Thursday, November 1, 2012
Big East predictions: Week 10
By Andrea Adelson
The MAC fooled us again, but at least Matt made the wise choice and stayed away from picking USF. Tuna beat me this week, going 3-1 while I sat at .500.
What awaits this week?
AA season record: 35-13
Temple (3-4, 2-2) at No. 10 Louisville (8-0, 3-0), noon, ABC/ESPN3. Is this the week the Cardinals finally put together a complete game? They should, given the advantages they have on both offense and defense. But Louisville has not made things easy on itself, and the Cardinals face a team quite familiar with what they like to do. Temple coach Steve Addazio and defensive coordinator Chuck Heater worked with Louisville coach Charlie Strong, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and assistant Kenny Carter under Urban Meyer at Florida. Still, Louisville has the depth advantage and Teddy Bridgewater, so bank on the Cardinals to reach 9-0 for the first time in school history. Louisville 40, Temple 17.
Matt's pick: Louisville 35, Temple 13.
Syracuse (4-4, 3-1) at Cincinnati (5-2, 1-1), noon, Big East Network/ESPN3. Cincinnati has dropped two straight while Syracuse has won three of its past four. So should we go with the hot team in this game? Here is what precludes me from picking the Orange in the upset: Cincinnati has a mobile quarterback and outstanding running game. Syracuse has had trouble containing mobile quarterbacks. Look no further than last week's heart-stopping win against USF. The Bulls had two rushers go over 100 yards, including quarterback B.J. Daniels. While Syracuse has the quarterback advantage with Ryan Nassib, I am going with the strong Cincinnati running game to be the difference in this one. Cincinnati 30, Syracuse 28.
Matt's pick: Cincinnati 28, Syracuse 21
Pitt (4-4) at No. 3 Notre Dame (8-0), 3:30 p.m., NBC. The Panthers kept it close in their game last year and had several opportunities to go ahead in the fourth quarter, but the Irish are a vastly superior team this year. Pitt has struggled to gain any consistency both on offense and defense, and is going to need a Herculean effort from Tino Sunseri, Ray Graham, Rushel Shell and its offensive line to put points on the board against the second-best defense I have seen all season. Pitt has concerns with linebacker depth as well. The Irish might have a bit of a letdown after their huge win against Oklahoma last week, but that won't be enough to open the crack for a Pitt upset. Notre Dame 23, Pitt 10.
Matt's pick: Notre Dame 31, Pitt 6
UConn (3-5, 0-3) at USF (2-6, 0-4), 7 p.m., ESPNU/WatchESPN. The bottom-of-the-barrel bowl goes on in Tampa, as the only teams with no wins in league play fight to stay out of the cellar. Both teams have lost their share of heartbreakers, but expectations were much higher for the Bulls, who have now lost six straight. To make matters worse going into this one, they will be without offensive sparkplug Lindsey Lamar, along with Evan Landi and Derrick Hopkins. Several other key players are banged up on offense, and that could leave USF at a serious disadvantage. UConn comes in off a bye, and its top priority is to fix its rushing game. The Huskies could find opportunities against a defense that has largely underachieved. But I still think USF is the better, more talented team. The Bulls have to pull one of these games out eventually, right? Right?! USF 24, UConn 23.
Matt's pick: UConn 17, USF 14