Thursday, November 15, 2012
Big East predictions: Week 12
By Andrea Adelson
I saw the Pitt and Louisville losses coming from a mile away, but I was not woman enough to make the upset picks. So I went 2-2 last week, and so did Tuna.
Any upsets in store this week?
AA season record: 41-15.
No. 22 Rutgers (9-1, 4-0) at Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1), noon, Big East Network/ESPN3. #RUTGvsCINCY. I honestly thought Rutgers was going to be the favorite, considering it is ranked and the only team unbeaten in Big East play. Then I looked at the line and saw that I was wrong. So I guess this is not going to qualify as an upset special. Here is why I like Cincinnati to win: Rutgers has had difficulty scoring this season. That may be putting it mildly. While Cincinnati is not the Steel Curtain on defense, its front is pretty solid. If Jawan Jamison cannot play, Rutgers must make plays in the pass game to win. Will Gary Nova be allowed? Rutgers has a terrific defense, there is no question. Last season, the Scarlet Knights were much more physical and dominated up front. But they will be facing a Cincinnati offense with a clear identity on offense this time around, and the Bearcats will find a way to make a few plays and win. And by the way, Cincinnati has won nine straight at Nippert. Cincinnati 24, Rutgers 20.
Matt's pick: Cincinnati 20, Rutgers 12.
Temple (3-6) at Army (2-8), noon, CBS Sports Network. Temple has to stop this losing streak at some point, right? The Owls have lost four straight, but that should not come as a huge shock considering they have just finished up their toughest stretch of the season, playing the top three teams in the Big East in the past month. Now comes a nonconference game against an Army team that gave Rutgers all it could handle a week ago. The Owls have struggled with consistency because they are so young this season, and they may have a new starting quarterback under center. Montel Harris is banged up as well. Still, this is a game on paper that Temple should win. I'm just not sure if the Owls are playing well enough on defense right now to stop the Army rushing attack. Army 30, Temple 28.
Matt's pick: Temple 28, Army 21.
USF (3-6) at Miami (5-5), 3 p.m., GamePlan.#USFvsMIA. We have no idea whether Matt Floyd or Bobby Eveld will start at quarterback for USF. Compound that uncertainty with the loss of several other starters on offense, and the Bulls are going to have a MASH unit going to Miami. There is some reason for hope, though. Miami has one of the worst defenses in the country, and USF gets highly motivated for games like this. The Bulls have won in Miami, so they are not going to be intimidated. Here is where I think Miami has the huge advantage: freshman all-purpose player Duke Johnson. USF will have a hard time slowing him down. Miami 30, USF 17.
Matt's pick: Miami 28, USF 10.
Bonus pick! Heather Dinich from the ACC blog stops by: Miami 34, South Florida 20. The Canes become bowl eligible this week and win their final home game of the season. The Bulls’ defense won’t have an answer for Johnson, and Miami will still get its passing game going despite an injury-laden receiving corps. South Florida ranks No. 114 in the country in turnover margin, and that will be the difference in this game.
Syracuse (5-5) at Missouri (5-5), 7 p.m., ESPNU/WatchESPN. #CUSEvsMIZZ. Syracuse has been a radically different team on the road than it has been at home, and not in a good way. After beating West Virginia in 2011, it could not win another game the rest of the season. Two strikes against picking the Orange in this game. But I was in Syracuse last week and sensed a different vibe around this team. The players know they really only have themselves to blame for their record because they made some terrible mistakes to cost them chances at more wins. Missouri is part of the SEC in name only. This team has struggled all year. UPSET! Syracuse 28, Missouri 24.
Matt's pick: Missouri 24, Syracuse 21.