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Big East Report Card, Week Two: How to Properly Devour a Cupcake

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer ISeptember 14, 2009

MIAMI - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Brian Kelly of the Cincinnati Bearcats shouts on the field against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the FedEx Orange Bowl at Dolphin Stadium on January 1, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

The grades are in from week two, and four Big East teams will like what they see here from Professor Tom. For your Monday consumption, this week's Big East report card:

Cincinnati

The Bearcats (2-0) showed how to properly devour a cupcake on Saturday. Southeast Missouri State was the second Cincinnati victim this season, and the Bearcats wasted little time in rolling up a 70-3 win. That's what they were supposed to do against the Redhawks. SEMO put up 72 against Quincy, so what goes around comes around.

Again, Tony Pike was outstanding with three touchdown strikes. He went 17-for-23 for 229 yards and no picks. Cincy had 351 yards in the air and another 227 on the ground. Mardy Gilyard hauled in six catches for 111 yards and two TDs. The 578-yard output shows this team knows what to do when lesser talent is placed in front of it.

The Bearcats were rewarded with the No. 17 spot in the AP poll.

Grade: A+

Pittsburgh

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Pitt went on the road expecting a solid test from Buffalo. What transpired was a 54-27 Panther domination. Freshman running back Dion Lewis continued to impress with 190 rushing yards on 24 carries. Quarterback Billy Stull was solid with a 21-for-30 performance for 198 yards.

Good job by the 2-0 Panthers as they dominated a team that was not expected to be a pushover. Road wins are always a good thing.

Grade: A

West Virginia

The Mountaineers hosted a tough opponent, East Carolina. Turnovers by West Virginia kept it close at the half, 21-20, but the defense shut down the Pirates in the second half, and West Virginia (2-0) notched an easy 35-20 victory.

It was a coming-out party for quarterback Jarrett Brown, who threw for 334 yards. He went 24-for-31 with nine passes going to Jock Sanders for 99 yards. Noel Devine got in on the action with 18 carries for 80 yards. 

Give credit to the defense—great job in the second half. The only negatives were the first half turnovers on fumbled punts. ECU is 0-13 at West Virginia (2-0), and the Mountaineers are 60-1 when they score more than 30 points. Wow.

Grade: A-

Rutgers

The Scarlet Knights desperately needed a "bounce back" performance after the Cincinnati disaster. They got that in the form of cupcake Howard University. The final score was 45-7, and it was a great day for freshman quarterback Tom Savage, who went 8-for-13 for 223 yards and two TDs. Rutgers put up 468 total yards.

Rutgers (1-1) got its ground game in gear. Jourdan Brooks ran for 124 yards on 17 carries, and De'Antwan Williams added 89 on 14 totes.

This was a better game for the Rutgers defense, although this was a lesser opponent. Just what the doctor ordered.

Grade: A-

Syracuse

Sure, the 'Cuse (0-2) didn't have much of a chance facing Penn State in Happy Valley. The final tally was 28-7, but it could have been a lot worse. Greg Paulus' education continues, and the Syracuse defense performed quite well at times in this game. It was not as bad as some expected.

Grade: C

South Florida

The Bulls took a trip to Bowling Green, Ky. to face Western Kentucky, a first-year Division I-A team. One of USF's trademarks is its inability to properly chow down on a cupcake. Such was the case Saturday. USF (2-0) had some defensive problems, had problems with field goal kicker Delbert Alvarado (0-for-2), and let Western hang around in this one going into the fourth quarter before notching the 35-13 win.

Quarterback Matt Grothe rolled up 261 total yards and is now the king of Big East offensive yardage numbers, surpassing Pat White.

Still, USF coach Jim Leavitt wasn't happy with his special teams and knows his team needs to improve in a hurry.

Grade: C-

Connecticut

Ah yes, the Huskies. There they were, ready to notch a grand upset win over North Carolina. The UConn defense was playing its heart out, and coach Randy Edsell had done a marvelous job getting his team ready for this one.

Then came the fourth quarter. UNC tied the game at 10-10, and then the unthinkable happened. A holding call in the end zone gave the Tar Heels a safety, and Edsell's worst nightmare ensued. A 12-10 final was disheartening as the Huskies snatched defeat from the jaws of a huge victory.

Grade: D

There you have it. Some high grades and one pupil who turned an A+ into a D. We'll be back next week as the semester continues. For those of you who scored low this week, put in some extra studying and hopefully you'll improve those grades!