Wednesday, November 21, 2012
What to watch in the Big East: Week 13
By Matt Fortuna
All eight teams are in action this weekend. Enjoy the leftovers while watching.
1. Does Alec Lemon keep it going? The Syracuse wideout has been unstoppable the past five games, hauling in 41 receptions for 727 yards, including his 244-yard output Saturday, when he clinched the final-seconds victory at Missouri with the winning touchdown catch. Not coincidentally, the Orange are 4-1 in their past five games.
2. A family affair on Black Friday: Temple coach Steve Addazio won't get to spend Thanksgiving dinner with his son Louie, an injured Syracuse tight end. Steve joked that the two wouldn't talk much this week. And while not having to devise a game plan for dealing with his son might take away some of the awkwardness, how they interact during Friday's matchup could be fun.
South Florida is down to third-string quarterback Matt Floyd for its visit to Cincinnati.
3. Your turn, Matt: South Florida really has nowhere else to turn now. B.J. Daniels and Bobby Eveld are out for the season, and in steps Matt Floyd, who doesn't have much to lose as his 3-7 Bulls visit a Cincinnati team coming off a tough home loss a week earlier.
4. Cincinnati's offensive response: Coach Butch Jones said his team's three-point showing in a home loss to Rutgers was unacceptable. Brendon Kay looks like he'll start a third consecutive game under center after hurting his non-throwing elbow, and he'll have a chance to pick apart one of the worst passing defenses in the country.
5. UConn looks to keep it going: The Huskies have had a week to relish their 24-point explosion (by their standards) in a win over Pitt on Nov. 10. The task is considerably harder at Louisville, and this matchup is all the more interesting given the recent bickering over which school is more attractive to potential suitors from other conferences. (Though this contest will have absolutely nothing to do with whatever happens.)
6. What's UL do on the ground? Louisville has had two weeks to recover from its first loss of the season, but we'll find out Saturday if the Cardinals have an answer in the backfield after losing Senorise Perry for the season. Jeremy Wright (680 rushing yards, nine touchdowns) will look to fill the big shoes.
7. Rutgers has a game this weekend: A pretty big one, too. Amidst all the off-the-field news that's accompanied the Scarlet Knights' move to the Big Ten, the team has a chance to clinch at least a share of the Big East title this weekend at Pitt. Remember, the Big East?
8. Does Pitt play up to its opponent? The Panthers stand in the way. They were a few bad breaks away from ruining Notre Dame's perfect season three weeks ago, and now they face the conference's first-place team while needing to win out to extend their season to a bowl game. It will also be interesting to see Ray Graham face his brother Khaseem Greene, as the two are among the conference's best players this season.