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Big East pre-Saturday roundup

Washington 42, Syracuse 12

It may be a new season, but the scene inside the Carrier Dome was all too familiar for SU fans as the home team was embarrassed on national television by visiting Washington, 42-12.

And it was every bit as bad as it looks on paper, or, uh, screen.

Tailback Louis Rankin rushed for a career-high 147 yards and three scores, and redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Locker lived up to the hype in his first start by rushing for 83 yards and throwing for 142 more. After a slow start, the U-Dub O-line owned the Syracuse front four in the second half as Rankin and Locker moved the ball down the field with ease drive after drive.

I really thought that the Orange had come along way by the end of last season, and have been a huge proponent of giving Greg Robinson time to do his job, but quick kicking on 3rd and 14 in the first half? Good God man.

The SU O-line was completely manhandled for four quarters, and you could almost see Andrew Robinson realizing that maybe Perry Patterson hadn't been completely full of shit all those times he'd complained in the locker room that he was being unfairly blamed for all the team's troubles. The sophomore performed adequately when he had a few seconds, but sadly that was rarely the case as he was sacked seven times.

Just two years and 11 games left young man

You don't want to look too far into one game, but it sure seems that the loss of Delone Carter is going to be even more crucial than once thought because a hobbled Curtis Brinkley and a healthy Derrell Smith could not do anything on the ground.

Syracuse's early schedule is brutal, like 1-6, 0-7 brutal, so it's going to take something drastic to keep Robinson from being the first coaching casualty of the season.

The 'Cuse are at Iowa next Saturday at 8 p.m.

CC Prediction: Washington 21, Syracuse 17

Cincinnati 59, Southeast Missouri State 3

Ben Mauk began his first and last season as a Cincinnati Bearcat by throwing for 244 yards and a pair of scores as UC pummeled the visiting Redhawks 59-3.

In the first game under offensive minded head coach Brian Kelly, the Bearcats amassed 615 total yards, good for third-most in school history.

Cincy also showed its Mark Dantonio roots as cornerback Mike Mickens - a player I'm kind of high on - picked off two passes, the second of which he returned 45 yards for a touchdown.

If there was one minus for UC in this game it was special teams as a combination of Bearcat kickers missed three extra points and a field goal. Two of the extra points were missed by starter Jake Rogers, who may or may not have a roster spot if this keeps up.

"We might have some kickers come in if we can get them off the free agent wire," Kelly said. "That was not very pretty. I expected some bumps in the road, but I didn't expect the meltdown we got today. Jake has to bounce back from it. It was a bad day. It can't happen again. He can't have two bad days. He got his (bad day) for his career done today. The next day he has like this, he'll probably be playing soccer."

A pretty steep hike in competition next week as Oregon State comes to the Queen City for another Thursday night clash.

CC Prediction: Cincinnati 38, Southeast Missouri State 0

Rutgers 38, Buffalo 3

Ray Rice rushed 184 yards and three touchdowns in the commencement game of his '07 Heisman campaign, but it was wide receiver Tiquan Underwood who stole the show by racking up a school record 248 receiving yards to go with two touchdowns. The yards were more than Underwood amassed all of last season.

Another bright spot for Scarlet Knight fans was the play of junior quarterback Mike Teel who was 16 of 23 for a career-best 328 yards.

Camera pointing kicker Jeremy "Take Two" Ito, who made several preseason All-American teams over one Arthur Carmody, missed on tries of 56 and 40 yards.

Rutgers will host Navy next Friday night at 7 p.m.

CC Prediction: Rutgers 37, Buffalo 7