|COLLEGE FB NOTEBOOK: Red-hot Bearcats have unexpected QB dilemma|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 26 September 2007 12:15|
Starter Ben Mauk is having problems with his arm. He dislocated his right shoulder and broke the arm while playing for Wake Forest last season, and came to Cincinnati looking to make a comeback.
Mauk was so comfortable running coach Brian Kelly's no-huddle, spread offense during fall workouts that he won the job.
``He offers us the opportunity to win if he's in there,'' Kelly said.
he sideline again.
Mauk is smoother in the offense than Dustin Grutza, who started the first 10 games last season before losing the job. When Grutza struggled early against Marshall, Mauk warmed up, felt better and went into the game. He had to come out in the second half when the arm started bothering him again.
Kelly plans to stay with the same plan for now. Mauk is the starter, but Grutza gets plenty of practice time. Which one plays depends upon how Mauk's arm feels.
``It's something we're going to have to be prepared to do because I don't know that we're ever going to have an ideal situation here with one guy prepared as the No. 1 guy each and every week,'' Kelly said. ``I think we're going to have to continue to go down this road.''
SAVING GRACE FOR ROBINSON?: Syracuse coach Greg Robinson has tried his best to ``tune out'' mounting criticism in western New York, but knows what upsetting Louisville on the road last week meant to the community.
``Beating Louisville on the road gave fans something to sink their teeth into,'' Robinson said. ``It's up to us to maintain that level of play and intensity.''
Robinson is 6-21 with the Orange. Syracuse plays at Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, trying to win back-to-back games for just the second time during Robinson's tenure.
``I knew eventually this team would do well,'' Robinson said. ``With young players, you just don't know when it's going to turn.''
For the Orange, it turned against the Cardinals on the game's first play, when quarterback Andrew Robinson his Taj Smith for a 79-yard touchdown. Syracuse never trailed while ending the nation's second-longest home winning streak,
``I didn't ever feel like our team got uptight,'' Greg Robinson said. ``I felt they were composed and focused.''
Robinson doesn't know if the win over Louisville will be enough to galvanize a fan base that has been slowly eroded during the team's recent struggles. Syracuse is averaging just over 36,000 fans at the 49,262-seat Carrier Dome over the last two years.
``I know how our fans are and how frustrated they were up to this point,'' Robinson said. ``I want in the worst way to please and satisfy our community.''
TEEL ON A TEAR: A month into the season, the highest-rated quarterback in the conference isn't Louisville's Brian Brohm or West Virginia's Pat White, but Rutgers' Mike Teel.
Teel has completed nearly 67 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns and just one interception for the No. 10 Scarlet Knights heading into Saturday's game against Maryland.
Coach Greg Schiano said he saw Teel's confidence grow at the end of last season when the team's wide receivers finally came around.
``At the end of last season he was really playing at a high level and I don't think it's a coincidence that (Kenny) Britt and (Tim) Brown came onto the scene and with (Tiquan Underwood) already being a favorite target of his,'' Schiano said. ``Those three guys have tremendous chemistry and a feel for each other.''
HURTING PANTHERS: The revolving door at quarterback for Pittsburgh is starting to take its toll on the Panthers. Pat Bostick is Pittsburgh's third quarterback this season after Bill Stull went down with an injury before the season started and Kevan Smith was benched for ineffective play.
Coach Dave Wannstedt attributed much of Pittsburgh's sloppy play - including six turnovers - in last week's loss to Connecticut to the sporadic play at quarterback.
``We've been very inconsistent with everything we've been doing and we're trying to find ourselves, and when you're on your third quarterback in four games, that's not good,'' Wannstedt said.
The Panthers are ranked near the bottom of the league in every offensive category and have scored a total of 27 points in the last two weeks after averaging 30.5 points during a promising start 2-0 start.
``We're trying to do things as sound as we can, but at the same time you have to try to score some points,'' Wannstedt said.
The Panthers travel to Virginia on Saturday.
HONORS: Syracuse quarterback Andrew Robinson's near record-setting performance against Louisville propelled him to offensive player of the week. Robinson threw for 423 yards and four touchdowns in the Orange's upset win. The touchdown total tied a school record and the yardage total was 2 yards short of Marvin Graves' record set in 1992.
South Florida defensive end George Selvie was the defensive player of the week after the Bulls beat North Carolina 37-10. Selvie had six tackles, including three sacks and five tackles for loss. Selvie leads the nation in both categories, with 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in three games.
Syracuse's Max Suter was selected as the special teams player of the week after returning a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown in the win over Louisville. Suter finished with 148 yards on four returns for the Orange.
AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Louisville contributed to this report