Thursday, October 11, 2012
Big East predictions: Week 7
By Andrea Adelson
Temple pulled the big surprise last week in Big East play with its win over South Florida, sending me to a 3-1 record in Week 6. Matt was 2-2 after picking Pitt and the Bulls to win. So what does Week 7 have in store?
AA season record: 26-9.
Louisville at Pitt, 11 a.m., ESPNU. Pitt has won four straight games in the series and pulled the upset last season a week after Louisville upset West Virginia. Whoever can run the ball better will win this game. Louisville has been fairly consistent on the ground, averaging 169 yards rushing. But Pitt has been really inconsistent. Last week against Syracuse, the Panthers only had 27 yards rushing. Pitt back Rushel Shell has been banged up and Ray Graham had his worst game of the season last week, averaging 2.4 yards per carry. Though I am tempted to pick Pitt, Louisville has advantages at just about every position, so I am going with the Cardinals -- early start and all. Louisville 27, Pitt 20.
Matt's pick: Louisville 21, Pitt 17
Syracuse at Rutgers, noon, Big East Network/ESPN3. The game between these two teams last season was really ugly, as they combined for nine turnovers in a Rutgers double-overtime win. Chas Dodd lost his starting job midway through that game and Gary Nova led the Scarlet Knights to the victory. Nova goes into the matchup this year looking much more polished at quarterback, and he has an excellent back in Jawan Jamison to shoulder the load. Syracuse coach Doug Marrone was effusive in his praise of the Rutgers D, and I think the Scarlet Knights' edge there gives them the win. But it won't be easy. Rutgers 23, Syracuse 17.
Matt's pick: Rutgers 20, Syracuse 7
Temple at UConn, 1 p.m., ESPN3. The Owls are riding high after their win over USF last week, as they should be. They finally got a good look at a healthy Montel Harris, and their offensive and defensive lines played really well. But the UConn defense is just a bit saltier than the group Temple just played. OK, a lot saltier. UConn has the No. 1 defense and No. 2 rushing defense in the Big East. That gives the edge to the Huskies. UConn 17, Temple 13.
Matt's pick: UConn 17, Temple 10
Fordham at Cincinnati, 7 p.m., ESPN3. The Bearcats are in the middle of a stretch of five nonconference games after starting off the season with a Big East game against Pitt. This current stretch is not exactly thrilling, with FCS Fordham this week and then Toledo next week before they jump back into league play at Louisville. Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead is familiar with Cincinnati, after arriving from UConn, but I don't foresee any problems for the Bearcats in this one. Cincinnati 40, Fordham 10.
Matt's pick: Cincinnati 45, Fordham 7