West Virginia coach Bill Stewart heard the boos during a lethargic offensive performance in a 17-6 win over Syracuse last week, and he understands.
``It doesn't disappoint me because I'm a West Virginian,'' Stewart said.
What bothers Stewart, however, is that he feels some of the anger was misguided. Part of the reason the Mountaineers struggled to put the ball downfield and stayed with a conservative game plan is because reserve quarterback Jarrett Brown was playing with a bum shoulder he injured against Rutgers the week before.
Stewart didn't mention the injury leading up to the game, and didn't say anything about it immediately afterward either in an effort to protect Brown, who was starting in place of banged up star Pat White. The injury prevented Brown from throwing the ball deep, which explains why he completed 14-of-20 passes for just 52 yards.
kept trying to encourage him on the sideline.''
Stewart estimated Brown was at ``60-65 percent'' against the Orange and said Brown did what the Mountaineers had to do to win.
``He's 2-0 as a starter,'' Stewart said. ``It may not have been as pretty as people wanted it. If the (fans) are mad at anybody they can be made at me.''
HUNTING HUNTER: At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Louisville quarterback Hunter Cantwell is as big as some of the defenders he plays against.
That doesn't mean Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe wants his senior leader to take them on. Yet that's exactly what Cantwell did during a 35-28 win over Memphis last week.
Cantwell pitched the ball to tailback Victor Anderson on what was supposed to be an option pass. The Tigers covered it well, forcing Anderson to reverse field. Cantwell, despite playing on a gimpy left leg, decided to run out ahead of Anderson as a lead blocker, making an effective if somewhat unorthodox block on a Memphis defensive lineman. When he stood up, Cantwell's helmet was wrapped halfway around his head.
``You don't need to take those big cats on,'' Kragthorpe said. ``He looked like he was looking out his ear hole. He looked like a pirate on that one. There were three different guys, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you don't take on Papa Bear. Get the DB and if you miss the DB, get the linebacker, but don't be taking on the guy that weighs 315 pounds.''
WHAT A KICK: It's rare when a team raves about its punter after a win. That's how good Kevin Huber's day turned out.
Huber was Cincinnati's MVP in a 13-10 win over Rutgers on Saturday. He punted nine times for 418 yards, including a 64-yard kick that went out of bounds at the 3. Six of his nine punts pinned the Scarlet Knights at their 12 or closer.
``Overall, I was happy with the way it turned out,'' said Huber, who was the Big East's special teams player of the week. ``I would like to have gotten a lot more hang on them, but sometimes you get what you get. I wasn't all that happy with a few of the punts, but it got the job done.''
Several low-trajectory punts bounced and took a beneficial roll inside the 20. The 64-yard kick that went out of bounds at the 3 did exactly what he wanted.
``It was the best punt of the day,'' Huber said. ``I don't know if it was the best of my career. It was one I'll try to improve on.''
Huber's performance was appreciated by a team down to its fourth quarterback because of injuries. Redshirt freshman Chazz Anderson ran for a touchdown on a quarterback draw, and the defense and Huber took it from there.
guy like that who can pin the football, it makes it easier for me to punt the football. He forced Rutgers to play flawless in their own end.''
The punts were more than Rutgers' struggling offense could handle.
ORANGE 'D' IMPROVING?: Syracuse coach Greg Robinson made his name as a defensive coordinator in the NFL before coming to coach the Orange. The coach is returning to his roots in an effort to try and return the program to respectability.
Robinson, in his fourth year at the helm, was defensive coordinator two years ago when the Orange improved to 4-8 after going 1-10 in his first season and appeared to be on the long, slow trek up from among the bottom feeders in college football's top division. After a disheartening one-year hiatus - Syracuse was 2-10 in 2007 - Robinson is again assisting the defense, and Saturday's performance was heartening, despite the fact his overall conference record dropped to 2-22.
``It's kind of what I've been saying,'' Robinson said. ``This team has the makings to become a good football team. They're growing and becoming a good defense.''
The signs are there.
th under 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
HONORS: West Virginia running back Noel Devine was named offensive player of the week after rescuing the Mountaineers during a 17-6 win over Syracuse. The sophomore had a career-high 188 yards on 18 carries, including a 92-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach. It was Devine's third 100-yard game this season.
Louisville defensive back Johnny Patrick earned defensive player of the week honors for his play in Louisville's 35-28 win over Memphis. Patrick returned a fumble 21 yards for the game-winning touchdown and also blocked a Memphis field goal that teammate Brandon Heath returned 60 yards for a score at the end of the first half. Patrick finished with six tackles.
AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Cincinnati and John Kekis in Syracuse, NY contributed to this report.

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