Friday, September 11, 2009

Big East - Week Two Preview


This week’s theme for the Big East is re-matches–four teams are playing out of conference opponents that they played a year ago. For Connecticut, Syracuse and West Virginia it’s an opportunity to avenge losses. Still, with conference play weeks away, the majority of this Saturday’s games will be tune-ups.

West Virginia 32, East Carolina 21:
There’s no doubt the Mountaineers will be looking for revenge this week at home after last year‘s beat down at East Carolina. Motivation and Morgantown aside, Noel Devine will be too much for the Pirates defense in the end. East Carolina’s offense, led by senior quarterback Patrick Pinkney, will put up some points…but not another upset.

North Carolina 23, Connecticut 14: It’s no secret that Connecticut has an aggressive rushing attack led by sophomore Jordan Todman. But the Tar Heels will be gearing up to stop the run and force Huskies quarterback Zach Frazer to beat them, and he won’t. North Carolina has some quarterback questions themselves, but their talented defenders will secure victory in East Hartford.

Penn State 36, Syracuse 20: It’s nice to see this rivalry renewed—it’s just too bad it comes during the dark days of Syracuse football. Sure, there were some positives from last week’s loss to Minnesota but the same problems on the offensive line and a lack of offensive skill players leaves them with little chance of seeing the light in Happy Valley. Watch how Syracuse’s defensive line plays against the fifth-ranked team in the country, especially pro prospect Arthur Jones and the new kid on the block, true freshman Brandon Sharpe. If they are able to hang around in this one, it will be the Orange’s defense that allows them to do so.

Pittsburgh 32, Buffalo 14: The match-up between Buffalo wide-out Naaman Roosevelt and Pittsburgh’s Aaron Berry will be more compelling then the actual game. Last season Roosevelt finished with more receptions than Michael Crabtree, more yards than Jeremy Maclin, and more touchdowns than Marshawn Gilyard. This will be a great battle between two pro prospects. Player Spotlight: With Jonathan Baldwin’s size, how can he not have a big game in Buffalo?

South Florida 28, Western Kentucky 7: The Hilltoppers are currently on a nine-game losing streak and haven’t defeated a FBS school since 2007. The Bulls could drop the ball, look ahead, or not show up and still win this week. Freshman Watch: Lindsey Lamar is a speedy all-purpose back who sees action both as a running back and receiver. A breakout game versus Western Kentucky is not out of the question.

Cincinnati 64, SE Missouri State 14: And you thought Cincinnati looked good last week? Yikes, this one will get ugly.

Rutgers 38, Howard 7: This is a good chance for Rutgers to get last week’s loss out of their heads and out of the minds of the Scarlet Knights faithful. A blowout win is always the best way to turn the page. True freshman quarterback Tom Savage makes his debut as a starter.

Last Week’s Record: 7-0 (kind of, I had Cincinnati only winning by three)

Photos Courtesy of WVU Sports Communication