As disappointing as the RU offense looked on Thursday night, a number of similar results around the country from Saturday provide some measure of reassurance. Florida, Penn State, West Virginia, and USF all struggled to varying degrees against inferior opponents. Oklahoma had to sweat it out against Utah State. Kansas and Ole Miss actually lost to FCS teams, and Temple almost joined them. Only a year ago that Iowa squeaked by Northern Iowa in their opener, en route to a BCS season. It will be very alarming if the offense can't get anything going against FIU, but for now that remains more of a cause for concern than alarm.
Likewise, it's too early to overreact to any Big East struggles. Every conference has its share of black eyes, and the Big East's stumbles are magnified because it only has eight teams. The Rutgers, USF, and WVU games are mostly meaningless. Syracuse looked relatively good, without much of a basis for comparison. Louisville is about as bad as expected. Pitt/Utah proved that the interior line and secondary are weaknesses for the Panthers, but there's no shame in a close road loss to a good opponent.
One Big East team losing stock was UConn. While Denard Robinson was absolutely sensational on the day for Michigan, it had to be expected that Rich Rod's offense would show considerable improvement. UConn doesn't have a lot of athleticism to defend the Spread-Option. The Wolverines have serious issues on defense though, with what could be one of the worst secondaries in the country. By yardage the Huskies should have been more efficient scoring points, but their inability to air it out is an indictment of Zach "48.6 completion rate" Frazer and a bad receiving corps. How, how did anyone predict this team to win the Big East with a straight face with Frazer under center?
Missed the Cincinnati game, so this is just based off the box score. Their defense is as bad as ever. The Bearcats certainly miss Brian Kelly, but offensive line coach Jeff Quinn is a very underrated loss. Even if the Big East does end up being down, it's all cyclical. In a few years we'll be wondering how Louisville will ever recover after Charlie Strong gets hired away.
UNC made it interesting in their loss to LSU, storming back after falling behind 30-10. Actually, the Tar Heel offense was much improved despite missing Greg Little and their top tailbacks. The OL is shaky, but T.J. Yates and his young receivers actually looked good. Their defense on the other hand was awful, considering that LSU had one of the nation's worst offenses last year. There is no way to predict how things will play out with that team over the next two weeks.