Around the Northeast CFB: Pittsburgh runs away with ‘Backyard Brawl’  

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The UConn football team takes on Central Connecticut State University at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in their second game of the season on Saturday September 4. The Huskies beat the Blue Devils 28-3, and will play their next game against Syracuse on Saturday, September 10. Photo by Erin Knapp / The Daily Campus.

College Football is back, baby! We just finished off the first week of full college football action and it was awesome. There were a number of great games, controversial finishes and missed PATs to tie the game late, making for an exciting weekend. Although the Northeast isn’t necessarily known for their football, it still provides a lot of it and plenty of great matchups. Let’s take some time to review the best of the best and some other matchups that should interest UConn fans…  

No. 17 Pitt 38, West Virginia 31 

On Thursday night, old Big East foes Pitt and West Virginia faced off in the “Backyard Brawl,” one of the most anticipated matchups of the week. The Panthers grabbed a touchdown lead going into the fourth quarter thanks to rushing scores from Daniel Carter and Rodney Hammond. Within the first five minutes of the final frame, JT Daniels got one by air and one on the ground to flip the lead in the Mountaineers’ direction. They weren’t able to hold on though, as Pitt answered with an Israel Abanikanda touchdown grab and M.J. Devonshire pick-six in the final minutes to take home their first victory of the season. The nationally ranked Panthers have a chance to be special this year, even without drafted QB, Kenny Pickett.  

Maryland 31, Buffalo 10 

In another inner-northeast contest, Maryland played Buffalo in a game that didn’t prove to be too competitive. The Terps got the first three scores thanks to a pair of running touchdowns and a field goal. Buffalo responded with six of their own, but it proved not to be enough, as Maryland started each of the next two quarters with a touchdown. These scores effectively iced the game, but the lack of offense from the Bulls put them completely out of the game. Maryland will have a chance to break into the top 25 this year with a talented core and games against four ranked Big 10 teams to prove themselves.  

Rutgers 22, Boston College 21 

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano and Boston College Eagles head coach Jeff Hafley shake hands at Alumni Stadium. Photo by Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports.

Although both teams are in the bottom half of the FBS in FPI, this was one of the better games of the week, going back and forth and coming down to the wire. Boston College’s Zay Flowers connected with Phil Jurkovec two times in the first half on passing touchdowns, giving the Eagles a 14-6 lead going into the half. The teams traded touchdowns, but another failed PAT gave BC a nine point lead midway through the third. The Scarlet Knights responded in a big way in the final 16 minutes, with a Al-Shadee Salaam touchdown and a field goal to take the one point win. Rutgers shouldn’t do amazing this year, but the win to start it off is encouraging and good for Northeast football.  

Tulane 42, UMass 10 

UMass continued their run of poor football under new head coach Dom Brown, getting whacked in their season opener against Tulane, a middling FBS team. At the start of the second quarter, the Minutemen tied things up thanks to a Gino Campiotti touchdown run, but that was about it for their offense. The Green Wave proceeded to outscore UMass 35-3 in an effort that was uninspiring. UMass is going to be an important team for UConn to watch, as one of the Huskies’ only chances for a victory this year. The Minutemen will travel to East Hartford, CT for an early-November Friday Night Lights contest.  

Delaware 14, Navy 7 

In College Football’s second FCS victory over an FBS team this year, Northeast Delaware used their fantastic defense to capture a win against Navy. It was Ryan Carty’s Delaware coaching debut and he made the most of it in front of 30,000 Navy fans. A fumble on the opening play from scrimmage of the year gave Delaware the ball just 21 yards away and it took just one attempt to score. Neither team was able to score except for a 40 second period in the third frame, when both teams found the end zone. An impressive defensive run in the fourth kept things at 14-7, keeping Navy winless in their only chance against an FCS team. 

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