Around the Big East
by Matthew McKinley, 10/24/02
Whew! There sure are some big games around the country this week, and….*cough* *cough*….ahem. Sorry about that, this is Around the Big East. Well, we got this titanic matchup for third in the conference this weekend……
Last Weekend’s Games
Virginia Tech 35, Rutgers 14
RUT[S]gers proved pesky for a while, like that West-Nile-carrying mosquito that keeps buzzing around your ear, but the Hokies eventually put away the Knights on the strength of 342 yards rushing. Randall was outstanding in an 11-15, 131 yard effort, and the defense stuffed the Knight ground game to the tune of –7 yards on the day. While it seemed that RUT[S]gers was keeping it a little too close for comfort (at least until DeAngelo Hall’s punt return for a TD in the fourth), I thinkcollegefootballnews.com had it right: "The Hokies didn’t blow away a horrible Rutgers team quite as poorly as they should have. Big deal. If Virginia Tech really wanted to win by 50, it could have." Word.
Temple 38, Connecticut 24
In what seemed to be billed as a "You’re Coming, We’re Going, So We’ll Do Our Best To Spoil Your Party" Game, Tanardo Sharps rushed for a career-high 223 yards as the Owls cruised to a victory. (Hey, give me a break. It’s not often I can say that "the Owls cruised to a victory".) Actually, UConn had closed the gap to 30-24 in the fourth, but the Owls scored on an 80-yard drive (all of the yards gained by Sharps) and completed the two point conversion with 2:48 left. Does that qualify as RUTSing?
Boston College 46, Navy 21
In some ways, it was more lopsided than it looked, as BC led 46-7 early in the fourth. And in some ways, it was less lopsided than it looked, with Navy gaining 446 yards of offense. But BC gained 23 more yards than the Middies, and picked up three more fumbles (5-2) and 1 interception as well. I guess that’s what made the difference. That and the fact that BC is a much better team than Navy. Oh, well, this was probably a look-ahead game to Pitt(sburgh) this weekend.
West Virginia 34, Syracuse 7
And so it continues. This weeks’ Cuseslapping was brought to you by the letters W, V, U, and by the number 22. That’s Avon Cobourne’s number, boys and girls. He’s pretty good. He ran for 100 yards again. Can you say, "Syracuse sucks"? Yesss, I thought you could.
This Weekend’s Games
(#1) Miami (6-0, 2-0) @ West Virginia (5-2, 2-0), Saturday @ 12:00pm, ESPN2
This is looking more interesting as the season goes on. F$U showed that Miami can be vulnerable to a great rushing attack, which the ‘Eers have, but do they have the passing game that opens up the run? We’ll see.
Boston College (4-2, 0-2) @ Pittsburgh (5-2, 2-0), Saturday @ 12:00pm, no TV
And so we come to the battle for third place in the Big East. Who do we want to win here? Let’s see: BC played us close, Pitt(sburgh) hasn’t played us yet. Toss up. BC’s two losses are to Miami and VT, Pitt hasn’t played them yet, their two losses are to ND and aTm. I say go with BC, and hope they pull it out later over Notre Dame.
Temple (3-4, 1-1) @ (#3) Virginia Tech (7-0, 2-0), Saturday @ 1:00pm, no TV
Two weeks in a row, two weeks with no TV. Doesn’t bother me any, I’ll be there. And for those who aren’t? There are plenty of tickets available on the ticket board. Come on out and watch the Hokies play, not the opponents.
Rutgers (1-6, 0-3) @ Syracuse (1-6, 0-3), Saturday @ 1:30pm, no TV
Is this the week that Syracuse beats its’ first D1A team? Probably, but don’t count out the Knights. Syracuse is REALLY bad this year. So is RUT[S]gers, as they lost to Villanova and Buffalo, but they seem to have improved lately. I’m rooting for RUT[S]gers here, because I think it would be funny if they beat Syracuse, and maybe Syracuse will get a new coach after the season if they lose.
Games to Watch from the Parking Lot
Well, I would have picked Notre Dame @ Florida State this week, but they’re on at noon, and we’re on at 1pm, so you’d only see about 15 minutes of that so you’d have time to get to the stadium and sit town 30 minutes before kickoff. Don’t forget, there’s a B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber flyby this weekend. Good thing it’s not a night game, you wouldn’t be able to see it. "What was that? Was that a plane flying overhead?" I am, however, picking two games for the 3:30 slot because they’re on different networks.
North Carolina State @ Clemson, Thursday @ 7:45pm, ESPN
Clemson has the 2nd rated defense in the ACC, but will it be enough against Phillip Rivers and the high-powered Wolfpack passing game? Maybe another undefeated will bite the dust. Just maybe.
Brigham Young @ Colorado State, Thursday @ 10:00pm, ESPN2
My Insomniac Special moved to Thursday this week, as Saturday’s late game are a couple of Washingtons visiting a couple of Arizonas, but neither is visiting the one of their caliber. Anyways, Bring ‘Em Young may be a bit down this year, but….oh, wait, I just checked, they’re 3-4. Never mind, they suck, but the Rams are pretty good this year at 6-2.
Penn State @ Ohio State, Saturday @ 3:30pm, ABC Regional
Huge, huge game. I think Penn State has the stones to take out the undefeated Buckeyes. We are DEFINITELY having this game on at the tailgate after the game.
Georgia @ Kentucky, Saturday @ 3:30pm, CBS
This one is almost as big, but not quite so, as I think Georgia will slip up against Florida next weekend. I just don’t want to have to root for Florida. With 3 top offensive performers out, Georgia might have difficulties in what should be a shootout.
Nebraska @ Texas A&M, Saturday @ 7:00pm, TBS
The Aggies should have their hands full, because this is still Nebraska and they still have talent, just not so much as they used to. However, the Aggies have talent too, and seem to have found an offense in the last three scrimmages against La Tech, Kansas, and Baylor. Can they keep it up against Nebraska? We shall see.
I thought I’d add this in because I sorta miss doing the Weekend Rooting Guide from last year. It was a heck of a lot more work (and BigDave seems to be doing pretty well with his PATT Rooting Guide on the Football Board), but I figure I can pick a few games that Hokies could root on to help out the team. Here goes:
Penn State over Ohio State – Let the Big T1e1n wear themselves down.
Kentucky over Georgia – So I don’t have to root for Florida next week.
Clemson over NC State – " " " " " " " Florida State down the road.
Florida State over Notre Dame – This one hurts to call, folks, but it’s necessary.
LSU over Auburn – Sorry, my friends from Huntsville. We need LSU to win.
Texas A&M over Nebraska – A no-brainer if I ever saw one.
Those were the no-brainer picks. Here are some not-so-clear ones.
Both Iowa schools over both overrated schools – Iowa over Michigan and Iowa State over Texas, I don’t think either one of them takes an at-large from us if (by chance) Miami wins.
RUT[S]gers over Syracuse – Because it’d be funny.
Arkansas State over New Mexico State – They take first place in the RUTS Belt Conference with a win, and the nation heaves a sigh of disinterest.
LA-Lafayette over North Texas – Hustle Up and Bustle Up!