Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Power of Three: Big East Preview

So yesterday we talked about what happened last week. And that was super fun. I hope you enjoyed it.

And I thought since I was a day late with my review I thought I'd take an extra day on the preview. And then I looked at the game slate. SURPRISE! There's a game tonight.

So, we're back on schedule!

This week's game of the week:

(25) West Virginia (5-2, 1-1) @ Rutgers (5-2, 2-1) Saturday 3:30 ET ESPN/ESPN3

Basically every game in the Big East is a battle for top of the heap with none of the teams really looking dominate at this point (Although some might say Cincy is in the drivers seat. Well and USF sucking donkey appendages). Preseason it was all about the Mountaineers. The Polls still think highly of the 5-2 squad and Vegas agrees, giving Rutgers 7 points. I can't disagree really and it makes complete sense in that the Scarlet Knights haven't beaten the Mountaineers since 1994.

The 'Eers are 14th the nation in total offense and it's no surprise that they are led by the 5th ranked passing attack. Skullator has Gino Smith throwing the ball around the yard about 43 times per game. The run game? Eh not so much as they come in at 102.

Defensively, Casteel has the defense playing well as the 22th ranked total defense. They will certainly give a lackluster Rutgers offense trouble all day long.

Rutgers is going to really have to rely on it's defense in this game. They are top 25 in both passing and rush defense. For Rutgers to have any hope they are going to need to force Smith into a couple turnovers and take advantage of the 1.3 difference in the two teams turnover margin.

I think Rutgers maybe out matched in this game. I also think WVU has better athletes. But there are two reasons why Rutgers can win this game. First, they are undefeated at home. WVU is -2 in turnover margin on the road. This bodes well for the Knights.

Secondly, Rutgers is going to be led on the field by paralyzed lineman Eric LeGrand. This kind of emotion is one of those things that you can't account for in the stats sheet. Look for Rutgers to be fired up for this game, especially after the close loss last week. Rutgers 24-23.

Now the rest of the slate:

UConn (3-4, 1-1) @ Pitt (3-4, 1-1) Wednesday 8:00 ET ESPN/ESPN3
The line is Pitt minus 10. Who knows which Pitt team is going to show up. Both teams have had extra time to prepare. I just can't see the Panthers not covering at home. But it'll be close. Pitt 27-16

Syracuse (5-2, 1-1) @ Louisville (3-4, 1-1) Saturday 12:00 ET ESPN3
Louisville is a 3 point favorites in this game. Seems weird to me. Syracuse had a huge win last week. Maybe Vegas is thinking this is a hangover game? Syracuse has some confidence and their defense is playing well. I'm looking at the upset here. Syracuse 27-24.

No comments: