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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Predictions: Big East Week 11

By Andrea Adelson

So I am a terrible picker, what can I say? Another losing week in Big East play, as I went 1-3. That puts me at 38-17 for the season, with most of the correct picks coming in nonconference. So I have to start being unpredictable, right? Not this week. On to the picks.

Friday

USF at Syracuse, 8 p.m., ESPN2. Who is more desperate for a win? USF, which has dropped four straight, or Syracuse, which has dropped two in a row? I wonder whether the day this game is being played on will make a difference. Syracuse is 2-0 during weekday games this season and had its spectacular performance against West Virginia on a Friday night. USF, meanwhile, fell flat on a Thursday night against Pitt, when this whole streak got started. Bulls fans are going to get their wish. I am going with the home team. Syracuse 24, USF 21.

Saturday

West Virginia at Cincinnati, noon, ABC. When the season started, I penciled the Mountaineers in for a win in this game. But now that I have watched both teams play, it is hard to pick West Virginia. The reason -- Cincinnati is simply a much more physical team both on the offensive and defensive lines. They attack more, they are more aggressive, and they are playing with a passion that has been sorely lacking from West Virginia. This one could turn into a shootout as I anticipate both teams taking advantage of matchup problems in the secondary. But Cincinnati has won each of its close games this season and will pull this one out. The magical season continues. Cincinnati 40, West Virginia 38.

Pitt at Louisville, noon, Big East Network. This would be the perfect place to pick an upset. The Cardinals are primed for a letdown game, and Pitt has won three in a row in this series. But Louisville is playing with an incredible amount of confidence right now after beating West Virginia, and are primed to have a huge day on defense. The Louisville front should take advantage of the weakened and battered Pitt offensive line. Pitt is 0-2 on the road this season and will not be able to overcome some serious deficiencies on offense. Louisville 21, Pitt 17.

Rutgers vs. Army, at Yankee Stadium, 3:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network. This is sure to be an emotional game for both sides, because it was a little over a year ago that Eric LeGrand was paralyzed making a tackle against Army. The Black Knights have been banged up, and it is still unclear whether starting quarterback Trent Steelman will be able to go. Army is simply not playing as well as it was when these two teams met last season. This is a perfect opportunity for Chas Dodd to prove why he deserves to be the starter. Rutgers 30, Army 21.