Saturday's Big East Conference Capsules

Nov 4, 2007 - 12:24 AM By PA SportsTicker

CINCINNATI 38, (20) SOUTH FLORIDA 33 ------------------------------------

TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- A return home didn't do struggling South Florida any good.

Cincinnati scored 31 points in the first quarter and held on for a 38-33 victory over No. 20 South Florida on Saturday in a Big East Conference matchup.

Just over three weeks ago, the Bulls were the toast of college football and ranked second in the polls. With this loss, coach Jim Leavitt's squad will exit them.

The Bulls (6-3, 1-3 Big East) were ranked second in the country when they fell, 30-27, to Rutgers on October 18. South Florida then visited Connecticut and was unable to return to its winning ways last week, coming up short in a 22-15 loss.

Like USF, Cincinnati (7-2, 2-2) got off to a 6-0 start before dropping its next two games to Louisville and Pittsburgh.

The Bearcats and Bulls both scored touchdowns on defense and special teams in a wild first quarter. Cincinnati was also able to add a field goal and two TD passes by Ben Mauk to take a 31-14 lead.

South Florida outscored Cincinnati, 13-0, in the second half but it was not enough. A TD pass by Matt Grothe to Jessie Hester from eight yards out made it 38-33 with 2:08 to play.

The Bulls went for two and didn't make it and then tried an onside kick and just missed recovering it. The Bearcats were then able to run the clock down to 29 seconds - they almost left the Bulls too much time.

Cincinnati tried a fake field goal that went nowhere and South Florida took over at its 39. Grothe completed consecutive passes for 20 and 23 yards to give the Bulls a first down at the Bearcats' 18 with eight seconds remaining.

Grothe threw one up in the right corner of the end zone that Marcus Edwards got two hands on, but could not bring down. On the final play of the game, Grothe looked for Hester in the back of the end zone but the pass fell incomplete.

It was almost an improbable ending to a rough day for Grothe, who has made a number of big plays for South Florida over the past two seasons - but made too many mistakes on Saturday. He threw four interceptions and lost a fumble while completing 31-of-54 passes for 382 yards.

Mauk was 13-of-31 for 161 yards. He threw three TD passes and an interception and added 77 yards rushing on seven carries for Cincinnati, which is 7-2 for the first time since 1976.

PITTSBURGH 20, SYRACUSE 17 --------------------------

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Freshman LeSean McCoy rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries, leading Pittsburgh to a 20-17 victory over Syracuse in Big East Conference play.

McCoy, who recorded his sixth 100-yard game of the season, scored on a one-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter to give the Panthers (4-5, 2-2 Big East) a 17-10 lead.

McCoy became just the third freshman in Pittsburgh's 118-yard history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He has run for 1,065 yards with three games remaining.

Cameron Dantley completed 15-of-27 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns for Syracuse (2-7, 1-3).






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