-quarter pick by Rutgers DB Logan Ryan in the end zone.
On the hot seat: USF coach Skip Holtz. The 31-point loss to the Bulls' in-state rivals is disastrous for recruiting. The loss marks the sixth time this season USF has allowed at least 30 points. It's not the season Holtz envisioned at the start of the year for a team picked to finish second in the conference. The defeat was the most lopsided for Holtz's team in the last three seasons. Holtz's coaching status will be reviewed at the end of the season.
Why you should care about these four stat lines:
1. Cincinnati RB Winn: The Bearcats senior entered the week as the top rusher in the conference (108.8 yards per game) but was held to 35 yards on 11 carries in the loss. Credit the Scarlet Knights for remaining in their gaps and bottling up Winn before he could get to the second level.
2. Rutgers WR Mark Harrison: The Rutgers senior finished with four catches for 106 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter -- the longest of his career. With 17 career touchdowns, Harrison is tied with Kenny Britt and Chris Brantley for second all-time in Rutgers history.
3. Temple K Brandon McManus: McManus scored nine points after connecting on all nine of his PATs. McManus surpassed former RB Bernard Pierce as Temple's all-time scoring leader (324) with an extra point late in the second quarter. Highly regarded as both a kicker and punter, McManus could be playing on Sundays next season.
4. Syracuse WR Lemon: The senior had 12 catches for 244 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Missouri. Lemon had a flair for dramatics with a pivotal fourth-down catch on a game-winning drive, despite being held. Lemon continues to shoot up draft boards with his clutch play.
Key number: 0. The Scarlet Knights and Bearcats combined to go 0 for 6 on red-zone conversions before Cincinnati K Tony Miliano made a 36-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining. The Bearcats missed a field goal, had a pass intercepted and were stuffed on a key fourth down when inside the Rutgers' 20. The Scarlet Knights weren't much better. QB Gary Nova threw two interceptions in the red zone, and K Nick Borgese had a field goal blocked. Rutgers must be better when it faces Louisville in two weeks if it hopes to win the conference title.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.