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Lambert Meadowlands Trophy Week 3: Penn State, Pitt Jump Out To 3-0 Starts

Penn State and Pitt improve to 3-0; Syracuse to 2-0. Boston College ... not dead yet.

Alex Goodlett

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
1t. Penn State Nittany Lions 3-0 1-0 Massachusetts
1t. Pittsburgh Panthers 3-0 1-0 Iowa
3. Syracuse Orange 2-0 0-0 Maryland
4t. Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2-1 0-1 @ Navy
4t. Boston College Eagles 2-1 0-1 Maine
6t. Army Black Knights 1-1 -- @ Wake Forest
6t. Temple Owls 1-1 0-0 Delaware State
8t. Buffalo Bulls 1-2 0-0 Norfolk State (not the prison)
8t. Connecticut Huskies 1-2 0-0 @ South Florida
10. Massachusetts Minutemen 0-3 0-0 @ Penn State

Week 3 Results

Penn State 13, Rutgers 10

Pittsburgh 42, Florida International 25
Syracuse 40, Central Michigan 3
Boston College 37, USC 31
Stanford 35, Army 0
Baylor 63, Buffalo 21
Boise State 38, Connecticut 21
Vanderbilt 34, Massachusetts 31

Penn State rallied from a 10-point deficit, scoring the go-ahead touchdown with just 1:13 to play to defeat Rutgers 13-10 on Saturday night, spoiling the Scarlet Knights' Big Ten conference debut. Rutgers probably would have won the game, if not for quarterback Gary Nova's 5 INTs on the night. Rutgers offense sputtered against the Nittany Lion defense in the second half, failing to put up any points in the second half after jumping out to a 10-0 halftime lead.

The victory is a big one for Penn State, which is seeking an unprecedented 30th Lambert Meadowlands Trophy win this year.

Pittsburgh joins Penn State as the only other Lambert Meadowlands eligible team to move to 3-0 this week after putting away FIU 42-25 on the road. The Panthers struggled for much of the game, trailing FIU 16-14 at half before reeling off 12 third quarter points to pace past the Golden Panthers. Pitt looks to move to 4-0 this week when they host Iowa (Pitt -6).

After a week off, Syracuse took care of Central Michigan with ease, winning 40-3. With their two easiest games of the season now in their rear-view mirror, the schedule gets much tougher from here, starting with a home date against Maryland (Syracuse -2).

Of course, the big news of the week is that Boston College isn't dead yet.

The Eagles' program-defining, 37-31 upset victory over Southern California moves BC to 2-1 on the year, just a game back of Penn State and Pittsburgh at 3-0 and a half-game back of Syracuse. Last year, Penn State's 31-24 victory over then 14th-ranked Wisconsin in Madison all but locked up yet another Lambert Meadowlands Trophy for the Nittany Lions.

Unless Penn State can spring another upset of a ranked team in the regular season finale (Michigan State), or Syracuse can somehow get past Florida State or Notre Dame, it's hard to envision a Lambert Meadowlands eligible team notching a more impressive victory than BC's win over USC this season.

As you'd expect, the five power conference programs in the Northeast have already distanced themselves a bit from the other teams in the so-called "Group of Five." Army, Buffalo, UConn and UMass all lost in week 3 to drop to at or below .500 on the year.

Week 4 Schedule

Massachusetts at Penn State

Iowa at Pittsburgh
Maryland at Syracuse
Maine at Boston College
Rutgers at Navy
Army at Wake Forest
Delaware State at Temple
Norfolk State at Buffalo
Connecticut at South Florida

For the second straight week, Penn State (3-0) faces another Lambert eligible team. This time it's UMass, where the Minutemen (0-3) find themselves a 27-point road underdog.

Other games this week: Pittsburgh (Iowa) and Syracuse (Maryland) both host Big Ten teams in a mini-ACC/Big Ten challenge. Pitt is a 5.5-point home favorite, while Syracuse is favored by just 2.

Boston College (Maine), Temple (Delaware State) and Buffalo (Norfolk State) are all expected to win this week hosting FCS outfits. Finally, Rutgers, UConn and Army all hit the road to take on Navy, Wake Forest and South Florida, respectively. Rutgers and Army are slight favorites to win.