What to watch in the Big East: Week 6

October, 4, 2012
10/04/12
10:15
AM ET
The first real weekend of conference play. Bring it.

1. Syracuse returns several offensive pieces. The Orange get back all-conference left tackle Justin Pugh (shoulder) for the first time this season, and receiver Adrian Flemming returns as well for Friday night's visit from Pittsburgh (7 p.m., ESPN). Flemming emerged as a threat in camp before suffering a high ankle sprain that kept him out of the season's first month.

[+] EnlargeRay Graham
AP Photo/Keith SrakocicPitt's Ray Graham averaged more than 90 yards per game while dinged; are bigger things ahead?
2. Pitt offense looks to stay hot. The Panthers recovered from an 0-2 start to go on a historic two-game explosion in a pair of wins. Does Ray Graham -- who was second in the conference in rushing through four games despite being less than 100 percent -- take it to another level following a bye week to recover?

3. Defenses on display in Piscataway. UConn and Rutgers boast the conference's two best defenses, so a shootout isn't likely. But the Scarlet Knights have gotten a huge lift from Jawan Jamison and, more recently, Gary Nova. The Huskies are slowly picking things up behind Chandler Whitmer, but they'll need to be on their A-game to pull off the upset.

4. USF tries to get back on winning track. Two tough losses gave way to an admirable showing against Florida State, so there are signs of life from Skip Holtz's squad. The Bulls probably can't ask for a better opponent to take their frustrations from a three-game losing streak out against than Temple.

5. A new era in Philly. Temple officially returns to the Big East on Saturday. But have the Owls developed a consistent passing game yet, following a one-win month that featured two byes?

6. Can Munchie continue his magic? Cincinnati's first-year starting quarterback put up career highs and drove the Bearcats past Virginia Tech. But Legaux's accuracy still must improve after three games. He'll look to build on that against Miami (Ohio) and not suffer a letdown like the way he and the offense did against FCS Delaware State in their most recent game at Nippert Stadium.

Matt Fortuna | email

College Football

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