What to watch in the Big East: Week 9


Here's what's worth keeping an eye on Friday and Saturday in the Big East.

1. Does Munchie put his money where his mouth is? Munchie Legaux took a step back in Cincinnati's loss at Toledo, but it hasn't hurt his confidence, as he said this week that he is better than Teddy Bridgewater. He gets the chance to quiet the critics and turn the Bearcats into a legitimate Big East title contender in Friday night's game at Louisville.

2. Louisville's defensive consistency. The Cardinals surrendered a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to USF, nearly blowing the game before Bridgewater saved them. They surrendered five touchdowns at Pitt one week earlier. Louisville is fourth in the Big East in both total and scoring defense, and it needs to do better against a Cincinnati team that likes to spread the field.

3. Temple's response. The Owls' Big East return started swimmingly -- two straight upset wins, a 10-0 halftime lead on a conference favorite -- and then it all came apart in a second half that belonged to Rutgers. How the Owls respond against an up-and-down Pitt team will say a lot about its character.

4. Pitt running backs. Last week Ray Graham had 20 carries in the bad weather for 74 yards; Rushel Shell had 12 for 35. One week earlier? Graham six for 60; Shell 18 for 96. Whoever gets the call more will look to stack up yards against a Temple defense that ranks seventh in the Big East against the run.

5. Dri Archer. At all times. Seriously.

6. More Khaseem Greene magic. Greene's 20-yard fumble return for a score against Temple came one week after notching 14 tackles and forcing three fumbles against Syracuse. What could the reigning conference defensive player of the year have in-store for Kent State on his final homecoming?

7. Cuse defense looks to keep it up. The Orange have been outstanding defensively the last three games, from sacking Pitt five times to limiting UConn to minus-6 rushing yards. (They were the only unit to hold Rutgers' Jawan Jamison under 100 rushing yards, too.) Syracuse will look for more of the same at USF.

8. USF (still) goes for first pick. We're waiting. As is every other FBS team at this point.