Big East Roundup

University of Toledo athletic director Mike O’Brien has made a formal written request to Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher asking that he request the Big East Conference to vacate Syracuse’s 33-30 overtime win over Toledo on Saturday and award the victory to the Rockets.

"I requested of our Mid-American Conference commissioner, Jon Steinbrecher, that he contact the Big East Conference relative to (Saturday’s)  UT-Syracuse game, and ask that the win be vacated and awarded to the University of Toledo," said O’Brien. "I want to make certain that everyone is aware that this was not a missed holding call. This is about a call that was missed on the field–that happens. However, the opportunity was given to the replay officials to correct it, and it was not. The play was reviewed by the Big East Conference and they indicated that it was an incorrect call and put out a statement to that effect."

Big East Conference coordinator of football officiating Terry McAulay has admitted that an extra point was missed by Syracuse late in the game.   An incorrect call was made on the field and in the replay booth. 

"After studying the videos of the Syracuse extra point attempt at 2:07 of the fourth quarter, we have concluded that the ruling on the field that the kick passed between the uprights was incorrect," McAuay’s statement said.  "The replay official made an error in failing to reverse that ruling. In reviewing the video, we have determined that the angle from behind the kicking team shows conclusively that the ball passes outside the right upright.
"Our review of the process determined that the replay official mistakenly focused his attention on the sideline angle, which proved to be distorted. We are confident that our officiating staff will learn from this situation in order to prevent a reoccurrence. "

The extra point gave Syracuse a 30-27 lead with 2:07 to play.   Toledo then came down the field and Ryan Casano booted a 20-yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime.   The theory from Toledo is that Casano’s kick would have won the game if Krautman’s extra point would have been correctly ruled no good.   Syracuse eventually won the game 33-30 on s Krautman field goal in overtime.   

O’Brien belabored the point about Toledo having really won the game.  

"I realize this is most likely unprecedented ," O’Brien continued. "(But) I think it’s important we show our football team that we truly support them, that we show our football coach and his staff we’re here for them and support them and tell our fan base that it wasn’t a situation where the University of Toledo just lays down."

But no forfeit will be coming from the Big East Conference or Syracuse. 

"I stand by the comments of the Big East and I give them credit for standing up," Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said about the mistake that was made.  "In this game there is human error.  We as coaches know it more than anyone.  The officials, I feel awful for them.   I know how much they must be hurting.    

"Again, all of us are trying to work to get this game right as best we can," Marrone continued.  "We just have to keep plugging away.  I do understand where Toledo is coming from.  It’s a shame that it had to happen but everything has to move on."    

Syracuse will host Rutgers Saturday at Noon for an ESPN game and the league opener for both teams. 

Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu earned Big East Offensive Player of the Week honors.  Sanu set BIG EAST and school records with 16 receptions in the Scarlet Knights’ 38-26 win against previously unbeaten Ohio.   Sanu finished with career highs of 176 receiving yards and two touchdowns.   Sanu has 29 receptions in the last two games and he leads the nation with 36 grabs.   He is also in the top 10 with an average of 121 yards receiving per game.

"He’s just a very talented guy," commented Rutgers coach Greg Schiano on Sanu.   "It’s not that he hasn’t been covered he has beaten the coverage.   

"Chas (Dodd) has a lot of faith in him.  The next step for our offense will be the other guys around him.   We’ve got talented guys surrounding him to take advantage of their opportunities.  Hopefully that will be the next step with our offense. 

"But he is our guy," said Schiano on Sanu.   "Every team has a player that they think has special talents.  That is Mohamed."
Another bright spot for Rutgers was the ground game that finished with 159 yards against Ohio after getting just one yard rushing in the North Carolina game back on Sept. 10.   A pair of young linemen–freshman Betim Bujari and Kaleb Johnson–started their first games for Rutgers.

"We were a little better," Schiano said of the ground game.  "I think Jawan Jamison really had some nice runs. 

"Anytime you can produce it makes you feel better,"  the coach said. "But when you go back and watch the tape it doesn’t take away all of the evils.   We still have our issues and we still have to work extremely hard up front." 


South Florida and Pitt Play First Big East Game Thursday

The Bulls are now the highest ranked team in the Big East at #14 in the coaches poll and these teams seem to be trending in opposite directions.   The Panthers have dropped back to back games including a 15-12 setback to Notre Dame at home last week.   That is the same Irish team South Florida beat 23-20 in South Bend to open the season on Sept. 3.  

South Florida’s numbers are impressive through four weeks.   The Bulls are 2nd in the Big East and #20 nationally in rushing (229 yards per game.)   They are 2nd in the Big East and #23 nationally in passing (295 yards per game.)  South Florida leads the BIg East with an average of 523 yards per game.  The Bulls are 10th in the country in scoring (45.5 points per game) 27th in total defense and 23rd in total defense all while forcing 13 turnovers.   Are the Bulls that good or is that a product of a soft schedule following the Notre Dame win?

"I’ve been proud of a lot of things we’ve done on offense," South Florida coach Skip Holtz said.  "B.J. Daniels continues to play within the system and has done a great job of managing the game.  Darrell Scott gets more and more comfortable every week.  It’s nice to see some other guys get involved in the offense as well.

"Defensively we gave some things up (in the UTEP game last week)  and probably made more mistakes than usual," Holtz said.   "But we played much better in the second half."   

Pitt could muster just 168 yards of offense in the home loss to Notre Dame last week.

"We made to many mental errors and mistakes," coach Todd Graham said of his offense.   "Offensively we just didn’t play very well."

"We played our best game defensively and we have done a lot of things very well over the last two weeks.   We’ve lost to two very good football teams (Iowa and Notre Dame) and we’ve made too many mistakes.

"It should be easy for us to move on because this is the Big East and we’ve got the #14 team in the country coming in here to begin conference play," Graham said.    


Cincinnati Rolling

The Bearcats have beaten North Carolina State and Akron by a combined 103-28 since the road loss at Tennessee.   The conference has several quarterbacks playing at high level including Cincinnati’s  Zach Collaros.  Collaros, Geno Smith, B-J Daniels and Ryan Nassib are all in the top 40 in the nation in passing efficiency.    Collaros has thrown nine touchdown passes to just one interception. 

Cincinnati will visit rival Miami (Ohio)  Saturday.   It will be the 116th meeting between the two teams. 

"For both programs this game is imbedded in our fabric," said Cincinnati coach Butch Jones.   "It’s the oldest non conference rivalry in all of FBS.  It means a lot to our administration, fans and boosters just like it does at Miami.

"I’m all about embracing the traditions and this is one of them."  Jones said.    


Louisville to Host Marshall

Louisville had a bye week last week and the Cardinals, this week, are getting set to host 1-3 Marshall.  

Sophomore Dominique Brown has developed into a weapon for the Cardinals.   Brown, listed as the third string quarterback, took snaps at quarterback in the first two games.   Against Kentucky, Brown was moved to running back as he led the Cardinals with 91 yards rushing.  

"We will play him at quarterback because he is part of our ‘WildCard’ offense,"  said Louisville coach Charlie Strong.   "He is going to play running back as well.   Plus he can play wide receiver.  There is so much he can do we just want to make sure we take advantage of all of his talent."  

Strong says Will Stein should be OK to start at quarterback against Marshall.   Stein injured his shoulder in the Kentucky win on Sept. 17.   He gave way to highly regarded freshman Teddy Bridgewater who threw two touchdown passes in the win. 

"We are preparing Stein to go on Saturday," Strong said. 

Connecticut Wins With Defense

UConn scrambled back to the .500 mark with a 17-3 win at Buffalo Saturday.  The Huskies defense held Buffalo to just one field goal and to 293 yards of total offense. 

UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni is concerned about the status of starting cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson who suffered a knee injury against Buffalo.  Pasqualoni said his status will be evaluated this week leading up to game time.   Starting safety Jerome Junior will be back in the lineup against Western Michigan this week after he was suspended for the Buffalo game due to a violation of team policy.  

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