Thursday, October 11, 2012
What to watch in the Big East: Week 7
By Matt Fortuna
Here's what to keep an eye on Saturday in the Big East.
1. Pitt's offensive line. In two wins against two nonconference opponents, the Panthers have surrendered just two sacks. In two Big East games? Those numbers balloon to 11, including five last week at Syracuse, making life very difficult for quarterback Tino Sunseri.
2. Louisville's offense in Big East play. It will be an unusually early (11 a.m. ET) start at Heinz Field for the Cardinals, who are also the last BCS conference team to begin league play, per Rick Bozich. The offense couldn't get much going in the muck at Southern Miss (and who can really blame the unit?), but Louisville had late scares at FIU and against UNC in the two weeks prior. Has the team used the bye to help shore up loose ends?
Can Rutgers running back Jawan Jamison make it six games in a row this season in which he gains at least 100 rushing yards?
3. Jawan Jamison going for 100 again. The Rutgers back has matched Ray Rice's school record with five straight 100-yard games to open the season. He broke through last week against UConn's stout run defense and should do it again when Syracuse visits.
4. Cuse hoping to turn a corner. The Orange have scored just 24 points in their past two games, with seven of those points coming on a defensive touchdown. Look for Ryan Nassib, who eclipsed the 300-yard mark in the season's first three games, to air it out more and try to keep the Scarlet Knights' defense honest as Syracuse looks to build off its first Big East win in nearly a year.
5. UConn still looking for offensive answers. It's not that the Huskies scored just three points against Rutgers; it's that there was little reason to believe they could have scored any more had that game lasted another quarter or two. Temple's defense isn't Rutgers', so now is the time for Chandler Whitmer & Co. to move the ball and avoid their first losing streak of the season.
6. Chris Coyer trying to build off Big East opener. The Temple quarterback completed 16 of 20 passes in a win over USF, but is facing a much tougher defense at UConn. Expect the Huskies to stack the box against Montel Harris following his breakout game and see if Coyer can lift his team again.
7. Munchie Legaux seeking better accuracy. There's not a whole lot to find out about Cincinnati as it hosts another overmatched nonconference opponent, this time FCS Fordham. But the Bearcats still have a quarterback in his first full year as the starter, one who has completed just 55 percent of his throws this season. Despite his late-game magic and unblemished record, Legaux has room for improvement before he gets into the heart of Big East play.