Big East lunchtime links

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

On the series before he suffered a career-ending knee injury, Matt Grothe sprained his shoulder so bad that he wouldn't have played this week anyway, Brett McMurphy reports in the Tampa Tribune.

"We were up 21-0 and I was going to get on the head phones and tell Chico [offensive coordinator Mike Canales in the press box] that I don't want to go back in because my shoulder hurts," Grothe said. "But then our defense made a big play [forcing a punt], and I was like, 'No, I'll go back in for one more series.'

"The rest was history."

Grothe also says he thinks he'd been playing with a partially-torn ACL for the past two years.

  • Rutgers safety Joe Lefeged returns to his home state of Maryland two years after his controversial helmet-to-helmet hit on a Terrapins quarterback, Tom Luicci writes in The Star-Ledger.

  • Isaiah Pead seemed destined to go to Ohio State, but Cincinnati is sure glad he didn't, Bill Koch writes in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

  • Pitt's Gus Mustakas has recovered from a knee injury, and the defensive tackle is playing the best football of his career, Ralph Paulk says in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

  • UConn's offensive line is leading the way, Desmond Conner says in the Hartford Courant.

  • West Virginia's Jarrett Brown says he sees passing as just "a long handoff," Mike Casazza writes in the Charleston Daily Mail.

  • Red has meant stop for Louisville in the red zone this season, C.L. Brown writes in The Courier-Journal.

  • The Syracuse Post-Standard's Donnie Webb examines three small moments that led to Syracuse's victory over Northwestern.