What to watch in the Big East: Week 10


There's only one game in the Big East on Saturday, so this week's What to Watch will be short and sweet.

1. Basement Bowl no more: Syracuse and Louisville duked it out for the Big East cellar the past couple of years, including a dreadful 10-9 game last year in Louisville. This season, both teams are much improved and seeking long-awaited postseason berths. The Orange will punch their bowl ticket for the first time since 2004 with a victory Saturday, while Louisville can get one win closer to bowl eligibility for the first time since the 2006 season.

2. No Powell, no points?: Louisville star running back Bilal Powell, who leads the Big East in rushing with 1,067 yards, is looking doubtful to play because of swelling around his knee. Victor Anderson has been cleared to go but probably won't be 100 percent. If the Cardinals can't mount their usual rushing attack, which is the best in the league, how will they attack a Syracuse defense that ranks second in the conference in points allowed? The Orange would love for Louisville to become one-dimensional so they can pin their ears back and go after the quarterback.

3. Louisville vs. the run: The Cardinals have been surprisingly good against the run, holding Pitt and UConn well below their normal numbers in the rushing game. But they still remain susceptible to power team because of their lack of size, and Syracuse has a bull in Delone Carter. His ability to knock people over and the Orange's physical style might be the difference in a game where neither offense might shine. Louisville has done a good job of tackling in space and disguising its looks most of the year. It shouldn't have to worry too much about a suspect Syracuse passing attack. Stopping Carter and Antwon Bailey is the main mission.