Thursday, October 13, 2011
Predictions: Big East Week 7
By Andrea Adelson
I don't think anybody but Rutgers fans saw the Scarlet Knights' upset over Pitt coming. I sure didn't, and that game saddled me with my lone loss of the week. After going 3-1, I am now 33-8 on the season. On to the picks:
Louisville at Cincinnati, noon ET. To say the Cardinals have not had much success on offense would be an understatement. They cannot run, and that has put way too much pressure on true freshman Teddy Bridgewater to make things happen. This might not be the game to jump-start the run game. Cincinnati has held its past two opponents to negative yards on the ground. This game also features one of the worst teams in the country in turnover margin (Louisville, minus-4) against one of the best (Cincinnati, plus-12). Will Stein will be a game-time decision, and Shawn Watson will call the plays for a second straight week. But with a shaky offensive line and no consistency, Louisville faces a tough task. Cincinnati 30, Louisville 14.
Utah at Pittsburgh, noon. Talk about two teams that are coming off disappointing losses. The Panthers lost to Rutgers 34-10; Utah lost to Arizona State 35-14. The Utes have lost starting quarterback Jordan Wynn for the season and are struggling on offense as much as the Panthers. Utah has won both previous meetings but is 6-12 in games played in the Eastern time zone. Do not underestimate that early start time for a team that plays in the Mountain time zone. I think Todd Graham will have his team ready to play after the embarrassment of last week. Pitt 24, Utah 20.
Navy at Rutgers, 2 p.m. Navy has lost three straight, but the Midshipmen should not be overlooked. Their offense will present a huge challenge for a surging defense that prides itself on taking the ball away and being able to stop the run. Navy has the No. 1 rush offense in the nation, and fullback Alexander Teich will be back in the lineup. The Midshipmen do not hurt themselves with mistakes, either -- they have given up the ball only six times and are the least penalized team in the nation. This has the feel of a letdown game for Rutgers after the big win last week, but I think the Scarlet Knights will just eke this one out. Rutgers 23, Navy 20.
USF at UConn, 3:30 p.m. The Bulls have had a good, long time to think about their loss to Pitt and are going to take all their frustrations out on UConn. The Huskies have been able to win the past two games over USF with last-minute field goals from Dave Teggart, but I do not think this one is going to be close. With the way teams have been passing on UConn, B.J. Daniels should have a good day, and the defense should be able to stop an offense that has failed to do anything consistently. USF 33, UConn 17.