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Lambert Meadowlands Trophy Week 2: Penn State, Pitt and Rutgers Move To 2-0

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Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Track of how the 10 programs vying for this year's Lambert-Meadowlands trophy fared last week, and a look-ahead to next weekend's action.

Standings

Team Overall Conf Next
Penn State Nittany Lions 2-0 0-0 @ Rutgers
Pittsburgh Panthers 2-0 1-0 @ FIU
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2-0 0-0 Penn State
Syracuse Orange 1-0 0-0 @ Central Michigan
Army Black Knights 1-0 0-0 @ #15 Stanford
Boston College Eagles 1-1 0-1 #9 USC
Buffalo Bulls 1-1 0-0 #8 Baylor
Temple Owls 1-1 0-0 Bye
Connecticut Huskies 1-1 0-0 Boise State
Massachusetts Minutemen 0-2 0-0 @ Vanderbilt

Week 2 Results

Pittsburgh 30, Boston College 20
Army 47, Buffalo 39

Penn State 21, Akron 3
Rutgers 38, Howard 25
Navy 31, Temple 24
Connecticut 19, Stony Brook 16
Colorado 41, Massachusetts 38

Boston College's loss to Pittsburgh on Friday night was a pretty big blow to the Eagles' chances at winning this year's Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy. For one thing, BC now loses the head-to-head comparison with the Panthers, and given the differences in ACC schedules -- Pitt misses facing Florida State, Clemson and Louisville from the Atlantic -- it's hard to imagine BC catching Pitt the rest of the way. Also, if BC continues to play like it did Friday against Pitt, this weekly feature will become more and more painful to write as we go.

In the other matchup of eligible Lambert teams, the Black Knights sent head coach Jeff Monken out a winner in his first game with the program, defeating Buffalo 47-39. The win snapped a five-game Army losing streak. Army built up a 47-17 lead in the fourth quarter, but UB scored the next 22 mounting a furious comeback. The box score from this game is bonkers.

Penn State earned a workmanlike 21-3 victory over visiting Akron. Despite racking up 425 yards of total offense (and 319 through the air), two interceptions and a fumble kept Akron in the game until late.

Rutgers QB Gary Nova threw four touchdowns as the Scarlet Knights beat FCS Howard 38-25. Navy jumped out to a 31-14 third quarter lead and held on to beat Temple, 31-24.

Colorado overcame an 11-point third quarter deficit to eke out a 3-point win over the Minutemen at Gillette. UMass QB Blake Frohnapfel had a much better time going up against the Buffs defense, throwing for 267 yards on 20-of-38 passing, 3 scores and an INT. Still, UMass extends its losing streak to eight games with the loss.

Finally, Connecticut needed a 72-yard punt return for TD to get past FCS Stony Brook, 19-16, giving Bob Diaco his first win as a college head coach.

Week 3 Schedule

Penn State at Rutgers

Pittsburgh at Florida International
Syracuse at Central Michigan
Army at Stanford
USC at Boston College
Baylor at Buffalo
Boise State at Connecticut
Massachusetts at Vanderbilt

The only game between Lambert eligible teams is a showdown in the Big Ten East Division, as Penn State travels to Rutgers to take on the Scarlet Knights in RU's Big Ten debut. Interestingly, Penn State is just a 3-point road favorite in this one.

Also worth pointing out here that the race for the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy took an interesting turn when the NCAA lifted Penn State's bowl ban, effective immediately. Last season, Penn State received a bit of an assist from not appearing in a bowl game. The Nittany Lions took home their 29th trophy, finishing with a record of 7-5 -- the lowest winning percentage ever for a Lambert Meadowlands Trophy winner. Had Penn State played in and lost a bowl game last year, the Nittany Lions would have fallen back into the rest of the pack with Pittsburgh (7-6), Syracuse (7-6) and Boston College (7-6). It probably would have been difficult to give the trophy to PSU coming off a bowl loss. Since Penn State didn't appear in a bowl, the Nittany Lions finished out the year with a 31-24 victory at 14th ranked Wisconsin -- the last impression on the selection committee.

This season, barring a pretty big meltdown, Penn State will play a 13th game this season.

Other games this week: Pitt will beat up on lowly FIU in south Florida, while Army, BC, Buffalo, Connecticut and Massachusetts will receive the beatdowns. The only other game of mild interest is Syracuse's trip to Mount Pleasant, Michigan to take on Central Michigan. The Chippewas beat up on a bad Purdue team last week, winning 38-17. Syracuse is a 6.5-point road favorite.