Thursday, October 25, 2007

Around the Conference Week 9

There are only three games in the Big East this week as Cincy and Syracuse have the week off. Cincy plans to regroup after losing to Pitt last week and possibly saving Wannstedt's job. Syracuse plans on helping Greg Robinson put together a nice resume. Robinson has bought the glue and the sparkles, but hasn't put the resume together quite yet.

Pittsburgh vs. Louisville--Vegas doesn't believe in Pittsburgh despite Louisville continuing to gag week after week. Louisville is an 11 point favorite in this game. Pitt is coming off of their first conference win in a decade this season and has jumped to 3-4. The Panthers still have Syracuse, Rutgers, USF, and WVU so a win here is vital for any bowl chances. LeSean McCoy has proven to be as advertised so far with 805 yards and 9 touchdowns on the season. Pat Bostick has thrown for 769 yards and 4 touchdowns to go with 7 interceptions for Pitt. In the win last week Pitt had McCoy and Stephens-Howling rush for 100 yards and forced three turnovers. Pitt is currently ranked 89th in total offense and 80th in scoring offense. The defense is 20th in the country and number 6 against the pass. Louisville can throw the ball considerably better than anyone Pitt has played. The Cardinal are 3rd in passing offense at 377 yards per game behind only Texas Tech and Hawaii. Louisville is also 5th in total offense and 11th in scoring offense. The defense continues to struggle. Louisville is 89th in total defense and as bad as Louisville has been against the run (68th) they have been worse against the pass (103rd). Louisville lost last week to UConn and Brohm had his worse game of the season passing for only 228 yards on 41 attempts. The Cardinal could also only manage 105 total rushing yards as a team.

USF vs. UConn--The final conference game is a matchup of two ranked teams and the conference leader versus one of the teams chasing them. I just wanted to see that in print. Yes, UConn is the current leader in the Big East after beating Louisville last week to remain undefeated in conference. Can you name one player on the UConn team? I couldn't and I've watched them play twice. The Huskies were outgained by Louisville and trailed 17-7 in the fourth quarter before rallying for the victory. Connecticut is winning on defense. The Huskies have the 3rd best scoring defense in the country and 6th overall total defense. The turnover margin is also impressive at +1.57 per game (2nd in the country). These stats overcome the 79th ranked offense in the country. USF is looking to bounce back from the first loss of the season vs. Rutgers. The defense held the Rutgers passing game in check. Mike teel threw for only 179 yards and completed less than half of his throws. However, Ray Rice ran for 181 yards on 39 punishing carries. Matt Grothe almost matched Rice play for play in throwing for 247 yards and running for another 58. A Bulls victory would potentially put the league into a bottleneck at the top as 4 teams could potentially have one conference loss after Saturday.

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