Big East predictions: Week 3

September, 13, 2012
9/13/12
9:00
AM ET
Another 5-2 week has me at 10-4 for the season. Not bad, but not perfect, either.

On to the picks!

Thursday night

Rutgers at USF, 7:30 p.m., ESPN. I have gone back and forth on this game all week. I tend to pick the teams that have the better defense, but that logic failed me last week with UConn. USF has some sort of strange Thursday night voodoo going on, but I am trying not to let that factor into my decision. Here is what we know so far: Rutgers has an awesome defense and so-so offense; USF put up some big numbers but also gave up some big numbers last week. So what is going to give? Nevada has a better offense than Rutgers, so I don't foresee the Bulls giving up 500 yards. I think Andre Davis will be able to make some plays on an excellent Rutgers secondary ... so I am going with USF to break the jinx (she says as she ducks for cover from angry Bulls fans). USF 24, Rutgers 20.

Saturday

No. 13 Virginia Tech at Pitt, noon, ESPNU. A sneak peek at a future ACC Coastal Division matchup is here. Before the season started, I had thought this would be a good game. Now? Not so much. Pitt has done little to get me to believe it can beat a team ranked No. 13 in the nation. Virginia Tech has had some slow starts on offense, but I don't see how a Pitt defense that has gotten no push up front will be able to contain the highly versatile Logan Thomas. Pitt had better keep an eye on Virginia Tech linebacker Jack Tyler, a tackling machine. Virginia Tech 35, Pitt 17.

UConn at Maryland, 12:30 p.m., Big East Network. The long-anticipated Edsall Bowl is finally here. Both sides have downplayed the emotions going into this game, but you have to think UConn players left in the dust by Edsall will have a little something extra in their tanks. I picked UConn to beat NC State last week because of its defense and lost on that pick. I am sticking with the UConn defense again in this one, because I think the Huskies will completely confound and frustrate true freshman quarterback Perry Hills. How is UConn going to score, you ask? Chandler Whitmer will find a way. UConn 17, Maryland 13.

North Carolina at No. 19 Louisville, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2. This is a huge game for the Cardinals because they have a chance to show that their 2-0 start and No. 19 ranking are completely legitimate against a pretty good team from the ACC. North Carolina won this matchup last year, but the Tar Heels now feature a spread hurry-up that can cause some major problems for a defense. But the way Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price dominated the UNC defense leads me to believe that Teddy Bridgewater will be able to do the same. Louisville 33, North Carolina 28.

Stony Brook at Syracuse, 4 p.m., Big East Network. Syracuse has had some offensive fireworks in its first two games and no wins to show for it. That all changes this week against FCS school Stony Brook. The Orange have won their past 28 games against current members of the FCS. In fact, the team’s last loss to a current FCS school happened Oct. 4, 1958, at Holy Cross, 14-13. Syracuse 45, Stony Brook 10.

Delaware State at Cincinnati, 7 p.m, ESPN3. Cincinnati debuted last week with a win over Pitt, now gets FCS Delaware State, then has another bye and then a game against Virginia Tech. Not the greatest scheduling, but nothing Cincinnati could do about that given its limited options. I predict Walter Stewart will get three sacks. Cincinnati 40, Delaware State 7.

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