- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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I went 6-1 last week, but the lone loss was a bad one. I picked Pitt to beat Miami and, well, that didn't turn out so well. I also realized that if I just picked the Big East to lose every game against BCS opponents this year, I'd be 10-1 in those games.
Anyway, on to the Week 5 picks in a less-than-challenging slate:
Connecticut 24, Vanderbilt 21: This is my game of the week. Check my video post later Thursday afternoon for an explanation of this pick.
Pittsburgh 23, Florida International 14: The FIU Panthers are 0-3 but have played well against Rutgers, Texas A&M and Maryland. Pitt is coming off an embarrassing loss to Miami and is reshuffling its offensive line. I think Dave Wannstedt's team will have some trouble offensively still but will do enough on defense to pull out a win that's low on style points.
Rutgers 20, Tulane 10: Speaking of low style points, this one probably won't be a game you keep for long on your DVR. Both teams are dealing with injuries to their quarterbacks, so offense might be at a premium. The Green Wave rank 102nd in the FBS in rushing, while the Scarlet Knights are 109th in passing. Defense and special teams should lead Rutgers, which does a great job manufacturing non-offensive scores against subpar opponents.
South Florida 28, Florida Atlantic 17: The Owls can neither run the ball (114th in the FBS) nor stop the run (last in the FBS). I expect South Florida to remain a ground-oriented attack and try to get out of this game without showing too many wrinkles before opening Big East play against Syracuse next week.
Louisville 30, Arkansas State 27: This game may be tougher than it appears on paper. Louisville is banged up and going on the road against a team that has shown it can score. The Red Wolves are ninth nationally in passing yards and scored 26 points in a loss at Auburn. But Arkansas State is allowing nearly 35 points per game, and even with a depleted receiver corps, the Cardinals should find plenty of ways to score. It won't be easy, but Louisville will escape.
Last week: 6-1
Season results: 24-4 (85.7 percent)