Posted by Chip Patterson
And just like that, the Big East has been blown wide open.
We figured that it could happen, just weren't all that positive that it would. But with Syracuse's 19-14 victory, West Virginia has been knocked off their post as the Big East front runner and the conference is now up for grabs. Syracuse forced West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith into three first half interceptions that the Orange turned into points, and the Mountaineers weren't able to climb back from the halftime deficit. In fact, after a very exciting back and forth first half of play, neither team scored scored a point after the break.
Syracuse dominated West Virginia on the ground, racking up 183 rushing yards on one of the best statistical defenses in the nation. Running back Delone Carter left the game in the second quarter with a hip injury after racking up 75 yards, but backup Antwon Bailey was just as effective for the Orange. Bailey carried 19 times for 94 yards, career high's in both categories, and Syracuse shed a new light on the Mountaineer squad that many had already penciled in for the conference title.
Pittsburgh has now jumped into the conference lead with their 41-21 dismantling of Rutgers. After the 2-0 Panthers stand Syracuse, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Connecticut and Louisville as teams with one loss. That list will be shortened after the completion of the Huskies-Cardinals game, but the argument will still be valid for 3/4 of the conference to be considered legitimate contenders.
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