Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Big East GOTW

After seeing what happened on Thursday, I was worried about my slate of picks. But after all was said and done things turned out ok. And it started with last week's game of the week.
Rutgers - 19
Syracuse - 16
And just like I predicted, this was a defensive struggle. But in the end Rutgers rallied late and took it in OT after holding The Orange to a field goal.

USF - 17
Pitt - 44
Totally missed the mark on this one. I really didn't expect this outcome. As bad as Pitt looked early on and as good as USF looked, I'm not sure anyone saw this coming.

Cincinnati - 27
Miami (OH) - 0
MAC snack devoured.

Western Michigan - 38
UConn - 31
Huskies, I tried to warn you.

Marshall - 17
Louisville - 13
Looks like West Virginia takes the crown.

Bowling Green - 10
West Virginia - 55
After the first quarter I thought this game had potential. But then, bam, skullator and his crew took over.

Big East Week 6

Well it's a short order this week as USF takes the week to lick it's wounds and Cincinnati rests. And seriously Bulls, you really need to think about what you've done. Well, it looks like another visit from the ACC and C-USA. And except for last week, the Big East has been pretty good against these conferences. Intra-conference battles we'll address later because the GOTW is a conference battle for tops in the league.

Pittsburgh (3-2, 1-0) @ Rutgers (3-1, 1-0) Saturday, 3:30 ET ESPNU

The winner moves to 2-0 and sits atop the Big East. Is it a big deal? Well not really right now, but this is the most intriguing thing I could come up with on this week's slate.

So with that said, Pitt makes it's first appearance in the GOTW after thrashing a ranked USF team. Jr RB Ray Graham went off. He he rushed 26 times for 226 yds and 2 TDs and caught four balls for 42 yds. Needless to say he dominated on the ground. The Panthers as a team reached 307 yds rushing, just gashing the Bulls. Who are really pretty decent against the run at 46th nationally. I'd look for them to try and continue to pound Graham in order to take pressure off Sunseri against this fairly stout Rutgers' D.

Rutgers, meanwhile has got to figure out it's offense. Last week against the Orange they rushed for 5 yards. No, you read that right. FIVE yards. And they still won. And it wasn't like they didn't try. They had 38 attempts. And this was two weeks after mustering just 1 yard against UNC. Even taking away sacks they only totaled 56 yds against Pitt and 18 yds against UNC. Pitt is a slot behind UNC in rush defense, so it's not going to get any easier for the Scarlet Knights. Schiano better get that chopping wood thing going this week.

Defensively Pitt is playing pretty well. I won't say they shut down USF, but they kept the 14th ranked scoring offense off the scoreboard in the second half. This week should be a bit easier for the Panthers as you can see above, Rutgers is a bit, ah, one dimensional and ranked in the triple digits nationally in total offense.

But somehow Rutgers' defense is keeping them in and in some cases winning games for them. Ranked 22nd nationally, they will be the toughest defense Pitt has faced.

Look for this to be another low scoring game. Rutgers is going to force Sunseri to win this thing for the Panthers and if they can force him into a couple of errors, and capitalize on those mistakes, they have a shot. Being at home certainly helps. The line on this is Pitt -6.5. I honestly don't know which way to go. They struggled against ND, but rolled USF. I think they may have got something figured out offensively so I look for it to continue this week. It's going to be ugly, but I think Pitt wins and covers.

As for the rest of the slate:

UConn (2-3, 0-0) @ West Virginia (4-1, 0-0) -19.5, 12:00ET GamePlan/ ESPN3
ESPN is trying to keep this blood bath off the air. Look for the rout and cover by WVU as each of these teams open conference play.

Louisville (2-2) @ UNC (4-1) -14.5, 12:00 ET ESPN2/ESPN3
Okay. sS the morning games are not going to be pretty. Look for UNC to cover in this battle against the ACC.

Syracuse (3-2) -10 @ Tulane (2-3), 8:00 ET Not on TV or the internet
Syracuse has been on the road once this season and that was against USC, so I doubt the Green Wave is striking fear in their hearts. But I just don't trust the Orange yet. I think they will win and cover, but I'm not putting money on it.

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