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What we learned in the Big East, Week 1

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Five lessons gleaned from the first Saturday:

1. West Virginia needs work: Jarrett Brown was outstanding and Noel Devine was his usual self, but the Mountaineers are far from a finished product. An uninspiring 33-20 win over Liberty showed some glaring weaknesses in the defense and -- again -- kickoff coverage. The mistakes are correctable, and there's no reason to panic. But West Virginia needs to be a lot stronger in the next three games against East Carolina, Auburn and Colorado.

2. UConn is still a running team: Despite all the offseason work on improving the passing game and adding balance, pounding it on the ground remains the Huskies' bread and butter. Quarterback Zach Frazer has struggled with his accuracy in the past, and he did so again in Saturday's 23-16 win at Ohio by going 11-of-24 with three interceptions (though he did have two touchdowns). UConn had more than twice as many rushing yards as passing, as Jordan Todman and Andre Dixon both went over 100 yards. Nothing wrong with the running game leading the way, but the Huskies will need more balance against North Carolina and Baylor in the next two games.

3. Syracuse can be competitive: As dispiriting as the 23-20 overtime loss to Minnesota was, the Orange showed that they are no pushover. They led for most of the second half, and Greg Paulus proved he could be a competent game manager until his rookie mistake in overtime. Most impressively, though, the defense held Minnesota to just one touchdown after the Golden Gophers scored early in the game off a turnover. Syracuse might not be able to hang with Penn State this week, but repeating or exceeding Saturday's effort will keep it in a lot of Big East games.

4. It could be a long year for Louisville: Possibly the worst team in the FCS, Indiana State lost its opener to an NAIA team (Quincy) and has won one game since George W. Bush's first term as president. So what does it say about Louisville that the Cardinals trailed 7-3 after one quarter, led only 17-7 at halftime and won only 30-10? This was a game designed to let the home team roll up huge numbers and build confidence, and neither happened. Steve Kragthorpe needs to find some answers in the coming bye week before going to Kentucky.

5. Stull still needs to look over his shoulder: Despite his team's easy 38-3 win over Youngstown State, Pitt senior quarterback Bill Stull heard boos from the home crowd and heavy cheers when backup Tino Sunseri came in. Stull played decently, completing 11 of 16 passes for 123 yards, with two scores and an interception, while Sunseri finished 5-of-8 for 80 yards and a touchdown. There are some Pitt fans who are never going to believe in Stull, and coach Dave Wannstedt has to make sure that a quarterback controversy doesn't tear this promising season apart. As long as the Panthers can get performances from their running backs like they did with freshman Dion Lewis on Saturday (129 yards, three touchdowns), they won't need a star quarterback.