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Wilson, King earn conference honors

by Greg Talkington

SPORTS WRITER

West Virginia's Quincy Wilson and Brian King were honored by the Big East Conference for their play in WVU's 28-7 victory over Virginia Tech this past week.

Wilson, a senior tailback, was named the co-offensive player of the week, as he rushed for a season-high 178 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns in the shocking victory. Wilson is now the nation's 12th-ranked rusher, averaging 115.8 yards per game.

"I don't think Quincy is a secret anymore," WVU coach Rich Rodriguez said. "It's great he's getting rewarded for such an outstanding effort."

King, a senior safety, stopped a pair of Virginia Tech drives with interceptions. He ended the game with seven tackles and three passes broken up.

"We had a real ballhawk playing back there at safety," said WVU cornerback Lance Frazier of King. "I don't think anything got past him against Virginia Tech."

Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart shared the offensive honor with Wilson.

He became the first quarterback in school history to post back-to-back 300-yard games, as he led the Scarlet Knights to a 30-14 victory over Temple.

Hart completed 30 of 42 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown.

"Ryan has a lot of God-given ability," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "I've seen consistent progression from him throughout the season.

"He's a hard worker, and he's made every effort to improve."

Pittsburgh punter Andy Lee won the special teams award for his play in the Panthers' 34-14 victory over Syracuse.

The senior averaged 49.5 yards on six punts, which included him placing four inside the 20. He also had three punts of more than 50 yards. Lee's eighth nationally, averaging 45.7 yards per kick.

FIRST LEAGUE WIN FOR SCHIANO: Schiano admitted he didn't think it would take more than two seasons for his Scarlet Knights to secure their first win in Big East play.

Schiano is in his third year at the helm.

"We finally put four quarters together," Schiano said about his team's 30-14 win over Temple. "We weren't real flashy in any aspect, but we played consistently and that's something we haven't been doing.

"It was good to get that first Big East win. I certainly knew this would be tough, but didn't really think it would take this long."

The Scarlet Knights (4-4) are off this week and will face future Big East foe Connecticut on Nov. 8.

"This is the first time in a long time that Rutgers has taken a .500 record into November," Schiano said. "That's a big step for us as a program.

"We're building for the long haul, and I sense there is a lot of excitement on campus about our program."

IN THE POLLS: While Virginia Tech tumbled to 10th in this week's Associated Press poll following its 21-point loss to WVU, Pitt re-entered the poll at No. 25 after its 20-point victory over Syracuse.

The Panthers (5-2, 2-0), who were in the Top 10 at one time, fell out of the poll following an embarrassing loss to Notre Dame at home. Pitt battles Boston College (5-3, 1-2), a 27-25 winner over the Irish (2-5) last Saturday.

"We got out butts kicked the last time we went up there," Pitt coach Walt Harris said. "We're expecting a tough game."

Harris was encouraged by the play of his defense, which had been miserable until last week. The Panthers shut down the Orangemen over the final three quarters.

"We played defense the way we thought we would from the beginning," Harris said. "We finally quit beating ourselves and starting getting into position to make plays.

"No disrespect to the teams we've played, but our biggest nemesis has been the University of Pittsburgh."

Miami, which had the week off, continued as the No. 2 teams in both polls.

THIS WEEK: The much-anticipated Miami-Virginia Tech matchup highlights this week's Big East slate.

The Hokies (6-1, 2-1) will host the Hurricanes (7-0, 3-0) in ESPN prime-time Saturday night game. Kickoff is set for 7:45 p.m.

"The loss (to WVU) will likely give them more resolve," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "We'll have to be at our very best and we know that."

Coker said he was surprised by Tech's loss at West Virginia, but not shocked.

"I don't think West Virginia has gotten the credit it deserves," he said. "They are obviously a much better team than most people realize and we can attest to that."

Coker was referring to Miami's last-second, 22-20 win over the Mountaineers earlier this month.

West Virginia (3-4, 2-1) is at home this week for a 1 p.m. game against Central Florida (3-5). Like Rutgers, Syracuse (4-3, 1-2) and Temple (1-7, 0-3) are idle this week.

Sports writer Greg Talkington can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at gtalkington@exponent-telegram.com