Big East practice report

Taking a look at practice around the league ...

Cincinnati: Coach Butch Jones continued to put an emphasis on his kicking competition Thursday. At the end of practice, he had transfer Shane Popham kick for the defense and Tony Miliano kick for the offense. The losing side had to run an extra gasser. Popham was 4-of-5 from between 35 and 38 yards to win relief for the defense. "We will continue to do that," Jones said. "We have to continue to raise their blood pressure. It’s going to be critical, and kicking is pressure situations. So we will continue to manufacture as much pressure situations as we can."

Connecticut: The Huskies hold media day today, with plenty of live coverage on the school's website.

Louisville: The Cardinals held their first two-a-day practice Thursday. In the first practice, they worked on goal-line situations. The defense stuffed the offense on the first go-around. But on the second, the offense scored four straight times. One included a touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Josh Chichester.

Pitt: Coach Todd Graham is pleased with freshmen Juan Price and Todd Thomas at linebacker. He also was happy with kicker Kevin Harper, who made all of his field goals during practice, including a 55-yarder. Tight end Brock DeCicco was not at practice and is considering a transfer. DeCicco is worried he isn't a good fit in the new spread offense.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights will hold their first scrimmage Saturday but won't be at full strength, especially at running back. Jawan Jamison (hamstring) won't participate, and coach Greg Schiano didn't know if Jeremy Deering (head) would be available. Defensive end Manny Abreu (head) also will be held out. Rutgers only has three healthy tailbacks on the roster right now.

Syracuse: Injuries have hit the Orange particularly hard.

USF: Quarterback B.J. Daniels returned to practice but was held out of team drills during the second half of the day. Still, it was a relief to have him back and he showed no signs of favoring his leg. Also Thursday, Lou Holtz was at practice, decked out in Bulls gear, to cheer on and support his son, coach Skip Holtz. Lou Holtz addressed the team afterward and had this evaluation: “They’re a much-improved football team from what I’ve seen,” he said. “More experienced, more confidence, better fundamentally, and they’re very quick and they work hard.”

West Virginia: Defensive tackle Julian Miller turned his ankle and was in a red, non-contact jersey and walking boot. Coach Dana Holgorsen said Miller was "day-to-day." Same for Darwin Cook, who has a strained muscle. Holgorsen also anticipates playing 12 true freshmen this year.