Around the Big East
by Matthew McKinley, 11/1/02

Here it is, the game weíve been waiting for. REVENGE. It suuuure can be sweet. I sat through that game in Heinz field last year, surrounded by Pitt fans, and let me tell you, it was miserable. Miserable enough to finish the keg of Iron City afterward. Yuck.

But this year, itís different. Itís gonna be cold. Itís gonna be at Lane. And itís gonna be at night. For Pitt, this spells out a disaster of biblical proportions. I mean, real wrath-of-God type stuff. Plagues, darkness, the dead rising from the grave, earthquakes, volcanoes, riots in the street, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. You know what I mean. Letís show this prehistoric [team] how we do things in Lane.

Big East Standings

Team

Conf W/L

Overall W/L

Virginia Tech

3-0

8-0

Miami

3-0

7-0

Pittsburgh

3-0

6-2

West Virginia

2-1

5-3

Temple

1-2

3-5

Syracuse

1-3

2-6

Boston College

0-3

4-3

Rutgers

0-4

1-7

Last Weekendís Games

(#1) Miami 40, West Virginia 23

Thereís good news, and thereís good news. The good news is Miami won again, and kept their hold at #1 in both polls. (To heck with the BCS right now, itís just not important until the end of the season.) The good news is that they looked vulnerable again. Miami pulled away from a 17-all tie in the 3rd quarter to win the game, but West Virginia ran for a whopping 363 total yards on the day, including 175 yards and a score (and almost 7 yards a carry) from Avon Cobourne. Things are definitely looking up.

Pittsburgh 19, Boston College 16 (OT)

Pitt(sburgh) kicker David Abdul kicked the game-tier with 5 seconds left in regulation, and then booted the game-winner in OT as Boston Collegeís attempt to send it into 2OT was tipped at the line. This after BC rallied for 10 points in the 4th to take a 3 point lead after being down 13-3 in the 2nd period. While all the stats were relatively even on the day, one stat jumped out at me: total penalties, 3. Yes, three. Tres. Drei. Trois (as the Hoos would say). Interesting stat in a Big East game, wouldnít you say?

(#3) Virginia Tech 20, Temple 10

"Iíll tell you what, the defense over there is toughÖIt was a slugfest for four quarters," said Tech G Luke Owens. And the box score reflects that, as Temple was able to hold Untouchables Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones to 72 and 47 yards, respectively. But QB Bryan Randall was equal to the task, as he hit FB Doug Easlick for a wide open 32 yard TD pass in the 3rd quarter to make the score 17-3, and a garbage time TD by Temple was not enough. Thatís three games now in which the Hokies have looked less than stellar. Letís hope they snap out of it by this weekend.

Syracuse 45, Rutgers 14

In the annual Basement Battle between one veteran of the contest and one newcomer, the rookie came out on top as Syracuse avoided the embarrassment of being the first Big East team to lose to Temple and RUT[S]gers in the same year. Big plays seemed to be the order of the day, as Syracuse scored on a 30 yard pass, a 79 yard run, and a 3 yard fumble recovery, while RUT[S]gers only managed points in the special teams department, scoring on a 100 yard kickoff return and a 90 yard return of a blocked FG. The Syracuse QB only passed for 117 yards, but the team added 189 yards on the ground.

This Weekendís Games

(#1) Miami (7-0) @ Rutgers (1-7), Saturday @ 12:00pm, ESPN Gameplan

You know, if margin of victory was still in the computer polls, Iíd call for a RUTS like youíve never seen. But itís not. Iím still calling for a RUTS like youíve never seen.

West Virginia (6-3) @ Temple (3-5), Saturday @ 12:00pm, no TV

Alright, Temple, thatís enough. No more beating Big East teams. Youíve had your chance, now go away quietly.

Boston College (4-3) @ (#6) Notre Dame (8-0), Saturday @ 2:30pm, NBC

This game is critical for us. We need BC to stay above .500, and Notre Dame to lose. Itís that simple. This is a Game to Watch from the Tailgate, and I expect all of you to be cheering on the Eagles.

Syracuse (2-6) @ Central Florida (3-4), Saturday @ 7:00pm, ESPN Gameplan

Hey, Syracuse! You finally won a Division 1A game! What are you going to do now? "Weíre going to Disney World!" Donít forget to beat the Knights while youíre there, okay?

Pittsburgh (6-2) @ (#3) Virginia Tech (8-0), Saturday @ 7:30pm, ESPN2

Cold. Lane. Night. That spells out a disaster of biblical proportions for Pitt. See above.

Games to Watch from the Parking Lot

There seems to be a few good games on this weekend. Here are a few to watch.

Wisconsin @ Iowa, Saturday @ 12:10pm, ESPN

Iowa is looking good. Too good. They need to lose. See below.

Boston College @ Notre Dame, Saturday @ 2:30pm, NBC

GOOOOOOOO EAGLES!

Colorado @ Oklahoma, Saturday @ 3:30pm, ABC

This looks to be a huge game, with an undefeated Oklahoma and a resurgent Colorado. Can the Buffs do what they did last year? Weíll see.

Mini-Rooting Guide

Weíre starting to get a dilemma over in the Big Ten. Itís looking more and more like a second BCS team will come out of the Big Ten, unless Iowa can lose, so we really need to root against them.

Minnesota over Ohio State Ė Only if Wisconsin beats Iowa. Otherwise, OSU needs to win.

Wisconsin over Iowa Ė These guys are playing good football. They need to lose.

Florida over Georgia Ė I donít like those "Silver Britches". Never have.

Nebraska over Texas Ė Texas is at the top of the list for an at-large.

Georgia Tech over NC State Ė The pretenders need to fall.

And, of course, the Tech opponents:

LSU over Kentucky

Texas A&M over Oklahoma State

Boston College over Notre Dame

Syracuse over Central Florida

Arkansas State over Southern Utah

Western Michigan over Ball State

Enjoy the night game, folks.

          

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