Designated Read: Don’t take Ray away
• Pitt 35, UConn 20: The principal storylines from Wednesday night’s Big East contest were the body blow dealt to Pitt’s running game and an explosion of Panther aerial antics. Crucial offensive cog Ray Graham injured his right knee while being tackled on a run early in the first quarter. He looked to be in serious pain while being helped off the field, but was in better spirits acknowledging the crowd as he was carted to the locker room. Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri took it from there, winging it all night for 419 yards and three all-purpose touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). Now, UConn had a bad pass defense heading in, ranking sixth in the Big East in yards allowed, but not this bad. And Pitt was averaging less than 200 passing yards per game after eight weeks, thanks to some early season quarterback shuffling and the presence of Graham. Sunseri distributed his balls widely, with seven receivers recording at least 35 yards’ worth of catches. [RECAP | BOX]
• Cleanse your palate with some actual excellent news: Eric LeGrand will lead the Scarlet Knights out of the tunnel for Rutgers’ game against West Virginia. Welcome back, big guy.
• “I don’t care about trinkets, I don’t care about Ohio State, I don’t care about the players:” Edward Rife is off to prison, and the sentencing judge wants to make it very clear that football didn’t influence his decision.
• Quote of the day: “West Virginia and Louisville can’t get along. PERFECT fits for the Big 12!” — Travis Haney
• Roster blotter: You’ll get to see some kid named “Jerry Rice, Jr.” play for UCLA this Saturday. In tangentially related news, Joe Montana is miffed at Notre Dame. Florida retains just 60 of its 80 recruits signed since 2008. Here’s some breathless reporting on the status of Cliff Harris’ license.
Thursday whimsy: If you missed it yesterday, check out Andy Staples’ interview with John Blake. Taylor Branch takes his NCAA campaign to the Colbert Report. A Jumbotron ought to wake up them echoes real good! Finally, a suitable conversational foil for Mark May. This googly-eyed thing had better be the actual mascot. And Houston Nutt does not care for your “halftime adjustments,” which is curious, since “Ole Miss has been outscored 77-21 in the third quarter of its seven games” and all.