Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Big East Preview, Week11

Another big weekend of games, as the top teams in the Big East continue to distance themselves. This week is highlighted by two top teams facing off, as well as The Knights continuing their quest to salvage their season. Pat White and LeSean McCoy will also be showing off their skills yet again, for a shot at Offensive Player of the Year. Here are the picks.
Last Week: 1-3
Overall: 37-15
Bye Week: UConn, South Florida
Syracuse at Rutgers: A strange thing happened last Saturday night...the Orange beat an FBS team! And once again it was Louisville. Can Syracuse carry the momentum down to New Jersey? Possibly, but it's going to take a huge effort to do so. Rutgers has been a hot team, and will be coming in off a bye week. Mike Teel had six touchdown passes against Pitt, and should be able to find the endzone again this week. Syracuse has to find a ground game, and has had success over the last few weeks with Curtis Brinkley. It will be a struggle though considering Rutgers has been slowing Big East runnigbacks all year long. The Knights need every game they can get just to become bowl eligible, so don't expect a letdown. It's not out of the question for Rutgers to run the rest of the table. While Syracuse will fight hard, they will need a few key turnovers to give them a boost. I don't expect that to happen.
Prediction: 31-19 Rutgers
Louisville at Pittsburgh: The Cardinals can't afford to think about last weeks dismal defeat to Syracuse. Still looking for bowl eligibility, Louisville has to get back to basics against the Panthers. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh comes in riding an emotional high following the four overtime win at Notre Dame. Emotional letdown for Pitt? Not likely. The Panthers can ill-afford to drop another game in-conference. LeSean McCoy continues to be a force on the ground. He will face his most difficult task yet; Louisville's rush defense is ranked in the the top 10. Billl Stull does return to Pitt, which will help bigtime, considering the Cardinal rushing defense. Stull will have to shake-off the cobwebs early. He hasn't played since being knocked out against Rutgers. The Panthers can be susceptible at times in the secondary, so expect Louisivlle to run a lot of play-action. Expect Pitt to do what they are comfortable with, which is setting up the pass with McCoy. The Cardinals are desperate for this win to stay in will kill them in the end.
Prediction: 27-17 Pitt
Game of the Week. Cincinnati at West Virginia: The Bearcats have never beaten WVU since joining the Big East. Now would be a good time to do so. Cincinnati comes in off a very solid victory over South Florida. The Mountaineers relied on the defense once again last week in shutting UConn out in the second half. WVU needs to find a consistent offense if they are going to run the table. They're going to get caught with their collective pants down at some point if they continue to struggle in the first half. Pat White seems to be back to his former self, which is key for the Mounties. He looks strong running the ball, and is starting to slide to avoid the big hit. Cincy will be going with Tony Pike, but original starter, Dustin Grutza could be back on the bench this weekend. Look for the Bearcats to spread the field, and really work on the young WVU cornerbacks. The Mountaineer front has been stellar, but the secondary is a bit untested. WVU will continue to pound the run, but expect a few tries down the field. White needs to be careful, the Bearcats corners are ballhawks. Cincy has to finish drives early if they want to have a chance. If this game is close at half, big advantage goes to WVU.
Prediction: 24-13 WVU



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