In Week 6, we learned that conference matchups are a whole different animal, regardless of records. Previously surging Pittsburgh was edged by Syracuse, which had just one win coming in, while South Florida’s high-flying offense was outscored by conservative, grind-it-out Temple.

“We’re very, very proud of the way our kids played,” Temple head coach Steve Addazio said. “As the head coach of this program, I told our kids we’ve got to go out there and we fight, we scratch, we play with passion, we play with energy. That was my expectation for this game.” 

With Louisville and Rutgers getting most of the national attention, the conference games become more important for teams without the expectations of moving up through the top 25.

Each win lends itself to a better placing during bowl season. With one conference win, Syracuse jumped ahead of Pitt, which is now 0-2 in the Big East. 

“There was some good football out there and we just have to keep going,” Pitt coach Paul Chryst said. “That’s the season. It’s tough, but that’s what you have to do.”

As teams are now wading into the thick of Big East play, each game becomes crucial. But as USF’s Skip Holtz, whose Bulls are also 0-2 in the league, can attest, one game does not a season make. He feels his team just needs to settle down and do its job.

“We’re certainly not going to put our head in the sand, we’ve got a lot of football left to play, there’s six games left to play in the season,” Holtz said. “We’re not going put our head in the sand we’re not moan and groan and complain or try and sit here and make a lot of excuses. We have to look at what we have to do to get results.”  

Each one counts, as teams around the league are quickly finding out.

Complete Conference Standings

Cincinnati (4-0, 1-0 Big East)
• The Bearcats won their seventh consecutive game against the Miami (Ohio), lead by a punishing ground attack that totaled 272 yards. George Winn led the way with 128 yards and two touchdowns.

• Cincinnati’s 52 points tied its series record for points. The offense won’t look to stop any time soon with FCS foe Fordham next  on the docket. 

Next Game: vs. Fordham Oct. 13

Connecticut (3-3, 0-1 Big East)
• The Huskies struggled offensively as the Rutgers defense held Lyle McCombs and Co. to only 53 yards rushing.

• UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer had a tough outing, throwing a career worst four interceptions against zero touchdowns. The turnovers brought his total to 10 picks on the year.   

Next Game: vs. Temple Oct. 13

No. 19 Louisville (5-0, 0-0 Big East)
•  The Cardinals begin a five-game stretch against Big East teams after coming off bye.

• Despite their 5-0 record, coach Charlie Strong feels his team will have to raise its play to another level during conference play.  

“Every game now is a new season so every game counts from here on out,” Strong said. “We know this, we have to improve and we have to play better than what we’ve been playing because all these games are very critical for us.”

Next Game: at Pittsburgh Oct. 13

Pittsburgh (2-3, 0-2 Big East)
• The Panthers two-game win streak was snapped by Syracuse as RB Ray Graham was held to 57 yards rushing, his lowest total of the year.

• Quarterback Tino Sunseri had his second consecutive 300-yard passing game but failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.

Next Game: vs. Louisville Oct. 13

No. 23 Rutgers (5-0, 2-0 Big East)
• Rutgers continued its impressive start and looks like it could stay atop the standings after picking up its second conference win. Scarlet Knights running back Jawan Jamison posted his sixth 100-yard rushing game in the win against the Huskies.

• The Scarlet Knights’ sixth-ranked defense forced five turnovers and held the Huskie offense to just 244 total yards.

Next Game: vs. Syracuse Oct. 13

South Florida (2-4, 0-2 Big East)
• A minus-3 turnover ratio sealed the Bulls’ fate as they were beat by Temple on the road. USF quarterback B,J. Daniels was again the main culprit, with an interception and a fumble, bringing him to eight picks on the year, his second worst total in a six-game span.

• The Bulls have now lost four consecutive games, and have a bye week before they go to take on Louisville.

Next Game: at Louisville Oct. 20

Syracuse (2-3, 1-0 Big East)
• Despite trailing Pittsburgh in total yards, time of possession and racking up 45 yards worth of penalties, Syracuse picked up win No. 2 behind a solid defense and ground game that finally found ways to move the ball.

• For the first time in eight games, Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib failed to pass for at least 200 yards. It was also the first time in 11 games he failed to throw a touchdown pass. 

Next Game: at Rutgers Oct. 13

Temple (2-2, 1-0 Big East)
• Temple showed up for homecoming ready to play, racking up 216 yard on the ground, lead by Montel Harris’s 133 yards in addition to two touchdowns.

• The Owls’ 37 points was their highest total since Week 1, something they will need to continue to expand on as they face a tough UCONN defense on the road.

Next Game: at Connecticut Oct. 13