Thursday, September 23, 2010
Big East predictions: Week 4
By Brian Bennett
When Temple's Adrian Robinson ripped the ball out of Jordan Todman's hands and ran in for the game-turning touchdown last week, he also ripped apart my string of perfection.
I had to settle for a 4-1 record after UConn couldn't get it done. But onward and upward. Huge games this week, and it's time for some huge picks.
Pittsburgh 27, Miami 24: On paper, these two teams match up pretty closely. The Hurricanes have more speed, but I think Pitt is a little tougher and will benefit from playing at home. The Panthers have had a lot of distractions, including off-the-field issues and Greg Romeus' injury. But this smells to me like a rally-the-troops kind of moment. Miami hits some big pass plays, but Pitt's ground game starts churning and controls the tempo. It all comes down to a Dan Hutchins field goal to win it.
LSU 31, West Virginia 27: This is my game of the week. See my video post this afternoon for an explanation of my pick.
Oklahoma 38, Cincinnati 17: You'd have to be an incredible optimist to go with the Bearcats in this one based on how both teams have played in the first three weeks. Sure, the Sooners had a couple of close calls with Utah State and Air Force, but Cincinnati hasn't yet showed the ability to beat a decent team. Oklahoma is too big and too fast for the Bearcats.
North Carolina 20, Rutgers 14: I'd feel better about the Scarlet Knights' chances if their offense had shown any signs of a pulse so far this season. Now they have to display major improvement against a weakened, but still very capable Tar Heels defense. Unless Tom Savage and the offensive line figured a lot of things out in the bye week, or if the Rutgers defense can create a couple scores, I don't see how they beat a North Carolina team that's already in must-win mode.
Connecticut 38, Buffalo 20: The Huskies should be mad and ready to deal out some punishment this week. If not, they've got bigger issues than we thought. Getting back to Rentschler Field should help.
South Florida 41, Western Kentucky 10: The Hilltoppers have lost 23 straight games, and they get a Bulls team that's had an extra week to prepare. Sounds like the recipe for a blowout.
Syracuse 35, Colgate 7: I expect a better all-around performance against this week's FCS opponent than last week for Syracuse, which messed around for a half before putting away Maine.
Last week: 4-1
Season results: 18-3 (85.7 percent)