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Big East Conference News and Notes

10:46 AM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

CINCINNATI: With a 27-10 win at home over South Florida, Cincinnati earned its eighth win of the season. The Bearcats are now 8-3 overall and 4-2 in Big East play with a game to go. In the first quarter quarterback Brendon Kay scored on an 18-yard touchdown run which ended a 82- minute, 10-second, drought without a touchdown for the Bearcats after they were held to just three points last weekend against Rutgers. When the Bearcats scored a touchdown on a three-yard touchdown run from George Winn it finished off the third drive this season in which Cincinnati scored in less than a minute. Winn finished the day with two scores and 119 yards on 21 carries. Winn has 1,134 yards on the season making him the 15th player in Cincinnati history to surpass 1,000 yards, Kay threw for 178 yards and a touchdown, while completing 17-of-27 pass attempts. Travis Kelce brought in a career-high seven receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. He broke his career-best of five receptions from last weekend. Greg Blair had double-digit tackles (14) for the seventh time this season. Next up for Cincinnati is a road game against Connecticut in the season finale.

CONNECTICUT: The postseason hopes of the Huskies are still alive after Connecticut came out on top of a triple-overtime thriller, 23-20, on the road against No. 19 Louisville. The win was the first against a ranked opponent by the Huskies since 2007. Connecticut led 10-0 going into the fourth quarter after holding the Cardinals scoreless in the first three quarters. The Huskies have kept an opponent without first half score four times this season. In overtime both teams traded scores in the first two possessions. Louisville then got the first drive in the third overtime by Teddy Bridgewater was intercepted by Blidi Wreh-Wilson on third and goal which set up Chad Christen's game-winning field goal. Lyle McCombs rushed for 133 yards, including 74 in the first half, on 29 carries. Chandler Whitmer completed only seven passes for 72 yards and was intercepted. Johnny McEntee had a touchdown pass on 2-of-7 passing in relief. UConn won despite being out gained in total offense (401-241). Connecticut is now 5-6 overall this season. In the regular season finale Connecticut will face Cincinnati with its postseason life on the line.

LOUISVILLE: Teddy Bridgewater went from hero to goat as his interception on third and goal in triple overtime set up the Connecticut Huskies for a game- winning field goal as the Cardinals fell 23-20 at home. Bridgewater had rallied the Cardinals from a 10-0 deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter with a game-tying touchdown pass to DeVante Parker with 21 seconds left in regulation. Bridgewater battled through two injuries that pushed him out of the game to throw for 331 yards and a two scores on 30-of-53 passing. Bridgewater has now thrown a touchdown pass in 10 straight games. Jeremy Wright had 43 yards rushing and also led the team in receiving with nine catches for 72 yards. Parker caught eight passes for 91 yards and a pair of scores. It was Parker's second multi-score game of the season. Eli Rogers had seven catches for 72 yards and Daniel Copeland had five catches for 95 yards. Calvin Pryor had a career-high 11 tackles for the Cardinals, who lost despite giving up only 241 yards of offense. The loss puts the Cardinals at 9-2 overall and 4-2 in Big East play and sets up a showdown for a share of the Big East title next week against Rutgers.

PITTSBURGH: The Panthers are still alive in terms of bowl eligibility after posting an impressive 27-6 victory over Big East-leading Rutgers this past weekend. Pittsburgh led 21-0 at halftime marking the first time this season the Panthers have shutout an opponent in the first half. Pittsburgh also allowed only 207 yards of total offense to Rutgers, the Panthers second best showing this season. The Panthers also allowed the Scarlet Knights just a single possession in the red zone. Tino Sunseri extended his streak of passes without an interception to 245, while completing 21-of-39 pass attempts for 227 yards and two scores. Mike Shanahan brought in five of those passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. Ray Graham rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown and also had 50 yards on five receptions. Graham now has 948 yards on the ground this season putting him in striking distance of his first 1,000-yard rushing season. His 3,177 career rushing yards is the third most in school history. At 5-6 overall this season Pittsburgh will need in the regular season finale against South Florida to earn postseason eligibility.

RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights had a chance to secure the Big East title this weekend but failed to do so in taking a 27-6 beating from Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. Rutgers is now 9-2 overall this season and 5-1 in Big East play and is on a collision course with Louisville next week with a chance at the Big East championship. Rutgers was shutout in the first half, had just one red zone trip in the game and finished with only 207 yards of total offense while giving up 365 total yards to the Panthers. Gary Nova completed less than 50 percent of his pass attempts (18-of-39) for 157 yards and a touchdown while also being intercepted once. Tim Wright brought in six passes for 66 yards while Brandon Coleman's 11-yard touchdown reception was his only catch of the game. Rutgers had only 50 yards rushing led by Paul James, who had 22 yards on five carries. Logan Ryan led the team with nine tackles and also forced a fumble.

SOUTH FLORIDA: For the second straight week the Bulls didn't have enough offensive punch as they took a 27-10 loss to Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium. The loss drops the Bulls to 3-8 overall this season and just 1-5 in Big East play. Filling in for normal starter B.J. Daniels. Matt Floyd completed 21- of-39 pass attempts for 176 yards but was sacked four times. Demetris Murray rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown and Marcus Shaw added 60 yards on 10 carries. Andre Davis led the team with five receptions for 40 yards, while Victor Marc also had 40 yards on four receptions. The Bulls were shut out in the first half and managed only 95 yards of total offense during the first two quarters. Overall the Bulls had just 306 yards of total offense but did have a 22-18 edge in first downs. In just a pair of red zone trips, South Florida got a single touchdown. Elkino Watson had only four total tackles but 2.5 went for loss. The Bulls will wrap up the regular season next week at home against Pittsburgh.

SYRACUSE: In the regular-season finale, the Syracuse Orange separated themselves in the second half to earn a 38-20 win on the road against Temple Friday afternoon. The win was the seventh of the season for Syracuse tying for the best win total in a regular season since 2001. The win was also the fifth in Big East play for the Orange, which is also the most since winning six in 2001. Ryan Nassib completed 16-of-28 pass attempts for 215 yards and surpassed the 9,000 yard mark in his career. He is just the fourth quarterback in Big East history to accomplish that feat. Alec Lemon caught five of Nassib's passes for 74 yards and finished the regular season with 1,063 yards. It is only the third 1,000-yard season in school history and the first since Marvin Harrison in 1995. Marcus Sales brought in his eighth touchdown reception of the season which ties the single-season mark for touchdown receptions in a single season. Jerome Smith picked up 96 yards on 20 carries and became the 16th running back in school history to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in a season. It is the fifth straight year Syracuse has had a 1,000-yard rusher. Adonis Ameen-Moore had a career day with 10 carries for 57 yards and two scores. Although Syracuse has no more games on the schedule it could earn a share of the Big East title if Louisville defeats Rutgers next weekend.

TEMPLE: In the final game of its first season back in the Big East, Temple took a 38-20 loss at home to Syracuse. The loss drops Temple to 4-7 overall this season including a 2-5 mark against Big East teams. Junior quarterback Clinton "Juice" Granger made his second straight start and ended up with 173 yards, while completing 16-of-23 pass attempts. The yardage total was a career high for Granger who also picked up 61 yards and his first touchdown on the ground. Montel Harris rushed for 106 yards and became just the ninth player in school history to break the 1,000-yard barrier in a single season. Redshirt freshman receiver John Christopher had a game-high 44 yards receiving and caught his first career touchdown pass. Temple suffered a 475-340 deficit in total offense but did turn all three of its red zone trips into scores. Tyler Matakevich had 14 tackles in the game and became the first freshman in school history to accumulate 100 or more tackles in the season with 101.

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