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Big East Conference News and Notes

8:59 AM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

CINCINNATI: In dramatic fashion the Cincinnati Bearcats upset the Virginia Tech Hokies 27-24, as Munchie Legaux connected with Damon Julian on a 39-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds remaining this past weekend. The Bearcats have now won six straight games dating back to last season and are 3-0 for the first time since 2009. Despite only completing 19-of-42 passes in the game, Legaux finished with a career-high in passing yards (376) while tying a career high with three touchdown passes. On the receiving end of many of those passes was Kenbrell Thompkins, who had a career-high 134 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. Julian also had a strong day, with 89 yards on four receptions. George Winn was the team's leading rusher with 76 yards on 17 carries. The Bearcats allowed Virginia Tech to convert on only 4-of-13 third down attempts in the game and did not allow a first down until 5:17 remained in the second quarter. The Bearcats also forced three turnovers, including two interceptions, to make up for the 402 yards of total offense they surrendered. Maalik Bomar (16) and Greg Blair (13) each finished with career-highs in tackles. Cincinnati will play another non-conference game next weekend when the Miami-Ohio RedHawks come to Nippert Stadium.

CONNECTICUT: For the third time in five games the Connecticut Huskies faced off with an opponent from the Mid-American Conference, as the Huskies defeated the Buffalo Bulls 24-17 at Rentschler Field. Connecticut is now 19-4 all-time against MAC schools including a 2-1 mark this season with the other decisions being a 37-0 win over Massachusetts and a 30-24 loss at Western Michigan. Chandler Whitmer threw for 227 yards on 15-of-22 passing while capping off a season-long 92-yard drive in the second quarter with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Griffin. Whitmer completed a pass to eight different receivers in the game. Lyle McCombs rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown in the win but averaged only 3.3 yards per carry. McCombs is now ranked third in the conference in rushing (452 yards) this season. Trevardo Williams, who entered the game ranked seventh in the nation in sacks added another quarterback takedown. Yawin Smallwood, the nation's fourth leading tackler registered 11 stops in the game, while Jory Johnson's 14 tackles was a game and career best. Connecticut won despite being out-gained by a slim 361-360 yard margin. The Huskies will get a real test next week in their first Big East conference game when they face off with Rutgers.

LOUISVILLE: Despite pounding rain Louisville kept its perfect record intact by pulling out a 21-17 win over Southern Miss. With the win the Cardinal are now 5-0 this season and have held on to their No. 19 ranking in the AP Top 25. The backfield tandem of Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright carried the team in the contest combining for 202 yards on the ground on 42 attempts. Perry had the better game with 118 yards and two scores including the game winner with 5:35 left in regulation. With so much success running the ball Louisville managed to dominate time of possession holding the ball for 35:22. Louisville is now the lead rushing team in the Big East with 846 rushing yards as a team. While Perry (458) and Wright (389) rank second and fourth respectively in the conference in individual rushing yards. Teddy Bridgewater's normal accuracy took a hit in the game due in large part to the inclement weather. The sophomore did complete 69.2 percent of his passes but had only nine completions for 85 yards and was also picked off once. Bridgewater still leads the conference in completion percentage (73.0). Defensively the Cardinals allowed Southern Miss to convert on only 2-of-12 third down attempts while picking up 249 total yards and 13 first downs. League play begins for Louisville next as the Cardinals make the trip to Western Pennsylvania to do battle with Pittsburgh in two weeks.

PITTSBURGH: Pittsburgh were rewarded with a bye week after winning back-to- back games on the heels of losing consecutive games in embarrassing fashion. The Panthers will look to keep their meager winning streak going in a Friday night contest against Syracuse this week.

RUTGERS: Rutgers was idle after moving into the top-25 with a 35-26 win on the road over Arkansas. The now No. 22 Scarlet Knights will defend their national ranking in their conference opener in what will be a clash of two of the conference's top defenses when they take on Connecticut this Saturday.

SOUTH FLORIDA: A 17-point third quarter by Florida State doomed South Florida as the Bulls fell to the Seminoles 30-17 on Saturday. USF's defense held the Seminoles to their lowest point total of the season in the win as Florida State entered play as the second-highest scoring team in the nation. However the Bulls were still out-gained in total yards by a 425-268 margin. B.J. Daniels accounted for a great deal of that offensive effort, throwing for 143 yards and rushing for a team-high 72 including two scores. The two scoring runs were the 22nd and 23rd of his career, moving him into a tie for second in career rushing touchdowns at USF. Derrick Hopkins finished the game with 122 all purpose yards, all on returns, while Demetrius Murray's 37 was the third most on the team. The Bulls averaged more than two yards less per play than FSU with the Seminoles averaging 6.3 and USF at 4.1. Kayvon Webster had 12 tackles in the game, the most by a Bull in a single game this season. USF gets the position of welcoming Temple back into the Big East next weekend when the Bulls invade Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

SYRACUSE: The Orange will be looking for their first win against FBS competition this season when they host Pittsburgh at the Carrier Dome on Friday. Syracuse's only win came against Stony Brook of the FCS level. The Orange had a bye this past weekend.

TEMPLE: After back-to-back disappointing losses, Temple was off this past weekend giving the Owls two weeks to prepare for their first conference game as a member of the Big East against South Florida. Temple was just 2-17 in league play in its last three seasons in the conference.

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