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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Big East predictions: Week 9

By Andrea Adelson

Tuna and I went 4-1 last week, as we both incorrectly picked Cincinnati to beat Toledo. As we have all learned, upsets do happen in the Big East. Anybody on upset alert this week?

AA season record: 33-11 (.750)

Friday night

Cincinnati at No. 16 Louisville, 8 p.m., ESPN. The Bearcats have won four straight in the series, but they go into this one as the underdog. A little bit of luster may have been lost from this game because Cincinnati is coming off a loss, but both teams are undefeated in Big East play and have the longest-running rivalry in the Big East, so there is plenty on the line. I give the edge to Louisville based on the way Teddy Bridgewater is playing. I know Munchie Legaux believes he is the better quarterback, but Bridgewater is playing lights-out and will be able to hit some deep passes on this secondary. I also think Cincinnati will feel the loss of Walter Stewart even more in this game. The Bearcats are going to need to get after Bridgewater, and I wonder how effectively they can with Stewart out. Louisville has a much better offensive line than Toledo. Louisville 30, Cincinnati 21.

Matt's pick: Louisville 28, Cincinnati 24

Saturday

Temple at Pitt, noon, Big East Network/ESPN3. This is a matchup between two teams with similar styles: Both are going to try to control the line of scrimmage and just pound the football. Neither looked great last week, but Pitt comes in off a victory over Buffalo. I give the Panthers the edge because they have more balance on offense, and are better defensively. If given the opportunity, Tino Sunseri may be able to take advantage of the Temple secondary with his two good receivers, Devin Street and Mike Shanahan. Pitt 24, Temple 17.

Matt's pick: Pitt 21, Temple 10

Kent State at Rutgers, 3:30 p.m., Big East Network/ESPN3. You guys have already read about the challenges Kent State presents to Rutgers, particularly the fabulous Dri Archer. But the Golden Flashes have yet to play anybody as good as Rutgers this season. Their only loss came to Kentucky, and Kentucky is not exactly lighting up the SEC this year. Still, Rutgers will have to find a way to contain Archer and remain focused on the season ahead, despite taking a break from league play for the next several weeks. Rutgers 28, Kent State 13.

Matt's pick: Rutgers 21, Kent State 6

Syracuse at USF, 7 p.m., ESPN3. I was going to call this an upset alert, but then I saw USF was favored to win. I think the Orange looked outstanding last week and are playing much better defensively. It was good to see the run game get going as well, with Jerome Smith notching the first 100-yard game of the season for Syracuse. But USF has always presented problems for Syracuse and so has mobile B.J. Daniels. USF is 6-1 all time against the Orange, and showed major heart against Louisville. I give the Bulls the home-field edge and say they pull this one off. USF 23, Syracuse 20.

Matt's pick: Syracuse 27, USF 21