Ray Rice and Rutgers are for real.
Greg Schiano's Scarlet Knights went on the road to Pitt on Saturday and came away with a decisive 20-10 victory. Rutgers' run game was too much for the Panthers to handle as the Scarlet Knights ran for 271 yards compared to Pitt's 119. Rice, a sophomore, had career-highs in attempts and yards, gaining 225 yards on 39 carries.
"[Rice is] the real deal," Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. "He got into the secondary so fast [on a 63-yard run], we didn't have time to react."
Rice sits only behind Northern Illinois' Garrett Wolfe as the country's leading rusher. Rice averages 161 yards per game, compared to Wolfe's 176 per contest.
Rutgers got past its first test, but there appears to be two more looming for the No. 14 team in the latest BCS standings. The Scarlet Knights take on Louisville on Nov. 9, and they end the season on the road against Rich Rodriguez's West Virginia Mountaineers.
BCS Standings: It seems the Big East is the second-strongest conference in college football. Three of the Big East?s eight teams rank in the Top 14 of the BCS standings. The SEC one-ups the conference with four in the Top 14. It was important that West Virginia moved up a spot from No. 5 to No. 4; consequently, there are no one-loss teams ahead of the Mountaineers. On the other side of the eight ball, Louisville fell a spot after its 28-13 victory over Syracuse and now has three one-loss teams ahead of it. The Cardinals now sit at No. 8 in the BCS.
A Test It Could Handle: Cincinnati came into its game Sunday against South Florida with a dismal 3-4 record. However, three of those four losses came against opponents ranked in the Top 11 when the game was played. Cincinnati held South Florida to 244 total net yards, compared to the Bulls' average of 371, and the Bearcats shut out the Bulls for 59 minutes in their 23-6 victory.
Non-Brohm-Like Numbers: A year ago, Lousiville QB Brian Brohm threw for 19 touchdowns in 10 games before being hurt. Included in those stats were a five touchdown performance against Oregon State and a four-touchdown performance against North Carolina. In this, his injury-riddled junior year, Brohm has only thrown for four touchdowns in five games with no double-digit TD games. The Cardinals have until next Thursday to figure out their passing game, when they take on West Virginia, which has a strong pass defense. The Mountaineers rank fourth in the nation in pass efficiency defense.
A Look Ahead: Only two Big East games are on the schedule this weekend, neither of them particularly interesting. Cincinnati hosts Syracuse (WagerWeb.com line: Cincy -6.5), and Rutgers hosts Connecticut in an attempt to go 8-0. The Scarlet Knights, 19.5-point favorites on WagerWeb.com, are 4-1-1 ATS in 2006.