Thursday, October 4, 2012
Big East predictions: Week 6
By Andrea Adelson
Matt did a great job filling in last week with the predictions post. So great, that we were both 4-0 on the week! Will I ruin the unbeaten streak now that I am back?
AA season record: 23-8.
Pitt at Syracuse, 7 p.m., ESPN. Both teams enter the game off a bye and appear to be heading in different directions. The Panthers have won two straight; Syracuse looked terrible in a loss to Minnesota. Pitt has won seven straight in the series, but Syracuse has played well in national spotlight games and showed glimpses of greatness in the first two games against Northwestern and USC. Its last Big East victory came on a Friday night -- against West Virginia a season ago. I believe the Orange will cut down on their silly mistakes and benefit from having tackle Justin Pugh back in the lineup. I can see this one turning into a shootout, and I give Syracuse the edge at home. Syracuse 31, Pitt 30.
Matt's pick: Pitt 27, Syracuse 20
UConn at Rutgers, noon, ESPNU. Nobody thought Rutgers would lose this game last season and the Scarlet Knights did. Nobody thinks Rutgers will lose this game -- so what ends up happening? This should be a great defensive battle between the two best units in the league. But ultimately, Rutgers has the better quarterback in Gary Nova, better running back in Jawan Jamison and better offensive line. I don't think this one will be as close as it has been in years past. Rutgers 27, UConn 17.
Matt's pick: Rutgers 28, UConn 10
USF at Temple, noon, Big East Network. The Bulls have a tendency to get up for their big games, and play down in their Big East games, something coach Skip Holtz addressed earlier this week. USF is more talented than Temple, but then again, the Bulls were more talented than Ball State. Still, I think this team will be encouraged by the way it played against the Seminoles a week ago and will be able to slow down the Temple rushing attack. Temple is too one-dimensional right now on offense and has to show it can be a threat in the pass game. USF 24, Temple 13.
Matt's pick: USF 20, Temple 13
Miami (Ohio) at Cincinnati, 7 p.m., ESPN3. These two teams play in the oldest nonconference rivalry in the nation and will meet Saturday for the 117th time. Cincinnati has won six straight, but struggled in the first half last year before pulling away for the shutout win. This year's game should feature some good quarterback play between Munchie Legaux of Cincinnati and Zac Dysert of Miami. Last week against Akron, Dysert became the first FBS player to pass for at least 500 yards and rush for at least 100 in the same game. Akron's defense is nowhere near Cincinnati's. Cincinnati 35, Miami 13.
Matt's pick: Cincinnati 34, Miami 13.