Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friday Night Lights: Big East GOTW

As you remember this happened last week. But, this week we have all out conference play in action. We're going to shoot for a 3-0 day.

And because the Big East is all Big Easty, two of the three games are being played on Friday night. No seriously, its just like Permian vs Midland, West Dillon vs East Dillon. Hell if we can get Kyle Chandler at Louisville and Billy Bob Thorton at Syracuse, we may be on to something.

Unfortunately, high school attendance in Louisville and Syracuse will just have to suffer for the night as scores and scores of football fans skip the shuffling into the metal stands of their local high school and settle into their couches and ESPN for some hard hitting Big East action!

That said, since there is only one Big East game on Saturday. As such, it is deemed the Big East GOTW.

Cincinnati (5-1, 1-0)  @ South Florida (4-2, 0-2) 12:00 pm ET GamePlan/ESPN3

So for the second week in a row the Bearcats make an appearance in the GOTW. After successfully securing the Keg Of Nails last week, the Bearcats head to Florida to take on the battered Bulls.

What we have are two teams heading in opposite directions. The Bearcats are on a four game win streak and are looking to remain unbeaten. They are doing this by running the football and playing solid defense. Believe it or not, Cincinnati's defense is holding opponents to 16.5 ppg, which is good for 15th in the nation in scoring defense. Unfortunately for the Bearcats they are going to have to rely on their 104th ranked passing D to shut down one of the better statistical passing offenses in FCS.

The good news for the Bearcats is they are second in the nation in turn over margin. Their D has 10 picks on the year and will look to take advantage of BJ Daniels and that Bulls passing attack.

Offensively they will look to do what Pitt did to USF and gash them on the ground. If Pead and Collaros can get it going early, it could be a long day for the Bulls.

South Florida is going to have to rely on BJ Daniels in this game if they want to win. Cincinnati can stop the run. They are 4th in rush defense and will try and force Daniels into mistakes. If Daniels can make some plays in the passing game, then I think the Bulls can get their first conference victory.

USF has been a mystery thus far. Last week I thought with two weeks to rest and prepare they would bounce back after that terrible Pitt loss. But they came out and crapped down their leg at UConn. Vegas likes the Bulls by 3 and that line seems to be growing. Maybe they are just a better team at home than on the road? Yeah I'm not buying it. I think Cincinnati is undervalued. Ever since that Thursday night pantsing of NC State, this team is playing with confidence. Cincy moves to 2-0 in conference play and USF is searching for answers. Cincinnati 38-20

Let's take a look at the hot Friday action:

Rutgers (5-1, 2-0) @ Louisville (2-4, 0-1) 8:00 ET ESPN2/ESPN3
This game is going to be painful. The 97th (Rutgers) vs the 100th (Louisville) ranked offenses are square off against the 16th (Rutgers) and 18th (Louisville) ranked defenses. The under is 40.5 and that looks like a steal. But a winner must be chosen. Rutgers 17-14.

(15) West Virginia (5-1, 1-0) @ Syracuse (4-2, 0-1) 8:00 ET ESPN/ESPN3
Of the two, this is the game to watch. The dome is a tough place to play and if the Orange don't get blown out of the water early, it could be even more interesting. But with an extra week to prepare and more of Skulletor's offense inserted, I don't think the Mountaineers will struggle too terribly much. WVU 42 - 17.

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