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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Big East Midweek Report

West Virginia Ranked No. 17 In First BCS Poll
The West Virginia Mountaineers were ranked 17th in the first Bowl Championship Series Poll, which was released on Monday. WVU, 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the BIG EAST, is one spot behind Notre Dame and one ahead of Auburn. The Mountaineers’ only loss is to a team ranked in the top three of the BCS standings.

WVU’s Steve Slaton Earns National Player of the Week Honors
Steve Slaton, the Mountaineers’ true freshman running back, was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Offensive Player of the Week and the USA Player of the Week after his six-touchdown performance in WVU’s 46-44 triple-overtime victory over Louisville. Slaton, who rushed for 188 yards while scoring five times, also caught a 14-yard scoring toss. His touchdown total set a school record and tied a BIG EAST mark.

Rutgers, Connecticut Battle This Week
Now that the second half of the season is here, some teams are aiming to reach six wins and become bowl eligible. Rutgers travels to Connecticut on Saturday in a battle of teams with 4-2 records. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a 31-9 victory at Syracuse. They have been fueled, in part, by outstanding special teams. In the win at Syracuse, cornerback Corey Barnes scored on a blocked punt and on a fumble return. Rutgers is eighth nationally in kickoff returns (26.8) and 16th in punt returns (14.8). Connecticut is still first in the country in total defense, allowing only 227.9 yards per game. The Huskies are 25-9 over their last 34 games.

Every BIG EAST Game Is Televised
On Saturday, all four BIG EAST games will be televised. The BIG EAST Game of the Week, produced by ESPN Regional, is Syracuse at Pittsburgh at noon, Eastern time. Also at noon, Louisville at Cincinnati will be carried by ESPNU. The Rutgers-Connecticut contest will be televised regionally on MSG Network and the New England Sports Network (NESN) at 3 p.m. West Virginia at USF will be carried by ESPNU at 7 p.m.

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