Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Big East Preview, Week 6

An interesting slate of games this week, as midseason approaches. The week is highlighted by a few mid-table programs looking to make a statement in the conference. Pitt is looking to prove the prognosticators right, while UConn looks to keep the surprises coming. A few minor upsets perhaps this week? Here are the picks…

Last Week: 4-0

Overall: 29-4

Bye Week: Cincinnati, South Florida

Texas Southern at Rutgers: The Knights come off a bye with a MONSTER matchup against TSU. I swear this has to be like the fourth FCS team Rutgers has played this year. Not what you would call a touch non-conference schedule for Greg Schiano and the boys in 2009. Rutgers should have few problems moving the ball against a team that is allowing 33 points per game. Also expect the Knights’ defense to make the Tigers even more one-dimensional. Rutgers big in this one.

Prediction: 37-9

Southern Miss at Louisville: Big non-conference game for Louisville and the Big East. The Cardinals certainly don’t want to drop a home game to team from a lesser conference. However, Louisville is the lesser team. The Cardinals have relied on the running game to bail out the problems at quarterback. The problem is Southern Miss has the ability to shut that run down. Louisville needs to throw the football this week. The Golden Eagles have been susceptible to the pass. Look for the Cardinals to connect in the air early to possibly set up the pass. Southern Miss is forced to start a new quarterback this week, after starter Austin Davis injured his foot last week. Martevious Young takes over with not a lot of experience. Look for Louisville to pressure him constantly. The Cardinals are treading water could use a confidence boost. This is a rivalry game, at home, against an inexperienced quarterback. Things point to an upset.

Prediction: 28-27 Louisville

West Virginia at Syracuse: The battle of turnover teams. These two teams combined for a whopping 11 turnovers last week. There seems to be a lack of discipline here folks. The turnovers have really hurt the Mountaineers. Through four games, it’s evident that the biggest opponent WVU has faced is…well WVU. The loss to Auburn was because of turnovers. The close games against ECU and Colorado was because of turnovers. The Mountaineers are averaging close to 500 yards, but it doesn’t mean much when you’re averaging about four turnovers a game as well. Meanwhile, the Orange haven’t exactly dealt with losing the ball either. Syracuse lost a heartbreaker to start the year, after a crucial interception in the endzone in OT. More than likely the turnovers will be even, so this was all just a waste of time. So…on to the pick! It should be a pretty good matchup. Both teams will have success moving the football. West Virginia hasn’t run into a defense that can stop the yard-train. That won’t change this week. ‘Cuse can keep it close if the offensive balance is there, but there is no guarantee of that. The running attack is too inconsistent to this point. Expect a close game early, with WVU pulling away late.

Prediction: 35-24 West Virginia

Game of the Week: UConn at Pitt: Connecticut comes in off a bye, but plenty of momentum. It’s been a very solid start to the year that included a big non-conference victory at Baylor. Meanwhile, Pitt’s defense showed up over the weekend, as the Panthers shut down Louisville in the second half. The Panthers continue to look for a statement win, and it could be this weekend. UConn comes in with the number four defense in the land, and a solid rushing attack. Jordan Toddman and Andre Dixon have solid job taking the reins from Donald Brown. The air assault with Cody Endres is nothing spectacular, but it’s been enough. The Panthers will get a good sense of just how good some of their skilled players are against this solid UConn defense. Dion Lewis is in for a battle on the ground, and Bill Stull will have to be sharp through the air. So far the two have been exceptional and a lot of that falls on the offensive line. But this will be the toughest test so far. Can the o-line hold up? And can Pitt’s defense do enough to slow the Husky attack? UConn has also been successful on the road. A close game all the way, with the Connecticut defense anchoring the mild upset.

Prediction: 24-20 UConn


Unknown said...

Besides the Pitt / UConn contest, none of these games are all that interesting, so you are wrong on that point.

Rutgers big.

Southern Miss in a close game. Louisville is a team on the verge of collapse.

WVU will be tested by Syracuse's passing attack but should survive in that shithole dome the Orange play in.

And I like Pitt big enough to cover the 10 in their contest w/ UConn. Just because UConn beat Baylor doesn't mean they are good, and Pitt will have too much size and athleticism in the trenches for the Huskies. Based on recent trends, this game will likely be close score-wise for a couple of quarters with Pitt giving up their usual blown coverage and Bill Stull throwing an ill advised pass or 3, but in the end Pitt's running game (Lewis) and play action passing attack to their WRs and Dickerson in the flat will be too much, and they should pull away in the late 3rd, early 4th.


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