Thursday, October 18, 2007

Around the Conference Week 8

The Big East is off and running this weekend with games Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for your viewing pleasure (at least some should be pleasureful). The entire conference is back to playing this week/weekend and the title picture could begin to either clear up or turn into a clusterfuck, I hope for the latter. On to the games.

USF vs. Rutgers--Game of the Week for the conference right off the bat tonight. USF is a 3 point favorite going to Jersey, but that doesn't take into account car sickness due to extremely high number of roundabouts on the way to the game. USF is coming off of a complete dismantling of Central Florida 64-12. Central Florida was held to 145 total yards and 3 turnovers were forced by the Bulls. NFL bound Kevin Smith was held to 55 yards rushing which is 98 yards below his average. Rutgers rebounded from back-to-back losses by playing Syracuse. Ray Rice bounced back with 196 yards rushing against the Orange and Mike Teel threw for 310 yards on 29 attempts. USF is currently ranked 58th in total offense and 11th in total defense. The Bulls are winneg based on ball control and forcing turnovers (10th in the nation). Rutgers is again stout on defense with a ranking of 14th while the offense is ranked 11th. However, the bulk of the stats have been padded against a schedule of Buffalo, Navy, and Norfolk State. The over/under for the game is 53 which may be a little high. Don't expect a shootout, but a hard hitting game tonight.

Louisville vs. UConn--The Cardinals are 3.5 point favorites for the Friday tilt. Louisville has worked themselves back into bowl contention and possibly Big East title contention with a win 28-24 win over Cincinnati two weeks ago. The Cardinals remain a scary team even if they only play one aspect of the game because they do it so well. At this point the Cardinals are 3rd in total offense, 3rd in passing offense, and 8th in scoring offense. Meanwhile the defense is a respectable 100th in the nation. Wait, respectable isn't the right word. Horrible, that's better. Despite throwing the ball so much that Brohm may need Tommy John surgery after the season and tennis elbow, the Cardinals don't turn the ball over and are 11th in turnover margin. The UConn smoke and mirrors show came to a close last week in Virginia with a 17-16 loss. The teams COMBINED for around 350 total yards of offense. UConn is 71st in total offense and 6th in total defense. It's a game of strength versus strength and weakness vs. weakness. Louisville's offense is probably the biggest strength, but their defense the greatest weakness in this game.

Cincy vs. Pitt--Cincinnati lost last week for the first time this year. The Bearcats lost despite having more total yards and first downs because they committed four turnovers and forced none in the game. The game was a complete reversal of the normal season for Cincy as they have normally been winning the turnover battle as they are 4th in the nation in turnover margin. Pitt is horrible. The end. The winner gets the pretty trophy at the top of the post in the River City Rivalry.

Buffalo vs. Syracuse--The final Big East game this week features Syracuse as only 3 point favorites over a 3-4 MAC team. Congratulations Syracuse you keep reaching new lows.

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