Friday, October 23, 2009

Big East Week 8 Preview


South Florida 26, Pittsburgh 23

Tune in to watch two very talented defensive lines, both with more than one future NFL prospect, most notable are Greg Romeus and George Selvie. This is a difficult game to call because both teams are very similar. Each have tremendous pass rushes, hard nosed linebackers but have offenses that are prone to stalling. An important match-up in this game will be the South Florida secondary versus the Pittsburgh receivers. Last week Jonathan Baldwin was held to only one catch and others like tight end Dorin Dickerson picked up the slack. South Florida has one of the Big East's top cornerbacks in Jerome Murphy, who had his ups and downs against Cincinnati a week ago. Keep an eye on the Murhpy-Baldwin battle. Two key difference makers are freshmen Dion Lewis from Pittsburgh and USF's B.J Daniels. The talented Daniels had his freshman moments against Cincinnati, but don't be surprised if the quarterback has a breakout game this week. The Pitt defense might not do as well against the scrambling youngster. Lewis, who leads the Big East in rushing, will test the Bulls' rush defense.

West Virginia 25, Connecticut 17

The Huskies are always a tough opponent. They’re gritty and possess a consistent rushing attack. With all that has happened this week there’s going to be a little extra fight in them. The status of quarterback Jarrett Brown, who suffered a concussion from last week’s game, is critical to the Mountaineers success. He’s likely to start but his status is a game-time decision. This game will probably close up to the very end but the difference maker is Noel Devine.

Syracuse 33, Akron 21

This is a huge game for this Syracuse football team. Last year they dropped a home game versus the Zips and it was the low point of the season. It’s a must win, not only to spare the embarrassment to losing two in row to Akron but to turn around the season. After a two-game winning streak the Orange followed up with a sloppy performance against South Florida and contest against West Virginia where everythign went wrong. Off a bye week, the team should be prepared for this one. Mike Williams is quietly having an All-American caliber season leading the conference with 712 yards and 45 receptions and won’t face a defender who can cover him in this one. The defense has done a lot of shuffling especially on the defensive line, so it should be interesting to see how some of the lineup changes affect the unit plays.

Cincinnati 26, Louisville 14

Last year Cincinnati snapped a five-game losing streak to the Cardinals. Look for Cincy to make it two in row in this battle of former Conference USA programs. Defensively, the Bearcats has improved and are continuing to get better each week. Linebacker Andre Revels and cornerback Drew Fey have been playing well of late with senior safety Aaron Webster. Quarterback Tony Pike is questionable but that shouldn’t stop the Bearcats from remaining undefeated, at least not this week.

Last week: 3-1, Season 35-6

Photos Courtesy of USF Athletics Communications, Syracuse University Athletics