Blog Entry

What I learned from the Big East (Nov. 6)

Posted on: November 7, 2010 12:23 am
Edited on: November 7, 2010 12:26 am
 
Posted by Chip Patterson

1. Good things can come to those who wait - South Florida running back sixth year running back Moise Plancher has dealt with a torn ACL, dislocated elbow, and shoulder surgery since enrolling in Tampa, but finally saw his hard work pay off on Wednesday night against Rutgers.  Plancher rushed 21 times for a career-high 135 yards, leading the Bulls in their 28-27 squeaker of a victory in Tampa.  It was ironic that the youngest team in the FBS (South Florida) collected the 100th program victory against the oldest team in college football, but for first-year coach Skip Holtz it was perfect timing.  The Bulls are now 5-3. and with four games left in conference play have plenty of time to make their case for a favorable bowl bid.  

2. Louisville's rushing attack is interchangeable - Heading into Saturday's matchup with Syracuse, Cardinal fans were nervous about facing the Orange defense without leading rusher Bilal Powell.  Powell leads the Big East and ranks among the top five nationally, but backup running back Jeremy Wright had no trouble filling in and picking up Powell's usual production.  Wright rushed 19 times for 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns to anchor Louisville's offensive attack against the Orange in the Carrier Dome.  With the win, first-year coach Charlie Strong came one game closer to bowl eligibility, a feat for a team that looked destined for disappointment earlier in the season.  

3. Pittsburgh may have been off, but their hold on the conference was threatened - The Panthers were off this week, securing their undefeated conference record for another week.  But what we learned in the Big East this week was a little bit more about some teams the Panthers have in their future.  Pittsburgh still has to face West Virginia, Cincinnati, South Florida, and Connecticut to before claiming any conference accolades, and after seeing the Bulls in action against Rutgers that might be more difficult than expected.  Louisville proved that there is no "elite" status in the conference, and the Panthers are no exception just because they have yet to lose a game in league play.  Any of Pittsburgh's remaining opponents have the talent on board to knock off the Panthers, so there are no guarantees in the final weeks of Big East play.
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