Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Big East Preview, Week 3

Major statement weekend for the Big East. Games against the SEC, PAC 10, Big Ten, and Big 12 highlight the schedule. Now is the time for the conference to prove that it’s not as far behind as most say. This could be the best weekend this conference has had in years. Or it could potentially be catastrophic. Here are the picks.

Last Week: 7-0

Overall: 13-1

Charleston Southern @ South Florida: The Bulls continue to play the dregs of society, and this week it's the team made famous by being a 73 point underdog to Florida. Another real tough test for USF. The Buccaneers had only scored 17 points in two games, while allowing 104. That’s a good thing for a South Florida team that has struggled for offensive consistency. Hearty congratulations to Matt Grothe, as he surpassed Pat White for number one on the Big East total yards list. Grothe has been a fantastic player for the Bulls, and looks to keep his senior season unblemished. It will continue...easily.

Prediction: 45-7 USF

Florida International at Rutgers: How many Isaiah Thompson errrr I mean Isaiah Thomas references will be made during this broadcast? The Knights come in with some confidence, and look to keep the wins coming. Tom Savage took the reins at QB last week against Howard and played pretty solid. Expect the freshman to continue his solid play against a Panther team that was decimated by Alabama. Expect Rutgers to have good balance offensively, and pressure the Panthers into too many mistakes.

Prediction: 34-10 Rutgers

Louisville at Kentucky: One of the great rivalries in all of college sports...on the basketball court. These teams have had some good squads on the gridiron recently, just not for the Cardinals. If Louisville wants to continue to improve, then it must rely on tailbacks’ Victor Anderson and Bilal Powell. The two combined for over 160 yards in week one. If the Cards want to beat Kentucky, it starts with controlling the clock with those two. The Wildcats bring a balanced attack into the game, having gone over 200 yards on the ground and in the air in week one. Mike Hartline should have success throwing the football against an inconsistent defense. Look for Jacoby Ford to find some open holes in the secondary. The Cards will struggle to slow Kentucky down, and being on the road doesn't help the cause.

Prediction: 37-24 Kentucky

Northwestern at Syracuse: The Orange may be 0-2, but it's a solid 0-2. An overtime loss to Minnesota and a respectable 21-point loss to heavily-favored Penn State shows that Syracuse is

moving in the right direction. The Big Ten tour continues this week with a match up against Northwestern. The Wildcats have much stronger numbers offensively than the Orange. However, Northwestern has played nobody...and nearly lost to one of those nobody’s. There is no question that the 'Cuse is more battle-tested to this point. Look for the Orange to try to establish the run...something they have struggled with a bit. It could be successful this week against a team allowing over 100 yards per game. This should open up air attack for Greg Paulus. The Duke Assassin is ready to have a bit of a breakout game, and the stars could be aligned this Saturday. Look for Syracuse to take an early lead, control the clock, and shut Mike Kafka down.

Prediction: 24-17 Syracuse

UConn at Baylor: It was a heartbreaker for UConn last week, losing on a holding call in the endzone for a safety. No time for a hangover here, as the Huskies face a Baylor squad that can be very explosive. The Bears are coming off a bye, so will be rested and ready this weekend. The Huskies will have to rely on Greg Lloyd and the defense to try to slow the talented Baylor offense. UConn has had success in slowing the run game down, which could really hurt the Bears' creativity. The bigger issue is going to be the UConn offense. Cody Endres gets the start at QB, but the youngster is battling a stomach virus this week...not good for preparation. This means a big game from Jordan Toddman is a must. This could be difficult against an underrated Baylor defense. Things will just not be in the Huskies favor this weekend. Baylor big.

Prediction: 31-14 Baylor

Navy at Pittsburgh: This will be a good one. The Panthers continue to play well, especially the new tailback in town. Dion Lewis has been sensational, having already racked up 319 yards in just two games. Bill Stull has been efficient with five TD passes, and just one INT...and the offensive line ha been dynamite. But the problem with this one will be the defense. Overall, the Panthers have been electric against stopping the run, but bad news hit the Steel City this week. Starting safety Andrew Taglianetti was lost for the season, after tearing his ACL. This is a big loss for the season...and a huge loss right away, taking on a Navy team that will hit you with the option. Expect the Midshipmen to have success in controlling the clock...but not enough. Navy won't be able to shutdown the Panther offense, as Pitt wins a closer game than most probably think.

Prediction: 38-27 Pitt

West Virginia at Auburn: The Tigers will be looking for revenge from last year's embarrassment in Morgantown. WVU scored 31 unanswered points in the second half to trounce Auburn, and probably seal Tommy Tuberville's fate. Well, this is a new season, with a new coach, and a new attitude surrounds the entire campus as the Tigers are off to a hot start. Auburn will turn to the run against a WVU offense that is a bit beat up (Scooter Berry is questionable) at the front. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers will rely on a rapidly improving passing game that has seen Jarrod Brown light it up so far. But Brown is going up against an upstart secondary, with a lot of confidence. The crowd will be a major factor as well, so WVU will want to get up early. The Mountaineers have a five-game winning streak against the SEC, but it’s coming to an end this weekend. Expect Auburn to control the game on both sides.

Prediction: 27-20 Auburn

Game of the Week: (21) Cincinnati at (24) Oregon State: A huge game for the conference’s only ranked team. The Bearcats are in great form as they head out west to Corvallis. Cincinnati should have success against an Oregon State defense that has some holes. The Bearcats are second in the nation in scoring and Tony Pike 4th in passing efficiency. There is no doubt Cincy will score, but can they slow down Jacquizz Rodgers and the Beavers? Potentially. The ‘Cats defense has looked very solid, but haven’t truly faced an explosive offense yet. Cincinnati will need to limit the big plays to slow OSU down. On paper this game looks like a shootout. Couldn’t agree more. Look for the Bearcats to continuously attack OSU’s secondary, while doing just enough defensively to win.

Prediction: 38-31 Cincinnati


Unknown said...

not sure how I did last week, other than correctly guessing that PSU wouldn't cover.

USF big.


Kentucky. I guess.

I'll go with the home team in the Syracuse / NW contest. 'Cuse by 7.

Much improved Baylor team big over a UConn team that hasn't found an offense yet.

Pitt big over Navy. 3+ TDs.

WVU over Auburn by 3.

Cinci over OSU.


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