Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Big East Preview, Week 5

Conference play is upon us, as the Big East heads into week 5. Two conference games highlight the week, including South Florida looking for a 5-0 start. Also on the slate is a revenge game for West Virginia, and a should-be laugher for the conference’s number one team. Here are the picks.

Last Week: 5-2

Overall: 24-4

Bye Week: Rutgers, UConn

(10) Cincinnati at Miami (OH): This may be the biggest game that has ever happened at Yager Stadium. It was obviously scheduled when Cincinnati still sucked. With the top-10 ranking, the Bearcats will be getting everyone’s A-game…not sure Miami’s matters. The RedHawks are 0-4, and averaging just 11 points a game. Miami has also been shutout twice. And the topper is the loss to Kent State, the armpit of college football. This game has all the signs of a major blowout. Cincinnati already had a trap game, and it was last week against a

much better team in Fresno…and the ‘Cats handled it. Expect a beatdown.

Prediction: 51-7 Cincinnati

Pittsburgh at Louisville: Both teams are coming in with losses, and will be looking for a quick start in conference. This is a key game for Pitt to try to get back on track. The preseason favorite is desperately looking for a defense. The Panthers have been devastated by key injuries, and were finally exposed against a good offense in NC State. The Cardinals continue to search for offensive balance, which is a plus for Pitt. Look for the Panthers’ D to key in on the run, and limit Victor Anderson and Bilal Powell. Louisville QB, Justin Burke is going to have to make plays for the Cards to stay in this one…and that just isn’t likely. Pitt should have success against an inexperienced defense as well. Louisville can’t get into a scoring spree with the Panthers.

Prediction: 31-19 Pitt

Colorado at West Virginia: This is a revenge game for the Mountaineers, having played a forgettable game against the Buffalos last year. It was probably more embarrassing for Bill Stewart than anyone else, considering the game plan was a complete failure. A new year, a new team though, as WVU comes in as the heavy favorite. Colorado is off to a putrid start, including a loss to Toledo, where the Buffs allowed 54 points. It will be a long night defensively if Colorado can’t slow down a West Virginia offense that’s averaging 33 points a game. The Mountaineers have a balanced attack as well, making it more difficult. The Buffalos best chance is to create turnovers. It has been the Achilles’ Heal for WVU. It’s really the only thing that has buried this team. Even if the Mountaineers turn the ball over few times it will still take a major effort from Colorado. The Buffalo defense hasn’t been consistent, and the Mountaineer defense will have a wild, Thursday night crowd behind them in Morgantown.

Prediction: 35-20 West Virginia

Game of the Week: South Florida at Syracuse: This is a chance for both teams to make a prohibitive statement. South Florida is likely ranked with a win. It would make the Bulls 5-0 and 2-0 with new starter B.J. Daniels. A win for Syracuse would mean a 3-2 record, and a marquee win in a conference that is steadily improving. This is a game the Orange has been building for. It’s a chance to prove that the ‘Cuse is back…or at least close. The defense will once again anchor the Bulls. Through four games, USF has allowed just 27 points…an incredible stat. The experienced front should be able to get adequate pressure on Greg Paulus. Syracuse will have to get the ground game going. And Paulus can’t be put into too many 3rd and long situations. Mistake-free football is very important for the 'Cuse, which did a good job holding onto the ball last week. However, special teams were a disaster against Maine, and need to tighten up the rest of the way. This should be an exciting game if the Orange defense can harass Daniels early. But expect the USF defense to really control the game, and create a few turnovers that will be the difference.

Prediction: 28-17 USF


Unknown said...

Cinci, Pitt, WV, SF.

USF/Syracuse could be an interesting game.


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