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2010 Big East Fearless Picks - Oct 9 (SU-USF)
USF QB B.J. Daniels
USF QB B.J. Daniels
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 5, 2010


Fearless Predictions for every Big East game, Oct. 9

2010 Big East Fearless Predictions

Week 6 ... Oct. 9 Games

Big East 
Cincinnati | Connecticut | Louisville | Pittsburgh | Rutgers
South Florida | Syracuse | West Virginia

Big East Fearless Predictions 
- Oct. 2 | Sept. 25 | Sept. 18 | Sept. 11 | Sept. 4 

- More College Football Picks (and NFL, too)

CFN Big East Predictions: SU: 29-4   ATS: 15-8-1

- Oct. 9, Part 2 (Pitt-Notre Dame) 

GAME OF THE WEEK

Syracuse (3-1) at South Florida (3-1) Oct. 9, 12:00 ET, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal … Coming out of the break, Syracuse is 3-1 for the first time since 2003, but what is the fast start built upon? The Orange’s most impressive win in September was at 0-4 Akron, so it’s not as if it’s broken down new barriers. A trip to Tampa affords the program an opportunity to show the rest of the Big East that it’s making progress under Doug Marrone for reasons other than just cottony scheduling. South Florida’s own 3-1 start hasn’t exactly been built on the backs of power programs either. The Bulls lost to Florida, 38-14, in their lone test and have handled three overmatched opponents relatively easily. They are, however, coming off their tightest effort of the young season, squelching the upset bid of Florida Atlantic, 31-3.
Why Syracuse Might Win: The running game and the defense will be the Orange’s ticket to success on Saturday. RB Delone Carter is rushing for more than 100 yards a game, going for 172 and four touchdowns before the bye week. His ability to milk the clock along with the play of an improving Syracuse D will keep South Florida from breaking out offensively. Save for the second half collapse at Washington, the Orange has been stingy, especially against the pass. The safeties and linebackers Doug Hogue, Derrell Smith, and Marquis Spruill possess the athletic ability to shut down an average collection of Bull skill players.
Why South Florida Might Win: It took a couple of weeks, but the Bull defense has started to assert itself, producing a school-record seven sacks a week ago. Best of all, the outburst came from seven different players, so Syracuse won’t be able to focus on simply stopping one guy. South Florida is real active on the interior, with linemen Craig Marshall, David Bedford, Terrell McClain, and Ryne Giddens, boasting too much speed for a lumbering Orange O-line. If it can make Syracuse one-dimensional, it’s going to force QB Ryan Nassib and an average set of receivers into plenty of third-and-long situations.
What To Watch Out For: What’s with the South Florida offense? B.J. Daniels remains a playmaker behind center, but he’s going to need more help ... a lot more help. Against a bad Florida Atlantic D, the Bulls managed only 136 yards rushing on 39 carries, and leading receiver Evan Landi has just 12 grabs. If this program is going to challenge in the Big East, it needs more production from WR Dontavia Bogan and backs Moise Plancher and Demetris Murray, who sat out last weekend’s game.
What Will Happen: South Florida ought to watch its back. The offense is sputtering and Syracuse views it as a potential breakthrough victim. The Orange is going to hang around until the defense and Daniels can bail the Bulls out. It won’t be pretty, but once USF recognizes Syracuse’s limitations through the air, it’ll feast on Carter and the running game.
CFN Prediction: South Florida 26 … Syracuse 17 … Line: USF -7.5
Must See Rating: Britney on Glee -5 … Life As We Know It - 1 … 2.5
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Connecticut (3-2) at Rutgers (2-2) Oct. 8, 7:30 ET, ESPN.com

Here’s The Deal … Ever so gradually, Connecticut is picking up the pieces of a season that almost skidded off the road a few weeks back. Since losing to Temple, the Huskies have bounced back with consecutive wins over Buffalo and Vanderbilt. The staff has used adjustments—in personnel and during games—to turn the corner and creep back over .500. The beginning of Big East play and return to the road, however, bring new challenges for a program that’s played poorly outside East Hartford. Rutgers is facing its biggest crisis in years under coach Greg Schiano. After playing poorly in wins over Norfolk State and Florida International, the bottom has fallen out in consecutive losses. The real kick in the head? The latest loss was to lowly Tulane, which hasn’t appeared in the postseason in eight years. A soft non-conference schedule has been the Knights’ ticket to bowl eligibility lately, but they’ll have to work for their six wins this fall.
Why Connecticut Might Win: Not only have the Huskies located a spark on offense, but it might not take more than 20 points to get past this week’s host. Rutgers is averaging only 15 points in three games with FBS teams, and could be without injured QB Tom Savage. Connecticut, on the other hand, has scored at least 40 points in each of the last two games. Cody Endres has provided more stability under center, and a healthy Jordan Todman has made all the difference in the world to the running game. After missing the Buffalo game, he returned on Saturday to paddle Vandy for 190 yards and two scores on 37 carries.
Why Rutgers Might Win: Throughout the trials and tribulations of the first month, the defense has remained a rock for the Scarlet Knights. They’ve yet to give up more than 17 points in a game, slamming the brakes on opposing running games. Rutgers is especially tough on the front seven, which won’t give Todman much running room. He’ll have to contend with athletic linemen Alex Silvestro, Scott Vallone, and Jonathan Freeny, and linebackers Steve Beauharnais, Antonio Lowery, and Manny Abreu, who’ll press up to congest running lanes. More than in the past two games, Endres will have to produce on third down through the air.
What To Watch Out For: It’s no secret what Connecticut plans to do defensively—get after a Rutgers offensive line that’s been a sieve. The Knights are 109th nationally in sacks allowed, easy fodder for a Husky D that has speed and quickness on the first two lines of defense. Not only can DT Twyon Martin and DE Jesse Joseph beat the blockers like a drum, but the coaches will turn loose linebackers Greg Lloyd and Lawrence Wilson without penalty.
What Will Happen: Rutgers’ loss to Tulane wasn’t just the result of one bad day or one bad break. The Scarlet Knights have deep problems that could take the entire year to solve. Connecticut will capitalize behind the play of its defense and the running of Todman, raising their winning streak to three games.
CFN Prediction: Connecticut 24 … Rutgers 17 … Line: Connecticut -5.5
Must See Rating: Britney on Glee -5 … Life As We Know It - 1 … 2.5
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Memphis (1-4) at Louisville (2-2) Oct. 9, 2:00 ET

Here’s The Deal … Baby steps. That’s all anyone in Louisville can hope for in Charlie Strong’s first season on the sidelines. And that’s probably all anyone is going to see. Still, after getting to .500 with their first road win in almost two years, there is a flicker of optimism that’s begun to permeate throughout the Cardinal program. Plus, the beginning of a three-game homestand offers a chance to really throw the revitalization plan into overdrive and spark some interest among the fan base. Memphis, too, is feeling its way through a new staff and a hearty rebuilding project. The Tigers have been predictably inconsistent, competing in back-to-back games with Middle Tennessee State and UTEP before getting hammered a week ago by Tulsa, 48-7. Of course they want to win now, but realistically, most of what Larry Porter is doing today is really about setting the table for 2011.
Why Memphis Might Win: Although you wouldn’t know it by last weekend’s performance, the defense has shown spurts of potential in the first half of the year. The new staff has helped make the group feisty, especially in the front seven. LB Jamon Hughes makes plays all over the field, and linemen Frank Trotter and Dasmine Cathey are getting a consistent push at the point of attack. On offense, Memphis will look to take advantage of the diminutive Louisville corners the way Arkansas State did on Saturday, going up top to find 6-4 Marcus Rucker and speedy Jermaine McKenzie.
Why Louisville Might Win: The way that Memphis has struggled to reach the end zone lately, it won’t take a lot of points for the Cardinals to get the victory. The offense has actually been a pleasant surprise, producing results on the ground and through the air. In Jonesboro last week, Louisville controlled the clock, getting 308 yards and three scores from QB Adam From and 100-yard rushing games from Bilal Powell and Vic Anderson. When the Tigers have been bad on defense, they’ve been real bad, which is what the Cards will force them to become on Saturday afternoon.
What To Watch Out For: In the wake of the injury to Louisville’s top receiver, Doug Beaumont, the offense desperately needed someone to step up in the passing game. Enter junior Josh Bellamy, a first-year transfer from Butte (Calif.) Community College. He has quickly gained the confidence of Froman, catching four passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win.
What Will Happen: Two programs headed in opposite directions will continue down those disparate paths. Memphis has a long way to go. Louisville is beginning to gain confidence. The Cards will get out of the chute quickly, building an early lead behind the running of Powell and Anderson. The more the Tigers try to press the action on offense, the more they’ll make mistakes and shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers.
CFN Prediction: Louisville 33 … Memphis 14 … Line: Louisville -17
Must See Rating: Britney on Glee -5 … Life As We Know It - 1 … 1.5
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- Oct. 9, Part 2 (Pitt-Notre Dame)