January 05, 2008

Rice steals the show in Rutgers victory

TORONTO, On. - Ray Rice had a record-setting day to lead the heavily-favored Rutgers Scarlet Knights to a 52-30 victory over the Ball State Cardinals in the second annual International Bowl.

Rice scored four touchdowns, set a school record with 280 rushing yards and became just the fifth player to reach 2,000 rushing yards for a season in college football history, propelling Rutgers (8-5) to its second bowl victory in as many years.


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Piling up the points

TORONTO, On. - It's officially a blowout.

Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel just threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt to put the Scarlet Knights ahead 52-23 against Ball State with 4:21 left in the International Bowl. Teel has three touchdown passes today.

Somebody other than Rice scores for Rutgers

TORONTO, On. - The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are not simply a one-man team.

While running back Ray Rice has been unstoppable today, Rutgers just scored a touchdown in another way as Mike Teel connected with Tiquan Underwood to put the Scarlet Knights on top 45-23 against Ball State with 9:55 left in the International Bowl.

It was a nice response to a Ball State touchdown on the previous drive as Nate Davis threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Darius Hill.

The ensuing onside kick attempt failed and Rutgers was in perfect position to take advantage of a reeling Ball State defense.

That's 2,000

TORONTO, On. - Ray Rice has just hit the 2,000-yard rushing mark for the season with a 12-yard run to end the third quarter. He becomes the fifth player in NCAA history to accomplish that feat.

Rice's Rutgers Scarlet Knights lead the Ball State Cardinals 38-16. Ball State quarterback Nate Davis fumbled in Rutgers territory on the previous play, giving the ball back to the Scarlet Knights.

The attendance has been announced as 31,455, almost 4,000 more than the crowd at last year's game. Bowl organizers will be happy with the figure.

Rice on the menu in Toronto

TORONTO, On. - This is getting predictable.

Ray Rice has scored his fourth touchdown of the game, on a one-yard carry, to put Rutgers up 38-16 against Ball State with 2:42 left in the third quarter.

Rice has a whopping 260 rushing yards today, already a school record with more than a quarter to play. He is eight yards away from becoming the fifth player to reach 2,000 yards rushing in a season in college football history.

He set the stage for his latest plunge into the end zone with a 24-yard carry. It's highlight-reel stuff here at the Rogers Centre.

Davis can't connect

TORONTO, On. - With a chance to cut further into Rutgers' lead, Ball State quarterback Nate Davis just missed hooking up with Dante Love, overthrowing the star receiver on a deep pass.

Love had a step on the defender and could have put the ball deep in Rutgers territory, but the pass fell incomplete and the Cardinals were forced to punt.

They still trail 31-16 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

Ball State answers back

TORONTO, On. - Just when it looked like Rutgers was going to run away with the International Bowl, the Ball State Cardinals have fought back to narrow the Scarlet Knights' lead to 31-16.

Reeling after a dynamic 90-yard touchdown run by Ray Rice, the Cardinals responded with their own touchdown drive, capped by a 10-yard pass from Nate Davis to Dante Love. It marked the first touchdown of the game for Ball State, which remains alive with almost 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

Rice explodes for long touchdown

TORONTO, On. - Ray Rice can't be stopped here at the International Bowl.

The dynamic running back from Rutgers just scored his third touchdown of the game on a spectacular 90-yard rush, putting his Scarlet Knights up 31-9 against Ball State early in the third quarter.

Rice got outside and stayed on his feet and inbounds after he was bumped by free safety Eddie Burk. He just crossed the goal line after he was tackled at the feet by B.J. Hill.

The 90-yard dash allowed Rice to tie the record for longest rush in school history.

Rice now has 208 yards on 24 carries. If this is his last game with Rutgers, Rice is going out in style.

Rutgers in control at halftime, but Cardinals hanging tough

TORONTO, On. - Despite being outplayed by a significant margin, the Ball State Cardinals aren't out of the International Bowl just yet.

The Cardinals added their third field goal of the game, a 32-yarder by Ian McGarvey, on the final play of the first half to cut Rutgers' lead to 24-9 at halftime. The Cardinals had just 40 seconds to get into field goal range after Ray Rice put the Scarlet Knights up 24-6 with his second touchdown rush of the game.

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Rutgers has commanding lead

Toronto, On. - To the surprise of no one, Rutgers star running back Ray Rice has been dominating force in the first half of the International Bowl.

Rice added his second one-yard touchdown run of the half with 40 seconds left in the second quarter to put Rutgers up 24-6 against Ball State. Rice has 110 rushing yards, marking the eighth game in a row he has reached that mark.


First punt of game by Rutgers

Toronto, On. - For the first time at the International Bowl, Ball State has forced Rutgers into a punting situation.

The Cardinals stuffed Rutgers star running back Ray Rice on a third-and-three rush. It's a good sign for the Cardinals, who remain within striking distance as they trail 17-6 with four minutes left in the first half.

Ball State settles for another field goal

Toronto, On. - The Ball State Cardinals' best drive of the game so far did not result in a touchdown.

However, Ball State did score three points on a 24-yard field goal by Ian McGarvey, cutting Rutgers' lead to 17-6 midway through the second quarter here at the International Bowl. Ball State drove 73 yards on 15 plays, but was stopped at the Rutgers seven on an incomplete pass on third-and-four.

Long field goal for Rutgers

Toronto, On. - Jeremy Ito has nailed a 53-yard field goal to put Rutgers up 17-3 against Ball State early in the second quarter.

Ito tied for his career-longest field goal with the 53-yard boot. It's also an International Bowl record.

Cardinals linebacker Mike Dorulla almost prevented Ito from stepping on the field, but he just missed intercepting a tipped pass from Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel on the previous play.

Ball State is on the board

TORONTO, On. - The Ball State Cardinals have cut Rutgers' lead to 14-3 with a 47-yard field goal by Ian McGarvey.

Ball State got a much-needed jolt of momentum on a big kickoff return by B.J. Hill, who took a lateral from Dante Love and raced down to the Rutgers 39.

We're done one quarter here at the Rogers Centre.

Scarlet Knights offense bounces back

Toronto, On - After a disappointing turnover, Rutgers has responded with an impressive touchdown drive.

Starting at their own 30-yard line, the Scarlet Knights worked their way down the field and took a 14-0 lead over Ball State on a one-yard touchdown run by star running back Ray Rice.

Rice, who carried the ball for double-digit gains on the previous two plays, heard chants of "One more year" from the pro-Rutgers crowd after scoring. Clearly, Scarlet Knights fans figure Rice can wait another year before becoming rich.

Ball State, meanwhile, has done next to nothing with the ball. The Cardinals desperately need a big drive.

Bad mistake by Teel

TORONTO, On. - Rutgers has squandered a glorious opportunity to add to its 7-0 lead.

Quarterback Mike Teel tried to force the ball into the end zone, but was picked off on the one-yard line by Ball State's Trey Lewis. The Scarlet Knights had moved the ball to the Ball State 29.

Ball State was in a bit of trouble after the interception, positioned just outside the end zone, but the Cardinals managed to notch a first down on a third-down pass.

Rutgers strikes first

TORONTO, On. - Well, that didn't take long.

Rutgers showcased its high-powered offense on its opening drive, capping it with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Mike Teel to a wide-open Tim Brown to give the Scarlet Knights a 7-0 lead over Ball State in the International Bowl. The six-play march started with a 21-yard by Ray Rice.

This one could become one-sided in a hurry.

International Bowl preview

TORONTO, On. - Greetings from Toronto’s Rogers Centre, site of the second annual International Bowl.

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights, representing the Big East, are heavy favorites against the Mid-American Conference’s Ball State Cardinals.

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January 03, 2008

Over for a while already, now it's official

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Sooner fans will be wondering why it has to end like this year after year after. But the feel-good story of Wednesday night's Fiesta Bowl game has to be interim coach Bill Stewart.

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January 02, 2008

Now it's a shootout

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Don't blink. You might miss a Sam Bradford touchdown pass. Or, more likely, you'll miss another coast-to-coast jaunt from the Mountaineer of your choice.

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The big question

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Oklahoma just scored. The Sooners went on an 80-yard march. Went for two, missed. West Virginia leads 20-15 and it appears clear, the more capable team is finally coming forward. Just maybe, OU will pull this game out. But it will mean ending all the steps backward.

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Fiesta Bowl halftime report

GLENDALE, Ariz. — While attending media scarf down frozen goodies and hot dogs (nothing but the best at the BCS bowls), one has to wonder what kind of tact Bob Stoops is taking in the halftime locker room with his Sooners, who just played their worst half of football this season, at least among halves in which Sam Bradford went the distance behind center.

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It's picking up

GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Fiesta appears to be waking up from its siesta. Still, West Virginia can do this all night long.

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Slogging along

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Updates across the board ...

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Sooners fortunate to only trail 6-0

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Pat McAfee just kicked his second field goal and that's the good news for Oklahoma.

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Sooner losses more than previously known

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Although it had been reporter Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly had sustained a thigh bruise not long after the Sooners had arrived in Arizona, it wasn't thought to be serious. Well, think again.

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Welcome to the dome with the hole in the top

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Soon the only game on today's college football schedule will kick off. Oklahoma and West Virginia, No. 3 and No. 11, meet at the Fiesta Bowl inside University of Phoenix Stadium. And for a game that might seem to be of little consequence beyond the season's final polls - assuming LSU and Ohio State don't play a 3-0 overtime snorefest thus opening the door for an Associated Press national champion other than the Tigers and Buckeyes - one gets the feeling it has real significance to both teams. Perhaps historical significance to both teams.

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December 31, 2007

OREGON MAULS USF 56-21 AT BRUT SUN BOWL

EL PASO, TX - The Oregon Ducks (9-4) held a slim 18-14 halftime, but erupted for 28 third-quarter points en route to a record-setting 56-21 win over the South Florida Bulls (9-4) at the 74th annual Brut Sun Bowl.

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EL PASO, TX - In what was a close 18-14 game at halftime, the Oregon Ducks exploded for 28 third quarter points, en route to a 56-21 win over South Florida in the 74th version of the Brut Sun Bowl.

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USF SCORES

EL PASO, TX - Taking over the ineffective and shaken up Matt Grothe, USF's Grant Gregory hit A.J. Love for an 11-yard touchdown to cut Oregon's lead to 49-21 with 6:34 remaining in the game.

THE ROUT CONTINUES

EL PASO, TX - Matt Evensen added a 30-yard field goal to give Oregon a 49-14 lead with 12;14 left in the game.

DUCKS REWRITING SUN BOWL RECORD BOOK

EL PASO, TX - The Oregon Ducks are having their way with South Florida, not just on the scoreboard, 46-14, but in the Sun Bowl record book.

Though the game is only three quarters old, a number of records have been set in today's rout.

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AN OREGON ROUT

EL PASO, TX - The Ducks keep piling it on.

Justin Roper is looking like anythig but a freshman, throwing his fourth touchdown pass of the game. This time it was an eight-yarder to Jonathan Stewart to make it 46-14 with 4:05 left in the third.

DUCKS FLYING AWAY WITH IT

EL PASO, TX - When it rains, it pours. Ten seconds after Oregon took a 32-14 lead over USF, Ducks' cornerback Walter Thurmond III intercepted a Matt Grothe pass and returned it 25 yards for a TD to make it 39-14 with 7:25 to go in the third period.

OREGON TAKING CHARGE

EL PASO, TX - Justin Roper threw his third touchdown pass of the game, a 15-yarder to Ed Dickson to give Oregon a comanding 32-14 lead over South Florida with 7:35 to go in the third quarter.

Roper, the Ducks' freshman replacement for Dennis Dixon, is now 13 of 23 for 145 yards.

DUCKS LOOKING TO TAKE COMMAND

EL PASO, TX - After taking a 25-14 lead, Oregon recovered a Taurus Johnson fumble on the USF 36-yard line. An unsportsmanlike penalty took the Ducks back to midfield, but they are now looking at a first down at the Bulls' 18-yard line.

OREGON EXTENDS LEAD

EL PASO, TX - Freshman quarterback Justin Roper hit Jaison Williams with a 14-yard touchdown pass to give the Ducks a 25-14 lead with 10:17 left in the third quarter.

This was Roper's second TD pass of the game.

The key play of the drive was a 41-yard run by Jonathan Stewart, who is nearing the Brut Sun Bowl record for rushing yards. Stewart has 186, the record is 197, set by LSU's Charles Alexander in 1977.

USF GETS THE BALL TO OPEN 2ND HALF

EL PASO, TX - USF, down 18-14, opened the second half of the Brut Sun Bowl with the ball, but after a single first down, are forced to punt from their own 35 yard line.

USF CUTS INTO LEAD AT HALF

EL PASO, TX - South Florida's Delbert Alvarado nailed a 35-yard field goal as time ran out to cut Oregon's lead to 18-14 at halftime.

In a half that featured as many yellow hankies as big plays, Oregon has been almost unstoppable on the ground while USF is having the better of it through the air

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STEWART EXPLODES FOR LONG TD

EL PASO, TX - Jonathan Stewart exploded for a 71-yard touchdown run to give Oregon an 18-11 lead over South Florida with 3:17 to go in the second quarter.

Stewart, who started slowly, has now rushed for 141 yards on just 12 carries (11.8 yards per carry).

FLAG FEST

EL PASO, TX - Playing like they haven't been on the field for a month, Oregon and South Florida have already combined to tie the all-time Brut Sun Bowl record for most penalty yardage in a game with 162.

Oregon has been flagged 10 times for 102 yards, South Florida has seven penalties for 60 yards.

Oh, and by the way, they tied the record with 5:25 to go in the second quarter.

SOUTH FLORIDA TIES IT UP

EL PASO, TX - Quarterback Matt Grothe escaped a heavy rush and hit Taurus Johnson with a 21-yard touchdown pass to get within 11-9. On the two-point try, Grothe hit Cedric Hill in the back of the end zone to tie Oregon 11-11 with 7:04 left in the second quarter.

SOUTH FLORIDA GETS ON THE BOARD

EL PASO, TX - South Florida's Delbert Alvarado kicked a 29-yard field goal to cut Oregon's lead to 8-3 with 14:49 left in the second quarter.

The Bulls kept the ball for 16 plays and 6:39, but were unable to get it into the end zone.

OREGON LEADS SLOPPY SUN BOWL AFTER ONE

EL PASO, TX - In an opening quarter that saw both teams combine for 12 penalties for 112 yards, the Oregon Ducks lead the South Florida Bulls 8-0.

Oregon has seven penalties for 67 yards, while South Florida has been flagged five times for 45 yards.

DUCKS TAKE EARLY LEAD

EL PASO, TX - Freshman quarterback Justin Roper hit wide receiver Garren Strong with a seven-yard TD pass to give Oregon an early lead in the Brut Sun Bowl.

Oregon decided to roll the dice early and go for two. Roper pitced to Matt Evensen, who ran it in for the two-point conversion to give Oregon the 8-0 lead with 6:28 left in the first quarter.

OREGON GOES ON OFFENSE FIRST

EL PASO, TX - Oregon takes the opening kickoff and will go to work with freshman quarterback Justin Roper, filling in for the injured Dennis Dixon.

BRUT SUN BOWL A WASH OF GREEN

EL PASO, TX - The Brut Sun Bowl is a sea of green with both Oregon and South Florida fans donning their respective team's primary color - green.

Even the skydivers who dropped into the stadium with the game ball dropped in with green parachutes. The last skydiver dropped in with a huge American flag waving behind him to the delight of the 51,000 fans.

SUN BOWL A BATTLE OF FORMER NUMBER TWOS

Today's Brut Sun Bowl pits two teams who are still wondering what might have been.

Both the Oregon Ducks (8-4) and the South Florida Bulls (9-3) were ranked as high as second in the nation this season but were unable to sustain it due to a combination of injuries and bad luck.

Of course, Oregon's loss of (at the time) Heisman Trophy frontrunner Dennis Dixon quickly transformed the team from a national title contender to a very mediocre squad. After losing their quarterback, the Ducks have gone on to lose three straight games.

South Florida opened the season with six straight wins but also went on a stretch when they lost three straight games (by a combined 15 points).

However, the Bulls recovered to finish the season on a three-game wining streak and are ranked 21 in the BCS standings.

Oregon comes into the Brut Sun Bowl with wins over USC, MIchigan and Arizona State. South Florida registered victories over Auburn, West Virginia and Louisville.

Some of the players to watch in this one are Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart (1,469 yards, 10 TDs), wide receiver Jaison Willliams (51 catches, 804 yards, 7 TDs) and defensive end Nick Reed (60 tackles, 12 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss).

For South Florida, QB Matt Grothe (2,473 yards passing, 13 TDs, 832 yards rushing, 10 TDs), freshman RB Mike Ford (637 yards, 12 TDs) and DE George Selvie (14.5 sacks, 32 tackles for loss).

It is a great day for football! The Brut Sun Bowl will kick off at 2 p.m. eastern and will be played under sunny skies (60 degrees), there isn't a single cloud to be found. There is a slight 10-15 mph breeze though.


December 28, 2007

NOW OR NEVER

ORLANDO, Fla.- After Matt Ryan fumbled then recovered on third down at the 44, Johnny Ayers punts the ball away with 2:45 remaining. Hope the Spartans have been practicing those two-minute drills.

December 22, 2007

Cincinnatti tops Southern Miss 31-21

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A dominant offensive performance from the No. 20 Cincinnati Bearcats lifted them to their first 10-win season since 1951 with a 31-21 victory in the PapaJohns.com Bowl over the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. The Bearcats were led by mobile quarterback Ben Mauk who threw for 334-yards and four touchdowns in addition to leading the Bearcats in rushing. Mauk was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

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Golden Eagles strike back

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Facing a 17-point defecit at the start of the fourth quarter, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles mustered up another long, grueling scoring drive ending with a Jeremy Young slant pass to Chris Johnson in the end zone to close the gap to 31-21 with 9:37 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The 11-play, 76-yard drive was once again helmed by the efforts of sophomore running back Damion Fletcher who hit his holes harder and quicker as the drive went on. While the odds still seem long for a Golden Eagle comebacker, the Bearcat defense will have a tough time sustaining another drive like that without a substantial breather.

Southern Miss attempted an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff which was recovered by Cincinnati at the USM 47-yard line.

NOTE: Today's official attendance has been announced as 35,258.

Cincinnati dominating heading into 4th

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Heading into the final quarter of play at the PapaJohns.com Bowl, the Cincinnati Bearcats appear to be having no trouble moving the ball at will on offense while their defense has been able to hold the Southern Miss rushing attack in check. Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk has amassed over 300-yards through the air through the first three quarters and has spread the ball around to 8 different receivers.

While the Southern Miss defense continues to play with intensity and for the most part dominate the line of scrimmage, the elusiveness of Mauk, who is currently leading the Bearcats in rushing with 41 yards, has allowed the Bearcat signal caller to escape pressure and make plays on the ground while also allowing his receivers more time to get open. The Golden Eagles came in with a solid game plan to get physical with the Cincy receivers but the Bearcats' superior athleticism has given Southern Miss matchup problems all over the field.

Southern Miss faces a crucial offensive drive to start the fourth quarter but without a few lucky breaks, it may be too late for the Golden Eagles to mount a comeback.

Bearcat offense continues to roll

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Cincinnati Bearcats weren't intimidated by a long, pounding Southern Miss scoring drive and responded with one of their own ending in a 10-yard touchdown pass to Antwuan Giddens to extend Cincinnati's lead to 28-14.

The Bearcats were aided by several costly Southern Miss penalties on the drive but quarterback Ben Mauk continues to consistently and efficiently spread the ball around to his receivers while also finding ways to make plays with his legs with the opportunity arises.

If the Golden Eagles aren't able to respond with another scoring drive, their chances of catching up to the Bearcats will begin to slip away.

Golden Eagles pound their way back

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After giving up a quick score by Cincinnati early in the second half, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles responded with a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive capped off by a one-yard run across the goal line by quarterback Jeremy Young to close Cincinnati's lead to 21-14 with 6:48 remaining in the third quarter.

After struggling to find offensive production for most of the game, the Golden Eagle offense turned to sophomore running back Damion Fletcher who was the key player for the majority of the drive and set the Southern Miss record for rushing yards in a single season along the way.

Bearcats come out swinging in 2nd half

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After entering the locker room with plenty of momentum at the end of the first half, Cincinnati carried its offensive steam over into the second half scoring on its first offensive play of the half on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Ben Mauk to tight end Earnest Jackson to put the Bearcats on top 21-7 with 13:17 remaining in the third quarter.

The play came on first down of the Bearcats' first possession of the half after Souther Miss ran an unsuccessful fake punt that came up short and gave Cincinnati the ball at the USM 29-yard line.

Bearcats lead at half 14-7

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A slow start gave way to a late offensive explosion for the Cincinnati Bearcats as wide receiver Dominick Goodman hauled in an acrobatic touchdown reception with 24 seconds remaining the half to give the Bearcats a 14-7 lead over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in the PapaJohns.com Bowl.

The catch came just minutes after Goodman (6 catches for 75 yards) appeared to haul in another impressive touchdown catch before the play was ruled an incomplete pass by replay officials. Goodman and the Bearcat offense were given a second chance after cornerback DeAngelo Smith grabbed his second intereception of the day off a Jeremy Young pass near midfield.

After jumping on the scoreboard first, the Golden Eagles weren't able to keep their offense moving withe same level of success for the rest of the half finishing with just 148 yards of total offense in the first half, including a mere 60-yards passing.

The Cincinnati offense, by contrast, began finding success through the air as the half went on with quarterback Ben Mauk connecting on 23-of-37 attempts for 229 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The bulk of USM's offense came on the ground with running back Damion Fletcher netting 77 yards on 12 carries. Fletcher's first half performance put him over the 1,500 yard mark for the season making him just the second player in Southern Miss history to rush for over 1,500 yards in a season.

Defensively, the Golden Eagles are led by linebacker Robert Henderson with 7 tackles in the first half including one tackle for loss, while the Bearcat defense is led by DeAngelo Smith who registered 4 tackles to go along with his 2 interceptions in the first half.

With the Cincinnati offense heating up as the game goes on, the Golden Eagle offense must take advantage of the opportunities its defense creates in the second half or risk being overtaken by the momentum established by Cincinnati in the first half.

Cincy touchdown overturned

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Cincinnati fans brought out the boos after a play initially ruled a touchdown was overturned. After an interception from DeAngelo Smith set up the Bearcats at their own 42-yard line, quarterback Ben Mauk began driving the Bearcat offense down the field and hit Dominick Goodman on a 37-yard pass in the end zone.

While the video replay appeared to show that Goodman's hands were underneath the ball, the replay booth overturned the call on the field calling the pass incomplete.

The Bearcats' drive ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down but after giving the ball back to Southern Miss on downs, USM quarterback Jeremy Young was picked off yet again by DeAngelo Smith, giving the Bearcats the ball on the USM 49 with just under 2 minutes to play.

Bearcats tie it up at 7-7

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - It took some time for the Cincinnati offense to find its stride but the Bearcats finally got on the scoreboard with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Ben Mauk to Dominick Goodman to cap off a 7-play, 75-yard drive during which the Bearcat offense looked as efficient and dynamic as it has looked all day.

Mauk was 5-for-5 for 65 yards through the air on the drive including a long passing play to tight end Connor Barwin who broke free after the catch to set the Bearcats up in good field position.

With just over six minutes remaining in the first half, the score is now tied 7-7.

Defense dominating the first half

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Both Cincinnati and Southern Miss entered Saturday's PapaJohns.com Bowl ranked among the best teams in their respective conferences on defense and so far those defenses have dominated their opposing offenses with Cincy holding the Eagles to 116 total yards in the first quarter and USM holding the Bearcats to just 75 total yards.

The majority of the game's biggest plays have come from defenders, including safety LeVance Richmond's interception of a Ben Mauk pass which the USM offense was unable to capitalize on.

The defensive frontlines for both teams continue to dominate the offense line, breaking up running plays in the backfield and forcing early throws that have led to early and overthrown passes.

UPDATE: Yet another big play from the defense as safety Justin Wilson just picked off Mauk again to give the Golden Eagles the ball inside their own 10-yard line.

Golden Eagles up 7-0

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After floundering on offense early, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles finally broke through with the first scoring drive of the game when quarterback Jeremy Young hit wide receiver Shawn Nelson across the middle of the end zone for a touchdown to give Southern Miss a 7-0 lead with 5:23 remaining in the first quarter.

The score was set up by a 41-yard Damion Fletcher rush down the sidelines earlier in the drive to put the Eagles inside the red zone for the first time in the game.

With both defenses looking to have the upper hand physically, breaking big plays like Fletcher's long run may be the key to scoring for both offenses today.

Penalties derail early drives

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Both Cincinnati and Southern Miss are struggling to shake off some rust early in the game as both squads had their opening drives derailed by multiple penalties.

A false start followed by a 15-yard personal foul penalty ended a promising Cincinnati drive backing the Bearcats up deep into their own territory and forcing them to punt.

After starting their first drive at their own 35-yard line, Southern Miss ran into trouble as well with a 15-yard illegal blocking penalty. A nice option read run by Golden Eagle quarterback Jeremy Young allowed Southern Miss to recover enough field position to pin Cincinnati deep with a 47-yard punt from Britt Barefoot that rolled to a halt at the 1-yard line.

The Bearcats will now have to dig their way out of the end zone with a hungry Southern Miss defense looking to make a play.

Impressive crowd at Legion Field

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - With just under five minutes until kickoff, an impressive and enthusiastic crowd has filled the stands on this cold, gray day in downtown Birmingham. The even split between the red shirts and yellow shirts at the 50-yard line hearkens back to some of the great Iron Bowl games between Alabama and Auburn played here at Legion Field.

OK, the crowd isn't that impressive but it's certainly a more electric atmosphere than the PapaJohns.com Bowl saw here last year.

Southern Miss won the toss and will defer to the second half so the explosive Cincinnati offense will get a chance to seize momentum on the opening drive.

December 01, 2007

Pitt stuns No. 2 WVU

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The impossible happened.

Again.

In a college football season that defies belief or explanation, another upset has thrown the national picture into disarray.

No. 2 West Virginia, a 30-point favorite, was upset at home by unranked Pittsburgh, 13-9, in the 100th Backyard Brawl before a stunned sold-out crowd.

The Mountaineers needed to win to have a chance to advance to the BCS championship game.

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WVU fighting for its life

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- No. 2 West Virginia, playing with its starting quarterback Patrick White out since the middle of the second quarter with a dislocated thumb on his right hand, was looking an upset in the eye after three quarters of the 100th Backyard Brawl.

The 4-7 Pitt Panthers, 28 1/2-point underdogs, led 10-7 after three quarters.

The Mountaineers (10-1) needed a victory to have a chance to advance to the BCS championship in New Orleans on Jan. 7.

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Brown provides WVU with spark

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- Just when it appeared that entire season's work was about to go for nothing, reserve quarterback Jarrod Brown came off the bench and gave West Virginia's No. 2-ranked Mountaineers a spark that allowed them to take a 7-3 lead over Pittsburgh at halftime of the 100th Backyard Brawl.

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The curse of No. 2

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- One game from a date for the national championship and favored by more than four touchdowns, West Virginia University found that the 100th Backyard Brawl against Pittsburgh was not going to be any walkover.

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Mountaineers go for it all

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- West Virginia football coach Rich Rodriguez spent the entire week trying to convince his team that the game they were about to play Saturday night on their home field was just like any other game they'd ever played.

Right.

And the birth of your first born child is just like any other day you've ever spent. Graduation day is like any other day. The day Ed McMahon knocks on your door with a check for $1,000,000 is just like any other day, too.

Folks, if this weren't for a shot at the national title in New Orleans on Jan. 7 this would not have been like any other game West Virginia had played.

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November 24, 2007

WVU wins Big East title

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The Big East title safely tucked away in a championship rout of Connecticut, West Virginia University's third-ranked Mountaineers stand one victory away from the BCS championship game.

Using their speed and depth and a heroic performance from quarterback Patrick White, who is running his way into the Heisman Trophy race, the Mountaineers ran around and through UConn to take their fourth title in the last five years by a rather ridiculous 66-21 score before a sellout crowd of 59,701 at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.

With No. 1 LSU having been upset by Arkansas, 50-48, in triple overtime on Friday night, WVU is in line to play for the national title if it can win the 100th renewal of the Backyard Brawl against Pitt next Saturday night.


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UConn caught in WVU speed trap

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University took a big step -- and a very fast one -- toward the BCS championship game Saturday as the Mountaineers caught Connecticut in a speed trap and raced to a 66-14 victory in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated.

The victory clinched WVU's fourth Big East championship in the last five years, but more important put it at the doorstep of the championship game.

WVU previously had two shots at a potential national title, first in 1988 when it lost to Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl and tghen in 1993 when it lost to Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Both times the Mountaineers were undefeated entering the game.

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WVU speeds toward title

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia turned on the speed in the second half and was on the verge of winning it's fourth Big East title in five years, leading Connecticut, 52-14, before a sellout crowd at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium early in the fourth quarter.

A victory over Pitt next week in the annual Backyard Brawl would launch WVU into the BCS championship game, thanks to Arkansas' 50-48 upset of No. 1 LSU on Friday night.

Both Patrick White and Noel Devine had gone past 100 yards, White reaching a season high with 186 yards through the third quarter. White had run for two touchdowns and passed for one. Steve Slaton added two touchdowns while Darius Reynaud and Devine, a true freshman, had one each.

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WVU closes in on Big East title

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia moved to within a half of the Big East championship as it shook off an early Connecticut touchdown to snatch a 24-14 halftime lead before a sold out crowd at Milan Puskar Stadium at Mountaineer Field.

The winner of the game would win the Big East title. With Arkansas' stunning 50-48 upset of No. 1 LSU in triple overtime on Friday night, WVU is in position to play in the national championship game with victories over Connecticut and arch-rival Pitt in next Saturday's Backyard Brawl.

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WVU fights back

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Stunned when Connecticut went 93 yards with its opening drive to take a 7-0 lead in a game that had the Big East championship riding on it, West Virginia's third-ranked Mountaineers came roaring back with a pair of touchdowns to grab a 14-7 at the end of the first quarter Saturday before a sellout crowd at Mountaineer Field.

Arkansas' triple overtime upset of No. 1 LSU on Friday night opened the door for WVU to give them a chance at making it to the BCS championship game by beating UConn and arch-rival Pitt in next week's Backyard Brawl.

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A wild beginning

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University's No. 3-ranked football team, given a shot to reach the national championship game thanks to Arkansas' thrilling triple overtime victory over LSU on Friday night, was stunned early by a University of Connecticut early, roared back on its first possess to score and tie the game that will decide the Big East championship, 7-7.

Uconn put together one of the strangest drives of the season on its first possession, overcoming three penalties. Starting at its own 7, UConn went 93 yards withoiut so much as facing a third down.

The touchdown was scored by Brad Kanuch when he latched onto a 6-yard TD pass from quarterback Tyler Lorenzen.

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WVU being hogish about BCS

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- It was a Friday night here and, as is normal on the night before a football game, the bars around town were filled to capacity, as were the patrons.

True, the West Virginia University students were off on Thanksgiving break, but the town had filled up with fans preparing to celebrate a football victory over Connecticut that would clinch the Big East championship and a BCS bid, but nothing more.

Oddly,though, the cries in the bars were not "Let's Go" ... "Mountaineers", as WVU fans often chant, one side of the room shouting the former, the other side replied with the latter. Those cries, though, had given way to "Soo-ey, Pig, Pig, Pig."

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November 18, 2007

WVU escapes late scare

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November 17, 2007

Spreading the wealth

CINCINNATI -- They are the new kids on the block, upstarts in the world of big time football, these Cincinnati Bearcats who have crashed the Top 25 and are looking to crash what was supposed to be West Virginia Big East Conference championship season.

Oddly, they are mirror images of each other, although it sometimes seems to be one of those fun house mirrors that distort images. They both, for example, run out of the spread offense, but West Virginia's has evolved into a running offense centered around quarterback Patrick White that ranks third nationally. Cincinnati'sdiffers in that it relies more on the passing of quarter Ben Mauk.

The coaches, too, have followed similar paths to the top, starting at the lowest levels of college football, WVU's Rich Rodriguez at Salem and then Glenville State and U.C.'s Brian Kelly at Grand Valley State and Central Michigan.

They are alike, too, in their ability to sell their program and inspire players.

Rodriguez has proved this by the way his team risen to the top of the college football, winning 30 of its last 34 games. As for Kelly, he has done it at Central Michigan and Cincinnati.

"He's a salesman, is what he is," said Grand Valley State Coach Chuck Martin, who worked under Kelly at the school. "I remember at Central Michigan, someone asked him how long the rebuilding cycle would be. He said, 'About 10 seconds.'"

Now he has Cincinnati thinking it can play in a BCS bowl and win the Big East, but first it must find a way to beat WVU, the nation's No. 5 team.

November 09, 2007

All that glitters ...

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November 08, 2007

The Gold Rush

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A not-so-instant replay?

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Two years ago the Louisville Cardinals came to West Virginia to face a Mountaineer football team that was on the verge of becoming a national contender, but that was missing the explosiveness that was necessary.

It discovered that explosiveness in this game as WVU unveiled both running back Steve Slaton and quarterback Pat White. Trailing 28-7 with less than 10 minutes to play, White engineered an incredible rally after replacing injured Adam Bednaric that took the game into three overtimes with the Mountaineers winning, 46-44.

Slaton, who had never before started a game, scored six touchdowns and rushed for 188 yards.

"That was the beginning for me," Slaton said as he completed preparations for Thursday's night's nationally televised meeting that figured to have a strong bearing on the Big East championship picture.

It was a game Louisville Quarterback Brian Brohm could not forget, either, as he was stopped by WVU's Eric Wicks on the goal line as he tried to scramble for a two-point conversion to tie the game.

"I remember everythning about that play," Brohm said. "It was a five-wide set, 2-point play. The three inside guys went across the goal line and turned around and we had two end cuts in the back. West Virginia covered it up and I tried to run and tghe linebacker got me at the 1. Yeah, I remember that play pretty well."

Now Brohm is a senior and his Louisville team is in dire straits, standing at 5-4, 2-2 in the Big East but riding a three-game winning streak. Slaton and White are juniors ahd have led WVU to a 7-1 record, 2-1 in the conference and a No. 6 natioinal ranking.

October 27, 2007

Huskies hold on to win major upset, shock bulls

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Darius Butler pointed to the stands as the final whistle blew, waving the fans to come down to the field and join in on the celebration.

And what a celebration it was, with the Huskies upsetting No. 11 South Florida 22-15 at Rentschler Field.

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No Bull

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Rentschler Field is electric. That about sums it all up.

On Fourth and 12, Matt Grothe's pass was long to the end zone and, with only 50 seconds left, all it took was kneel downs from Tyler Lorenzen to lock up UConn's incredible upset of No. 10 South Florida.

The fans rush the field as players raise their helmets in excitement of the win.

The Huskies win 22-15, on an incredible goal line stop by the UConn defense, where they sacked Grothe and stuffed a potential scoring run with less than 3 minutes left.

Stats, quotes, and more still to come.

Bulls down 7, five minutes left in game

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Huskies lead by a score and the Bulls have the ball at their own 48-yard line.

Let's see what Matt Grothe and the South Florida offense can do with the game on the line.

South Florida held to field goal at 10-yard line

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- With a chance to tie the game at 19, the South Florida offense was stalled, resulting in a 27-yard field goal.

The initial outcome was a two-yard touchdown run by Mike Ford, but that was called back after a holding call.

Two dropped passed then followed, the second being an easy score but Cedric Hill couldn't hang on.

The Huskies now lead 19-15 with 7 minutes left in the game.

Huskies lead 10 at start of fourth, Bulls charging

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Fifteen minutes stands in between the Huskies and their best win in school history.

But the Bulls are in position -- at UConn's 48-yard line -- to make a surge to get back into this game.

At the end of the third quarter, the Huskies pulled out to a 10-point lead when Tony Ciaravino put in a 27-yarder.

If the Huskies want an upset, it won't be a walk in the park, because we've seen what Matt Grothe can do with the Bulls' offense.

Safety, Grothe TD run slows Huskies' momentum

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- There's the good news and then again there's the bad news.

Just after Robert McClain intercepted Matt Grothe's pass in the endzone, the ensuing drive for the Huskies resulted in a safety.

The next drive, Grothe shows everyone at Rentschler Field why he is so dangerous.

Grothe tallied 63 rushing yards on the drive, capping it off with a 10-yard touchdown run of his own to get the Bulls back within seven points.


Upset Watch In East Hartford?

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Huskies defensive tackle Dan Davis took his helmet off and raised his arms to the fans in the student section before walking to the locker room at the half.

Like the fans weren't charged up already.

UConn has a chance to create quite a stir in the college football party, as this would undoubtedly be the biggest win in school history.

It's halftime in the South Florida-UConn game, and the Huskies now lead 16-0, thanks in a huge part to play of Huskies running back Andre Dixon, who has put the entire offense on his back with over 100 yards in the first half already.

On the other side of the ball, the Huskies defense has stalled most every South Florida offensive drive - their only chances on offense came in the form of two missed field goals.

Halftime stats coming up.

Rutgers sees stars .... named Slaton and White

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Lutrus picks Grothe, runs interception back for touchdown

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Huskies linebacker Scott Lutrus just returned Matt Grothe's pass attempt 23 yards for a touchdown, extending UConn's lead to 16 just after a touchdown pass to tight end Steve Brouse one minute earlier.

Lutrus crossed over the field after intercepting the pass, which was tipped by the Huskies' Julius Williams, and ran the ball to the right side, breaking a tackle in the process and he dove into the endzone.

TD pass to Brouse extends Huskies lead to 9

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- UConn's offense continues to role in the first half, adding a touchdown to a wide-open tight end Steve Brouse from quarterback Tyler Lorenzen.

Lorenzen floated the pass over two South Florida defenders, and Brouse snagged it in the back left half of the endzone.

The extra point was missed, however, and UConn's lead is now nine with less than 10 minutes in the half.

Bulls kicking away opportunities in first quarter

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- New kicker, same result for South Florida after the first quarter at Rentschler Field, as a switch from kicker Delbert Alvarado to Justin Teachey, who is normally the kick-off man, delivers another missed field goal.

The 45-yard attempt missed wide right after the Bulls were faced with a fourth and one.

The score remains 3-0 in favor of the Huskies, with a 22-yard field goal by Tony Ciaravino being the only score of the game.

After the first frame, UConn's Andre Dixon and South Florida's Jamar Taylor are leading their respective team's rushing attacks, as they combine for yards on the ground.

The Huskies start the second quarter with the ball on their own 20, and head right to left toward the east end zone.

Huskies having success on first plays of game, get off to quick 3-0 lead

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- After a very impressive opening drive, the Huskies settle for a 22-yard field goal by Tony Ciaravino, and now lead the Bulls 3-0 with 9:37 left in the first quarter.

The Huskies ran straight through the South Florida defense, as running back Andre Dixon rushed for 53 yards on eight carries on the drive.

After failing to convert on their first two plays of the game, the Huskies offense converted two straight first downs with a 21-yard pass from Tyler Lorenzen on third down. The next play, Dixon broke away for 19-yards.

The rain has picked up now, as the Bulls get ready to return the kick from Desi Cullen.

Slaton, White cook Rice, Rutgers

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Pregame: Huskies Take On Bulls

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Less than 10 minutes away from kickoff, the rain has just began to fall on Rentschler Field this Saturday afternoon as UConn (6-1, 2-0 Big East) is getting ready to host No. 11 South Florida (6-1, 1-1) at 3:30 p.m.

UConn is currently on top of the Big East, with a 2-0 record while South Florida sits third behind Rutgers at 1-1.

Just as it did in the Huskies 21-17 upset victory against Louisville Oct. 19, the weather will play a factor in today's game. The forecast for the central Connecticut area shows precipitation on and off during the first half of the game.

Fans will likely be charged up for this afternoon's game, as it is the first time in school history that the Huskies hold a top-25 ranking in any poll. They currently sit 23rd in the Bowl Championship Series Standings.

But currently, Rentschler Field is at only 20 percent capacity, but such is the normal case for Huskies fans. The stadium will most likely fill rapidly as the game is underway.

Today will see a match-up of two of the best defenses in the nation -- the Bulls and the Huskies rank 12th and sixth in total defense, respectively.

Coming of a strong effort against one the nation's top quarterbacks in Louisville's Brian Brohm, who threw two interceptions and was held in check for the majority of the game, UConn's defense will have to switch gears a bit as they must account for a double-threat in South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe.

Grothe's legs have been just as much a weapon as his arm this season. Coming into today's game against the Huskies, Grothe leads the Bulls in both passing and rushing with five touchdowns on the ground and eight through the air.

The Huskies will likely pay more attention to Grothe, as he ran all over the UConn defense Oct. 7 of last season. Grothe ran for three scores, leading the Bulls to a 38-16 win.

UConn's counterpart behind center is Tyler Lorenzen, a junior college transfer that has given the Huskies some stability in the passing game.

The Huskies come onto the field in all-blue uniforms while South Florida sports white jerseys with dark green pants and gold helmets.

Stay tuned for further updates as the game progresses.

Stuffed Rice

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Turns out that all those people who thought that this game between West Virginia's 7th-ranked Mountaineers and Rutgers would turn out to be a head-to-head showdown between WVU's tailback Steve Slaton and his Scarlet counterpart Ray Rice, especially in what was a driving rain at times, were missing the point.

Seems that football games still revolve around quarterback play and as the teams headed to the locker room the reason the Mountaineers held a 17-3 advatage was because WVU's quarterback Patrick White was overwhelming while Rurtgers' Mike Teel was quite underwhelming.

Not that Slaton and Rice weren't doing their thing. Slaton did break away on a 38-yard touchdown scamper that was mostly ad lib. Staton started to his left, saw a greeting committee of black clad Rutgerians, and decided that a change of plans was in order.

Reversing field and helped by a nifty fake, Slaton found himself running down the right sideline and diving into the end zone.

Rutgers was trying to rely on Rice, its Heisman Trophy candidate. On his first carry, he became the first Rutgers back every to surpass 1,000 yards in three straight seasons. They kept giving him the ball, 16 times in all, during the first quarter but had nothing to show for it.

They cut back on the carries in the second quarter, giving him just three more tries. At halftime Rice had 19 carries for 76 tards, Slaton eight for 62 and his touchdown.

But White was the difference, rushing for 72 yards on 12 tries, including a 1-yard touchdown, and throwing for 54 yards on six completions in 9 attempts. White had come into the game with just two career carries against Rutgers for minus-3 yards, having been a backup to Adam Bednarik as a freshman and having been injured last year.

At the same time, Teel was but 3 for 9 for 27 yards passing, leaving Rutgers with Rice as the only bullet in their gun.

Rutgers, rain, Rice await WVU

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The tipoff to what kind of day it is going to be as you approach Rutgers Stadium from New Jersey Route 18 is there before you as you sit idling in traffic.

"Roadway flooded" says the sign.

Now you know where all the rain from California has gone. For the third time in their four visits, West Virginia University's football team was greeted by a downpour and an upset-minded Rutgers football team that hopes the foul weather can slow down the No. 7 Mountaineers' dynamic duo of quarterback Patrick White and running back Steve Slaton.

The Mountaineers come into the game with the nation's No. 2 rushing offense, averaging 304.1 yards a game but they don't hold the patent on the running game, facing in Rutgers' tailback Ray Rice a bonafide Heisman Trophy candidate who needs one yard to reach 1,000 for the season.

"Ray Rice is one of the best in the country and we think Steve is one of the best as well," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "It should be a lot of fun for the fans to watch."

Do not, however, think the two are similiar in anything but results and that the game boils down to a head-to-head battle between the Big East's two best running backs.

"This is not Ray Rice against Steve Slaton because neither one plays defense," Rodriguez said. "A lot of times it's too much of this guy against that guy. They're in different systems going against different guys, not themselves. I don't even know if the comparison thing is fair to either guy."

WVU comes into the game at 6-1, 1-1 in the conference, while Rutgers is 5-2, 2-1 in the conference.

October 19, 2007

Another One Bites The Dust

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Rutgers has developed a reputation for spoiling the hopes of national champions to be, and Thursday night, the Scarlet Knights upheld that reputation in front of the whole nation. In front of 44,267 screaming fans, the largest crowd ever assembled at Rutgers Stadium, the Scarlet Knights played an uncharacteristically brilliant defensive game to put out the flame of the red-hot South Florida Bulls, handing the nation's No. 2 team their first loss of the season, 30-27, and dashing their title hopes on the largest stage imaginable for these two Big East powers. With special teams stealing the show, it was a wild ride, but Rutgers relied on old faithful running back Ray Rice to burn the stout USF defense for 181 yards rushing and in a back-and-forth battle of trickery and out-of-nowhere skill showcases, Rutgers was left standing as the giant in the Big East.

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October 18, 2007

Just Call Them The Scarlet Spoilers

PISCATAWAY, NJ - The Bulls had one final chance to win this game. With 1:33 on the clock, no timeouts and the ball at the Rutgers 49, Matt Grothe went to work. And got sacked. The relentless Rutgers defense got to this team once again, dropping Grothe for a costly 12-yard loss. On 4th and 22, Grothe appeared to have it, connecting with Amarri Jackson for a huge gain that would have been a first down, but the Jackson was called for offensive pass interference, sending the Bulls back to their own 24 with a 4th and 37. Grothe launched one, but this time Rutgers came down with it, sealing a huge win for the Scarlet Knights, who would not be denied.

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Who Was That To?

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Matt Grothe may have just given the ball away. On a third and 15 from the Rutgers 45, he and wide receiver Jessie Hester were on two very different pages and as a wide open Hester watched the pass intended for him sail off the fingertips of a nearby Rutgers defender, he must have seen the ballgame slipping away, too. Hester was all alone in the middle of the field with plenty of room to turn and get the first down - what route Grothe thought he was going to run is anyone's guess, but it's clear from the wild gesticulations of Hester as he approached Grothe on the sideline and he thought the QB in the wrong and himself in the right.

Better Late Than Never

PISCATAWAY, NJ - The USF defense picked an excellent time to force its first turnover of the game. With just over 4 minutes remaining on the clock, linebacker Brouce Mompremier got his helmet right on the ball cradled in Ray Rice's arm and forced the fumble, which Ben Moffit was in perfect position to recover. The turnover gives the Bulls a first down at the Rutgers 40 down three points with 4:09 on the clock, more than enough time to tie the game or go downfield and win it, as long as they remain turnover free and find a way to run through the suddenly stout Rutgers defense. All of that, however, is easier said than done, especially after having played a tough, rough-and-tumble 56 minutes of football already.

Right Back In It

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Well that's one way to do it. The Bulls offense just showed up and in no-nonsense style, marched 70 yards downfield in 8 plays and 2:37 of game time, capping the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Mike Ford. The Bulls just pulled themselves to within three, as the score stands at 30-27 in favor of the Scarlet Knights. If you were thinking of going anywhere, don't. With 9:16 of gametime left, this is going to be one frenzied finish.

He Can Kick, Too

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Jeremy Ito just lined up for a 51-yard field goal attempt and, much to the surprise of most people in the stadium, actually swung his leg on the kick. Ito's 51-yard field goal attempt split the uprights cleanly, making him as good a kicker as he is a passer (he is 1-for-1 for 36 yards passing tonight). And the Rutgers defense has yet to let up, sacking Grothe five times tonight through three quarters and three minutes of football.

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Stay With What Works

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Maybe Rutgers should keep fumbling their returns. Following a USF field goal, Rutgers returnman James Townson fumbled the ball, only to scoop it up and scamper free for a huge return, giving the Scarlet Knights excellent field position in USF territory at the 49. This game has become far more of a special teams battle than anyone anticipated.

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Fake Out, Again

PISCATAWAY, NJ - When Rutgers' field goal unit came on to attempt a chip shot field goal halfway through the third quarter, if USF did not realize that the play would be a fake, they were probably the only ones that were caught unawares. Holder Andrew DePaola grabbed the ball, stood up and dropped back to pass, and as a USF defender sailed by, unable to wrap him up, DePaoloa threw his first career pass, a 15-yard TD toss to tight end Kevin Brock. The score gives Rutgers a much more comfortable 27-17 lead late in the third quarter.

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Really Special Teams

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Special teams have certainly been special tonight. Rutgers fumbled another punt return in the third quarter, giving the Bulls a first down from the Rutgers 24 yard line. But the Rutgers defense continues to impress in this second half, pressuring Grothe far more than they could in the first half, and making USF give up the ball twice. On this last possession, the Scarlet Knights forced a field goal, only to block it and then attempt to shuffleboard-style push the ball toward the end zone and pull off what USF could not do earlier. Their attempt, too, was foiled, but the score remains 20-17 in favor of the Scarlet Knights.

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You Wanted Excitement?

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Here's some excitement. after holding USF to a 3-and-out on its first possession, Rutgers came out ready to roll. Teel found Tiquan Underwood for a 69-yard catch-and-run TD less than three minutes into the second half. Underwood's catch gave him 102 yards on the day, marking his fifth 100-yard game this season. And you can be sure he's not done yet.

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Halftime On Exit 9

PISCATAWAY, NJ - So far, this game has been the Big East battle most people expected to see out of these two teams. Ray Rice is running effectively, Matt Grothe is directing his offense like a pro, and both teams have come up with some off-the-board brilliance (see fake punt and blocked field goal, respectively). Grothe’s 18-yard touchdown run was matched only by Hester’s 28-yard touchdown catch, although Rutgers’ 3-yard strike from Teel to Underwood wasn’t so bad, either. The 17-13 halftime score tells the story of this one very accurately – it’s a skin-of-their-teeth battle, and these fans are in for two more good quarters of football.

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Did You See That!?!

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Well that was interesting. Jeremy Ito just lined up to kick a field goal and the craziest play of the day has just graced Rutgers Stadium. The field goal was blocked and Mike Jenkins picked it up and ran with it, only to cough the ball up somewhere around midfield. Tyrone McKenzie, who originally blocked the punt, then scooped up the bouncing ball and ran with it before he too was brought down, coughing up the ball again in the process and tossing an illegal forward pass as he did so. Trae Williams then picked up the ball and ran it in for a score, but despite Jim Leavitt's vehement protests, the Bulls were called for an illegal forward pass on the second exchange of that "what-exactly-was-that" play, and the Bulls will take over from the Rutgers 44 yard line.

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Imperfection, And The Lead

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Even Grothe is capable of imperfection. The USF QB has now thrown his first - and second - incomplete passes of the game, in quick succession, giving this Rutgers crowd a reason to stand up and cheer again. The first pass was a bit low for its intended receiver, but the second was a clear drop. If USF is going to win this game in some way other than the feet of Matt Grothe, the Bulls receivers are going to have to stop dropping passes.

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All Tied Up

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Ray Rice is keeping Rutgers alive in this game. The running back is breaking tackles and finding holes in this supposedly impenetrable USF defense. Helped along by an egregious face mask penalty called on the Bulls for dragging Rice down by the untouchable part of the helmet, the Scarlet Knights just drive right downfield and tied the game at 10. The scoring play was a three-yard TD pass from Mike Teel to Tiquan Underwood after a first and goal from the 3 turned into a second and goal from the 6 and then into a third and goal from the three.

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No More Mr. Nice Bull

PISCATAWAY, NJ - USF has had enough of this playing around. It's time to quiet this crowd and the Bulls only needed five plays to do so, and the final one was quite the highlight.

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Inauspicious Beginning

PISCATAWAY, NJ - USF's first play from scrimmage was not a pretty one. Quarterback Matt Grothe lined up in the shotgun, snapped his foot, then moved up to audible to the line, then dropped down under center, then clearly not knowing what exactly he was supposed to do, took a timeout.

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Faked Out

PISCATAWAY, NJ - It appeared as though the USF defense would bend, but not break on Rutgers' first drive of the game after the Scarlet Knights failed to convert a 3rd down and 8 from the USF 49. But then Rutgers pulled an LSU.

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Dirty Jersey?

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Rutgers won the toss and elected to start on offense first. After a touchback, It was a dirty first play, with offsetting penalties for holding and a face mask negating a big run by Rutgers. Hopefully this is not the sign of a dirty game to come.

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RU-USF Quick Hits

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Tonight's game is the third-ever meeting between these two Big East teams (the series is tied, 1-1) ... Ray Rice is Rutgers' all-time leader in career rushing yards (3,536) and career rushing touchdowns (35) entering his sixth game of the season ... Rice is tied for second in the NCAA in scoring (13.2 ppg) ... USF currently holds the nation's longest winning streak, at 8 games ... During that 8-game stretch, no team has scored more than 23 points against the Bulls defense...

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Welcome To Beautiful Piscataway

PISCATAWAY, NJ - The kickoff hour has arrived, and the chants of "RU! RU!" can be heard miles away. Rutgers-USF is on tap here at Rutgers Stadium and the fans are ready for the biggest game these Rutgers fans have seen since, well, last year.

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October 13, 2007

Cards Capture Keg

CINCINNATI - The Cards intercepted Mauk with 7 seconds left to send the Bearcats to their first loss of the year and take home for the 4th straight year the Keg of Nails.
The game really came down to turnovers, UC committted 4 while the Cards had non. The normally stout UC defense was exposed through the air giving up over 400 yards passing.
The Cardinals did what a team needs to do to beat Cincy which is take care of the ball. Mistake-free football won this game for Louisville.

Game-Winning drive?

CINCINNATI - With 4:46 left in the game UC forces the Ville to punt, a touchback setting up the possibility of a game winning drive for Mauk, or a game ending pick. 28-24 Louisville 4:46 left.

Packed house at Nippert

CINCINNATI - Second-straight sellout for the Bearcats (35,097 to be exact) athe the crowd is spilling into the aisle ways. Hard to tell who's rooting for who with the two teams having similar colors. The students are packed in like sardines, you probably couldnt slide their parents credit cards between them. However they continue to cheer as one, something not seen at UC in quite sometime.

Cards take first lead

CINCINNATI - After the 54 yard pass from Brohn the Cards take a 28-21 lead after rumbling in for a 4-yard touchdown run. The lead is the first of the game for Louisville, 10:37 left in the game .

Another 4th and 1

CINCINNATI - Another 4th and 1, and Kelly goes for it again, this time Mauk is stopped short (a bad spot didnt help his cause any). As i typed that Brohm takes the first snap and goes about 51 yards in the air to Harry Douglas with an amazing catch with DeAngelo Smith all over him. 1st and goal Cards on the Cincy 4 1/2 yard line.
Smith has been burnt three times for big plays today.

Another turnover

CINCINNATI - Touchdown machine Marus Barnett puts the ball on the ground after about a 5 yard gain. Real costly considering UC was on the move and just got into the redzone. Thats the third fumble of the game for UC and 2nd they've lost.

Tied again

CINCINNATI - After a sack pushed the Cards offense back, Brohm had all day to throw and after escaping the pocket found Patrick Carter wide open in the back of the endzone to tie the game back up at 21. 3:01 left in the 3rd. You get the feeling the longer this game is tied the more likely it is the Brohm will make a game changing throw or two.

Cats take the lead

CINCINNATI - Marcus Barnett's 8th TD catch of the season puts UC up 21-14 with 4:44 left in the 3rd.

Correction, Canfield not back

CINCINNATI - Canfield did jog back onto the field in the second quarter, but has not played lately. Chris Flores has been in his place.

Still tied

CINCINNATI - After the big pass from Brohm the Louisville offense sputtered out and missed a 44-yard FG attempt which energized the UC faithful and keeping the game tied at 14 with 7 min. left in the 3rd.

Big play Cards

CINCINNATI - Brohm with time, pump fakes to Douglas, Smith the corner, bites hard and the safety was late getting there putting the Cards in Cincinnati territory.

Canfield ok.

CINCINNATI - UC offensive lineman Trevor Canfield who was helped off the field at the end of the first half cam jogging back on with 14 minutes left in the 2nd quarter and has been playing ever since.

Crowd erupts

CINCINNATI - Mauk with a perfect fade pass to Marcu Barnett in the endzone to put UC up 7. thats the 7th of the year for the redshit freshman. The catch put the crowd into a frenzy. Also, starting offensive lineman Trevor Canfield was helped off the field into the locker room on the previous play. More on his condition as it becomes available.

Tied at the half

CINCINNATI - Louisville drives for a TD at the end of the half on a nice drive that tied the game at 14. The normally stout UC defens has allowed 149 yards through the air, bu only 18 on the ground. While the Bearcat offense has 219 yards of total offense, they only have 14 points to show for it.
At the half the Homecoming court was announced, along with president Nancy Zimpher. Apparently all the good will built up with the success of the football team has not allowed UC fans to forget about the Huggins debacle a few years back as Zimpher received a hearty boo from the capacity crowd.

Killing themselves

CINCINNATI - The Cardinals have commited two costly personal fouls, one on a late hit on Goodman, the other a roughing the passer to give UC 30 free yards and puts them in the redzone. Then a defensive holding call to give the Bearcats 1st and 10 from the Louisville 10

Amazing catch for the tie

CINCINNATI - Brock Bolen with a great catch with UC defenders all around him, diving low for the catch to tie the game at 7 with 2:58 left in the first.

Cards on the move

CINCINNATI - The highly touted UC defense has been gashed for a few good gains by the Cards offense, both on the ground and through the air, and now have 1st and goal on the 9.

Getting Chippy

Cincinnati - After a 5 yd run by Brock Bolen, the two teams engage in a few extra curriculars after the play. No fouls though as its broken up quickly. Emotions running high in this one.

Bearcats draw first blood

CINCINNATI - fter the gutsy 4th and 1 call, the Bearcats score three plays later on a WR screen to Dominick Goodman screen pass from 24 yds out. Unsportmanlike conduct called as Goodman dives into the endzone. Ridiculous call with defenders around him. The dive was warranted. 11 plays 71 yards on the drive for UC

4th and 1

As usual, Brian Kelly goes for it on 4th and 1 on the Cardinals 35 and draw and offsides for the first. UC's offense has been moving the ball at will against Louisville, when they dont turn it over.

Quick start negated

Cincinnati - with the Bearcats marching down the field junior runningback Butler Benton breaks loose for 15 yards but fumles inside the 10, recovered by the Ville. 1st and 10 Louisville from their own 10

Bearcats win

CINCINNATI - The toss and has elected to receive.

The Rivalry

CINCINNATI - The student section has been packed for about an hour before game time and ready to go. As the Louisville players gathered in the edzone for their pregame punt practice, the students began giving to the visiting Cardinals. The Students are as energized as ever.

Continue reading "The Rivalry" »

October 07, 2007

Growing Up

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - With all the attention that has been placed on the Big East, it's easy to forget sometimes that most of the conference's premier programs are still developing.

Whether it's a newcomer to big time college football, a longtime doormat growing into a powerhouse, or a team looking to become the second major college program in a state that's only had one, the teams of the Big East, by and large, are looking to take steps forward to build a program.

On Saturday night, it was Cincinnati that took those steps.

Continue reading "Growing Up" »

October 06, 2007

Too-Much-To-Bearcats

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - This one had its moments, but Cincinnati has defeated Rutgers, marking back-to-back losses for the Scarlet Knights for the first time since November '05 and keeping the Bearcats defeated under Brian Kelly, 28-23.

Continue reading "Too-Much-To-Bearcats" »

Goodnight, Knights...We Think.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Passes to Tim Brown, Tiquan Underwood and Ray Rice had Rutgers moving and driving deep into Cincinnati territory, but Ryan Manalac jumped the route on a pass intended for Brown, and this one is just about almost nearly in the bag.

Continue reading "Goodnight, Knights...We Think." »

One More Time

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - On third and three with 2:24 to play, Ben Mauk threw behind his man on a short route, and Rutgers gets the ball back, first and 10 from the 20 with 2:13 to play and two timeouts.

Rutgers ran the two-minute drill effectively last week against Maryland, but Mike Teel hasn't had nearly as good a night tonight, so we'll see how it goes from here.

Buckle up, everyone, we're in for a hard-fought finish in Piscataway.

Achilles Teel

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The next obstacle for Rutgers to get through is for Mike Teel to prove that he can win the game, as opposed to simply not losing it.

After a couple of near disastrous plays on Rutgers' last drive, the Knights are still waiting...and still losing.

Cincinnati ball, first and 10 at the 20, 4:44 to play.

Stop And Go

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Ben Mauk fumbles at the Rutgers 37, and the Scarlet Knights are on the attack.

Continue reading "Stop And Go" »

One-Score Game

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers was looking for the touchdown, but a field goal still helps.

Jeremy Ito connects from 47 yards to make it 28-23 Cincinnati with 9:58 to play.

Handfuls Of Rice

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers is staying very well grounded in the wake of those two Cincinnati touchdowns.

Ray Rice is starting to gain some traction, sophomore quarterback Jabu Lovelace has helped with a couple of keepers, and the Knights are in Cincinnati territory.

Continue reading "Handfuls Of Rice" »

How Quickly Things Change

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers is in trouble.

After Mike Teel's pass was picked off by Andre Revels, Cincinnati took over at its own 27, and promptly scored on a 27-yard Mauk pass to Marcus Gilyard.

Cincinnati 28, Rutgers 20.

Surviving Stupidity

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It's 21-20 Cincinnati, as Ben Mauk finds Marcus Barnett for a two-yard scoring strike.

What's really amazing about the play is how hard Cinci tried not to score the touchdown, and managed to score it anyway.

Continue reading "Surviving Stupidity" »

Pivotal Moment In Piscataway

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Cincinnati ball, down 20-14, third and goal from the two. This is going to be one huge play.

Too Close For Comfort

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The 43,768 fans didn't get the touchdown they wanted, but they get a 25-yard Jeremy Ito field goal that puts the Scarlet Knights up 20-14.

Continue reading "Too Close For Comfort" »

We're Still Playing Here

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - In case anyone forgot that we're still playing a football game here in the buzz over Stanford's upset of USC, Tim Brown just popped the crowd with a leaping 42-yard catch to set Rutgers up in the red zone.

On a night when some of the biggest plays have been made by Cincinnati receivers, Brown's catch could turn into a key play, as Rutgers looks to get back that touchdown by the Bearcats, which still stands as the only score of the second half.

Running Wild

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - A three-yard run by Bradley Glatthar puts Cincinnati in the end zone, and it's a 17-14 ballgame.

The Bearcats went 46 yards in eight plays in 3:01 for the score, on a drive started by a Mike Teel interception. Points off of turnoves are tough to take, and this next drive will be key for Rutgers.

Continue reading "Running Wild" »

Halftime In Piscataway

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It's 17-7 at halftime, as Rutgers has turned in a strong first-half performance, and apparently shaken off last week's slow start and eventual loss.

Continue reading "Halftime In Piscataway" »

Rice Stands Alone

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Ray Rice officially stands alone as Rutgers' all-time leader in rushing touchdowns. His record-breaking 35th run into the end zone makes it 17-7 Rutgers with 3:28 to play in the first half.

He's also the No. 6

Continue reading "Rice Stands Alone" »

Ito Impressive

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Jeremy Ito has put Rutgers up 10-7 with a 27-yard field goal, capping off a 12-play, 76-yard drive that took 5:02 off the clock.

It was a nice kick, but Ito's been contributing all night for the Knights.

Continue reading "Ito Impressive" »

Apparently, They Don't Like Losing

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The first offensive touchdown of the game belongs to the Bearcats, as Ben Mauk finds Dominick Goodman for a 15-yard touchdown pass, and we're tied, 7-7.

So ends the Bearcats' first deficit since trailing Marshall 2-0 in the first quarter in Week 4. It lasted all of three minutes and 16 seconds, as Cincinnati went 10 plays for 79 yards in 1:48.

Wake-Up Call in New Jersey

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It took almost 10 minutes, but Rutgers has put points on the board.

Devin McCourty makes his second career interception return for a touchdown, picking off a pass intended for Marcus Barnett and taking it straight to the end zone. Jeremy Ito makes the kick, it's 7-0 Scarlet Knights, and Rutgers Stadium is rocking tonight.

Wake-Up Call in New Jersey

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It took almost 10 minutes, but Rutgers has put points on the board.

Devin McCourty makes his second career interception return for a touchdown, picking off a pass intended for Marcus Barnett and taking it straight to the end zone. Jeremy Ito makes the kick, it's 7-0 Scarlet Knights, and Rutgers Stadium is rocking tonight.

Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Seven minutes and 44 seconds have passed in this game, and there are no points on the board.

But don't think for a second that things have been boring here in New Jersey.

Continue reading "Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing" »

Now Where Have I Seen That Before?

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Credit Brian Kelly with going for the jugular on the road, but credit Greg Schiano with knowing how to play the game.

The Bearcats went for it on fourth-and-1 at the Rutgers 49, and appeared to have it before it was realized that Greg Schiano had called timeout right before the snap.

Now, where have we seen that before

Bradley Glatthaar didn't have the same luck the next time around, and Rutgers took over on downs.

Continue reading "Now Where Have I Seen That Before?" »

Knights At Knight

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - A Saturday night contest in the Big East featuring an undefeated team on the road, and a homestanding team looking for revenge. The teams in question are Rutgers and Cincinnati. Talk about a case of "uv ajed."

That would be "deja vu" backwards, by the way, and that's what we have tonight at Rutgers Stadium as the No. 20 Bearcats of the University of Cincinnati, sitting at 5-0 on the season, visit the No. 21 Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who are 3-1 in the 2007 season.

Continue reading "Knights At Knight" »

September 29, 2007

...And Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It's almost certain that when Greg Schiano took over this Rutgers program, he envisioned it one day being talked about amongst the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

He may have even wanted it in the worst way...and on Saturday afternoon, that's exactly how he got it.

Continue reading "...And Rutgers" »

Cheer The Turtle: Maryland Takes Down Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. You know that scene in Animal House where Bluto stands up and gives the impassioned speech about how it's not over until they decide it is (including the immortal question about whether it was "over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?").

I definitely have visions of it on a Saturday like this one.

West Virginia, dead.
Oklahoma, dead.
Texas, dead.
Rutgers...

OK, well, they're not dead, of course, but their hopes of an undefeated season are. The part of that that happened at Rutgers Stadium was a 34-24 win by Maryland over the No. 10 Scarlet Knights.

Continue reading "Cheer The Turtle: Maryland Takes Down Rutgers" »

Let's Go, Chop Chop

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It comes down to this.

Lattimore is stopped for no gain on fourth and a yard, and Rutgers takes over at its own 25 (thanks to unsportsmanlike conduct after the play), with 2:34 to score and win or tie.

Looks like we're in for quite a finish at Rutgers Stadium.

One Stop, One Score

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - 4:41 and three points stand between Rutgers and the likes of Oklahoma, West Virginia and - in all likelihood, Texas.

A one-yard Ray Rice touchdown run has the Scarlet Knights within 3 at 27-24.

Continue reading "One Stop, One Score" »

Turn, Turn, Turn

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Chris Turner has come up huge today for the Terrapins with Jordan Steffy down.

A huge completion to LaQuan Williams on third and 12 put Maryland on the Rutgers 2, and Keon Lattimore all but walked into the end zone from there.

Maryland 27, Rutgers 17.

Continue reading "Turn, Turn, Turn" »

Triple-Wide

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Egekeze misses again, from 37 yards, and Rutgers will start from the 20.

If the Scarlet Knights can come back again in this fourth quarter and win this game, the kicking game will certainly be a major topic of conversation around College Park.

In the meantime, it's still Maryland 20, Rutgers 17.

More Trouble For Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Mike Teel threw his first interception of the day, and the Terrapins are driving once again.

Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights are without junior safety Glen Lee, who was injured on a third down play.

It's going to be a long afternoon, folks...as it has been around the country.

Happy Feet

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Maryland retakes the lead on a 37-yard field goal by Egekeze, as the junior seems to have shaken off his two missed kicks from the first half.

Continue reading "Happy Feet" »

Getting His Kick(s)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Obi Egekeze has gotten the monkey off his back.

While some might have expected Ralphi Friedgen to treat the red zone as four-down territory after Egekeze's two missed field goals in the first half - one of which, admittedly, was a 51-yarder - the junior from Augusta, Ga., connected on a 26-yard field goal to tie this game up at 17.

Continue reading "Getting His Kick(s)" »

How Quickly Things Change

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - And here I was thinking my halftime comments would be about Rutgers' hopes for a comeback.

Not that he knows I'm here, or knows I exist, but I'll bet Ralph Friedgen was thinking something similar.

Continue reading "How Quickly Things Change" »

Giving "Two-Minute Drill" A New Meaning

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - So apparently, it was a two minute drill after all...for the whole team.

After a three-and-out by the Rutgers defense, Teel and company come back out on the field and go 69 yards in three plays, run in a mere 23 seconds, and a Teel-to-Underwood touchdown pass has Rutgers up 17-14.

It's halftime in Piscataway, and we've got a halftime update coming up.

Momentum Swing

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - How about a one-minute drill?

The Terrapins are still up, but the mood has definitely turned.

After the second missed field goal of the day by Obi Egekeze, Mike Teel directs the Rutgers offense in a beautiful execution of the two-minute drill, culminating in a 20-yard pass to Tim Brown for the touchdown.

Maryland 14, Rutgers 10.

Continue reading "Momentum Swing" »

Slipping Through Their Fingers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Two fumbles in short succession have the Scarlet Knights in trouble.

The first one cost the Scarlet Knights seven points already, as on third and 8, Jordan Steffy finds Darrius Hayward-Bey for a 15-yard touchdown pass, and it's now 14-3 Maryland.

Then after, Mike Teel found Kenny Britt for a 24-yard pass to put the Scarlet Knights at midfield, Ray Rice fumbled on the next play and the Terrapins are driving again.

Continue reading "Slipping Through Their Fingers" »

Ball-In'

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - We have a "Ball game" on our hands, ladies and gentlemen.

Senior Lance Ball runs 19 yards into the end zone, and Maryland is up 7-3 with 13:02 left in the first half.

Continue reading "Ball-In'" »

No-Fear Turtles

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - You can say this about Maryland thus far. They've come to New Jersey without a hint of fear.

However, no fear means no points, thus far.

Continue reading "No-Fear Turtles" »

Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing...For Now

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Keon Lattimore has shown himself to be more than capable of holding his own next to Rice, with some big runs on Maryland's first drive, but so far, it's all for naught.

Continue reading "Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing...For Now" »

A Fair Beginning

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - A pass interference call put Rutgers in the red zone - although really, the whole stadiuum is a "Red Zone" - but a key run-stuffing of Rice on first down threw off the Scarlet Knights' scoring drive, and Rutgers winds up settling for a 29-yard Jeremy Ito field goal.

It's a 10-play drive for 68 yards, taking 4:03 off the clock. A solid start for the home team.

Dodging the Bullet

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - So much for relying on Rice early.

Continue reading "Dodging the Bullet" »

R U Ready

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Good afternoon from Rutgers Stadium, where the No. 10 Scarlet Knights are getting ready to kick off against Maryland. The Scarlet Knights are looking for a 4-0 start heading into next week's Big East opener against Cincinnati, while the Terrapins are looking to shake off last week's collapse against reigning ACC champion Wake Forest.

A few thoughts as we get ready to go here in Piscataway...

Continue reading "R U Ready" »

September 28, 2007

South Florida holds on to upset No. 5 WVU

Continue reading "South Florida holds on to upset No. 5 WVU" »

Big game, big crowd, maybe a big upset

Continue reading "Big game, big crowd, maybe a big upset" »

Mountaineers on a slippery slope

Continue reading "Mountaineers on a slippery slope" »

A game of TOs, not TDs

TAMPA, Fla. -- As play began, Raymond James Stadium was filled with electricity, which was a good thing, considering it had already turned dark and they needed the lights on.
After watching No. 5 West Virginia and No. 18 South Florida perform before a sellout crowd, it might have been kinder if they had left the lights off.
No one could hold the ball.
By the time the first quarter was over, South Florida had turned the ball over three times.
And the No. 18 Bulls were in front.
It turns out that they weren't the only team turning things over.
The USF defense had the Mountaineers totally stymied, recovered a fumble of their own by Steve Slaton after a killer hit by linebacker Tyrone McKenzie and then got the game's first score when quarterback Patrick White's third-down pass was deflected bydefensive end Jarriet Bowie and intercepted by linebacker Ben Moffitt and run 27 yards into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

USF enters the big time, and that's no Bull

TAMPA, Fla. -- This is a city that has hosted the Super Bowl and a Final Four, you'd think a regular season college football game would draw nothing more than a yawn from the populace, but the entire Sun Coast area has gone ga-ga over No. 5 West Virginia invades the Ray J. to face the No. 18 University of South Florida Bulls.

Continue reading "USF enters the big time, and that's no Bull" »

September 15, 2007

Final: Kentucky 40, Louisville 34

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Andre Woodson hit Steve Johnson on a 56-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds remaining as Kentucky upset in-state rival No. 9 Louisville 40-34 at Commonwealth Stadium. What an amazing game, and what a great win for Rich Brooks and the Wildcats. Fans are running everywhere on the field. Fireworks are popping. And the collapseable goalposts are coming down.

I'll have a final post after the press conference.

Cards back in front

LEXINGTON, Ky. - All week long, the experts said this game might be won by the team that had the ball last.

Now we'll find out if they were right. UK will have it last, but that's because U of L just scored the go-ahead touchdown on a two-yard run by Anthony Allen. Two-point conversion attempt failed, so U of L's lead is only one point.

Could this come down to the leg of Lones Seiber?

Game on the line

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Third-and-goal from the 2-yard line for U of L, trailing UK 33-28 with 1:50 to play. This is it for the Cards. Cats D looking for another goal-line stand.

Woodyard Stones the 'Ville

LEXINGTON, Ky. - UK's Wesley Woodyard stops U of L's Gary Barnage at the 2-yard line. The UK defense stands and delivers, and the momentum rests with the team in blue. The Cats (read: UK's gassed defense) could use a long, time-consuming drive by the offense.

The clock is your friend, Andre Woodson.

Go for it?

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Decision time for Steve Kragthorpe. Louisville has the ball fourth-and-goal at the UK six yard line. UK leads 33-28. What would you do? Kick the field goal or go for the touchdown and the lead?

I'd kick. There's still 9:30 to play. The way the game has gone, this isn't U of L's last chance. Kick the field goal and cut the lead to 2. Looks like they're going for it.

Kentucky takes the lead

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Jacob Tamme wanted it more. UK's tight end just out-jumped and out-fought U of L corner Rod Council for that Andre Woodson pass in the back of the end zone. UK leads 33-28, and Commonwealth Stadium is rocking with the hope of UK's first win over a top-10 team since a win over Penn State in 1977. Your play, Brian Brohm.

End of Third Quarter: U of L 28, UK 26

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The two teams traded touchdowns early in the quarter and traded missed opportunities for the rest of the quarter. We're heading to the final frame at Commonwealth Stadium with the No. 9 Cardinals clinging to a two-point advantage.

UK, however, is driving. The Wildcats just advanced the ball to the U of L 35, where they have it first-and-ten. Key storyline of the game: The play of the UK defensive line. The Cats, who are missing starting tackle Ricky Lumpkin, have consistently pressured Brohm and have made things hard on U of L running back Anthony Allen.

Rich Brooks' prediction that the game would come down to a special teams play looks like it might be right on. UK has to hope that key play hasn't already happened; Trent Guy's kickoff return for a touchdown is the deciding score right now.

Carmody misses

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe gave kicker Art Carmody a chance from 52 yards, but Carmody came up well short. The miss gives UK decent field position (its own 35). Now would be a good time for QB Andre Woodson to heat up and lead a scoring drive.

Like I said...

LEXINGTON, Ky. - That didn't take long. Louisville return man Trent Guy just took the kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown. Louisville reclaims the lead at 28-26. That's Guy's fifth career return for a touchdown (three kickoffs, two punts).

It's on now

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Before last Saturday, Kentucky fullback John Conner had two career carries. Against Kent State, Conner ran for two touchdowns. Seconds ago, he found the end zone again. Conner was the recipient of an Andre Woodson roll-out pass from seven yards out.

Huge drive by UK to reclaim the lead at 26-21. You get the feeling that touchdown might be the first of many in this second half.

Halftime: Louisville 21, Kentucky 19

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The first half of the 2007 Governor's Cup did not disappoint. The half was evenly played, and should yield a competitive second half. Although Kentucky is an underdog, the Wildcats must feel disappointed to enter the locker room trailing by 2. Louisville has erased an early 13-0 UK lead.

The turning point of the half (and maybe the game) occurred with just over three minutes to play in the half. UK head coach Rich Brooks elected to go for it on fourth-and-one from outside the Louisville 30. Offensive coordinator Joker Phillips surprisingly called an option, and UK running back Rafael Little was blown up by a Louisville defender. The Cards took over possession and quickly drove 60-plus yards for the go-ahead score. If Louisville pulls away in the second half, Phillips' call will be questioned for a long time in the Bluegrass.

In the second half, UK might need another couple of turnovers, or at least will need Louisville to make a few mistakes. The UK defensive line was outstanding in the first half, but you would think U of L - now that it has the lead - will make it a priority to get its running game going in the second half.

Don't miss the first drive of the second half. UK would do well not to come up empty. If the Cats can at least get a field goal out of the drive - and retake the lead - the pressure would fall back on Louisville. However, if the Louisville defense comes up with a stop, the explosive Cardinal offense would have an opportunity to stretch the field - and the lead.

Seiber reverts to old form

LEXINGTON, Ky. - So much for solid Lones Seiber. The UK kicker, who missed two extra points in the season-opener against Eastern Kentucky, just missed another one.

Continue reading "Seiber reverts to old form" »

End of First Quarter

LEXINGTON, Ky. - At the end of the first quarter in the Governor's Cup, Kentucky leads Louisville 13-7.

Continue reading "End of First Quarter" »

So much for a rout

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Louisville has responded with a touchdown of its own. Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe made a gutsy (or desperate) decision to go for it on fourth-and-inches from his own 34 yard line.

The play (a Brian Brohm sneak) worked, and the decision paid off. Brohm found running back Anthony Allen on a short touchdown pass and Louisville has pulled to 13-7.

No doubt Lones

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky kicker Lones Seiber, who has been shaky in the season's first two games, has been solid in the first quarter. He just connected on a 31-yard field goal to give Kentucky a 13-0 lead.

Big drive upcoming for Louisville. The Cardinals need to respond to this early UK blitz, and they need to do it soon.

Two Plays, Two Turnovers

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After taking a knee for a touchback on the kickoff, Louisville turned the ball over on its first play from scrimmage.

Continue reading "Two Plays, Two Turnovers" »

UK-U of L ready for kickoff

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Three Army paratroopers landing as gracefully as possible at midfield from thousands of feet in the air just fired up this crowd that needed no extra juice.

Continue reading "UK-U of L ready for kickoff" »

Fans amped for Governor's Cup game

LEXINGTON, Ky. - With about 90 minutes remaining until kickoff of the most anticipated Governor's Cup game in recent history, fans have begun to trickle in to Commonwealth Stadium on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

Continue reading "Fans amped for Governor's Cup game" »

September 13, 2007

A Devine Victory For WVU

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- He was immortalized on YouTube, this high school phenom out of North Fort Myers High School in Florida.

Continue reading "A Devine Victory For WVU" »

Terps start is disastrous

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- A year ago West Virginia stunned Maryland with 28 first-quarter points in a runaway victory. Apparently, nothing changed in a year.
On the first play of the game following a touchback, Maryland quarterback Jordan Steffy fumbled the snap and West Virginia's Johnny Dingle recovered at the Terp 20.
The game was four seconds old.
After stuffing Steve Slaton on the first play following the fumble, Maryland bit on a fake to fullback Owen Schmnitt.
Ooops.l
WVU's elusive quarterback Pat White tucked the ball and snaked his way around left end, cutting left and then right and went into the end zone untouched. That gave West Virginia a 7-0 lead.
The game was 45 seconds old.

WVU-Maryland Pregame

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- For inter-conference opponents who are as familiar with each other as are border rivals West Virginia and Maryland, this game came in with any number of different twists.

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September 07, 2007

Rice Makes Nice

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Ray Rice is amassing quite a lot of milestones in his career at Rutgers - in fact, on the first series of plays tonight he became Rutgers' all-time leading rusher - but after the second game of his junior season, Rice actually accomplished a career first in the Knights' 41-24 win over Navy Friday night.

"It's a lifetime achievement," Rice said of breaking Rutgers' rushing record. "I never really cared about individual awards, but this one means a lot because I did it here at Rutgers Stadium"

The junior running back rushed 37 times for 176 yards and two TDs in front of 43,514 Scarlet-clad fans, the 3rd biggest crowd in Rutgers history, but it was his other touchdown that was the sweetest. In the first quarter, Rice took a Mike Teel pass 22 yards for a score, notching his first-ever TD catch. In all, Rice finished with 40 yards receiving.

It was the first time since 2003 that anyone rushed for over 150 yards against Navy.

Rice now has 360 yards rushing and 5 TDs in Rutgers' two wins on the season. Mike Teel also had a stellar day, finishing 14-for-19 for 266 and 3 TDs to go with one pick.

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Teel Bombs Kenny

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - No this wasn't a Southpark moment but a Mike Teel 53-yard bomb to Kenny Britt for a score to make it 34-17 Rutgers.

The Knights have seemingly pulled away with 9:05 left in the game.

Teel now has 242 yards and 3 TDs to go with one INT. Britt is his leading receiver with 3 catches for 99 yards and the score. Tiquan Underwood is also having a solid game with 5 catches for 80 yards.

For the Mids, Enhada has now thrown 4 completions and 3 interceptions. Not the greatest of ratios, if you ask me. Right now he is 4-for-10 for 32 yards.

Good Knight?

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Well, Navy started the second half strong...at least.

The Mids started the second half with a seven play, 67-yard drive that took 2:41 off the clock and resulted in a QB keeper by Enhada for a score to make it 24-14 Rutgers.

Mike Teel was then picked off by Navy's Ketric Buffin, his 3rd pick in his past 5 games and the 2nd this season, that gave Navy 1st and 10 on the Rutgers' 22 yard line.

But that is when the Navy bubble burst. Last season the Mids had four interceptions all season long, today they have three as Enhada threw another pick, the most in his career and the most by a Navy QB since 2000 agains Tulane, as Courtney Greene got a diving pick in the back of the endzone to give Rutgers the ball back and quiet the Navy drive.

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All Rice And Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Amazingly enough, Ray Rice has never scored a receiving touchdown. It seems the theme of the night is, he has now.

With 34 seconds left in the half, from 22 yards out, Rice took a Mike Teel pass to the house for his first career receiving TD to make the score at halftime 24-7 Rutgers.

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I'm Calling Him Enhada

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Navy junior QB from Hawaii has never thrown two picks in the same game.

He has now.

Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada - I won't spell that out again - threw two terrible passes to no Navy player imparticular. And apparently that is the first time any Navy QB has thrown two picks in a game since 2005, against, coincidentally, Rutgers.

With 46 seconds left in the half, Rutgers is driving again.

Injuries For Navy

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Navy suffered two big injuries already tonight.

I've already reported that senior safety Jeff Deliz is out for the game with a left leg injury.

Now, it is being reported that junior linebacker Clint Sovie has also been lost for the game with a left ankle injury.

And after another Rutgers scoring drive, a field goal that saw the Knights go 51 yards in 12 plays, including eight in which Ray Rice touched the football--seemingly a good idea for Rutgers to give him the ball every play.

With 8:00 left in the first half, Rice has 13 attempts for 69 yards and a TD to go with two catches for 18 yards.

Too Easy Ray

PISCATAWAY, NJ -- Ray Rice isn't wasting any time for Rutgers.

He quickly became the school's all-time leading rusher on the first series of plays. Now, after scoring a TD, with 4:58 left in the 1st quarter, he moves into 5th place on the school's all-time rushing TD list with 29.

Navy safety Jeff Deliz is likely out for the game with a leg injury.

Rice's TD was from 4 yards out. He rushed right, redireted, bounced off the Navy line and found paydirt in the endzone. It was as pretty as a 4-yard rush could be.

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RU-Navy: Rutgers Red

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Scarlet Knights have come out fired up.

After pinning the Mids deep in their own territory, the Knights D held and forced a punt.

That punt was either tipped or the pressure caused a poor punt as the Knights rushed the kicker. Rutgers got the ball back in Navy territory on the 40.

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August 30, 2007

Red Rout

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers was all about business Thursday, taking care of it in fine fashion as they sent the Bulls back to Buffalo licking their wounds.

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Yet Another For Ray

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Ray Rice just ran for another score to put Rutgers up by 32 after Buffalo finally broke through the drive earlier and notched a field goal. So as the third quarter quickly turns blends into the fourth quarter, Rutgers is up 35-3 and this one is essentially over.

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Bulls Out-Classed At Halftime

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers enters halftime with a comfortable 28 point lead and the Scarlet Knights have looked every bit the superior team against the blatantly over-matched and out-classed Bulls.

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Introducing Tiquan Underwood

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - If you didn't know who Tiquan Underwood is, he certainly has made his presence felt in a big way with roughly five minutes remaining in the first half.

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Game Over?

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - We've got 1:24 remaining in the first quarter and it's now 21-0 Rutgers after Mike Teel connected with Tiquan Underwood for a 65 yard touchdown reception that had to have demoralized the Buffalo defense.

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Rice Running Easy

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Buffalo is overmatched trying to stop Ray Rice as the diminutive back scampers, stutters and struts his way into the endzone. Rutgers is now up 14-0 after another Rice touchdown run and the Bulls clearly have shown they have no answer for stopping Rice.

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Rice Off and Running

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The first kickoff of the new season, using the new rules change that moved the football back to the 30-yard line, certainly benefited Rutgers as Kordell Young returned it 56 yards to put the Scarlet Knights in excellent field position.

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College Football's Kickoff

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - College football officially kicksoff the 2007 regular season - in the place it all began in 1869 - just after 7 pm here as Rutgers gets set to take on Buffalo.

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July 17, 2007

Big East: Overall Impressions

NEWPORT, R.I. - There are a few themes to take away from Big East Media Day as things quickly wind down and teams, school officials and media make a hasty exit for their final destinations or the local beaches. One of them involves the conference itself.

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Big East: Striped Rice

NEWPORT, R.I. - Best dressed has to go to Ray Rice. Or maybe more appropriately, most flamboyantly dressed.

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Big East: White vs. Slaton

NEWPORT, R.I. - Steve Slaton and Pat White are teammates, the Big East's most dynamic offensive duo, Heisman Trophy candidates and also as competitive playing each other in Bubbleburst as they are on the gridiron.

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Big East: What About O.J.?

NEWPORT, R.I. - West Virginia grads Pacman Jones and Chris Henry have been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. The two NFL stars have been arrested countless times and seemingly wind up in the newspapers everyday thanks to their latest screw ups off the field. But just because they once played for Rich Rodriguez doesn't mean the coach has anything to do with them nowadays.

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Big East: He Planned It That Way

NEWPORT, R.I. - Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has taken all the decision making out of his hands. He doesn't want to deal with it, doesn't have the time for it and frankly has a few other things on his mind.

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Big East: Forget The Top 25

NEWPORT, R.I. - Count South Florida's Jim Leavitt as one coach who could care less about rankings and polls, even as his Bulls are on the verge of crashing the preseason Top 25 polls that will be released in the coming weeks.

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Big East: They Like WVU

NEWPORT, R.I. - To no one's surprise, West Virginia was tabbed by the media to win the Big East title this season, receiving 20 of 24 first place votes.

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Big East: Stately

NEWPORT, R.I. - Big East Media Day is quickly approaching here in the Viking Hotel and never has there been a cheerier, more optimistic outlook amongst the conference members since the league's reorganization a few seasons ago.

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