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Big East Fearless Predictions - Week 2 Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 7, 2006


Preview and predictions for the week two Big East games ... Part Two


Big East 
Cincinnati | Connecticut | Louisville | Pittsburgh | Rutgers | South Florida | Syracuse | West Virginia
- Past Big East Predictions:
Week One

Big East Week Two Fearless Predictions

Eastern Washington
(0-1) at West Virginia (1-0)  1 pm ET  Saturday, September 9th             
Why to watch: West Virginia and RB Steve Slaton picked up where they left off at last year’s Sugar Bowl easily disposing of Marshall with a physical ground game and solid play on defense.  If week one is any indication, the Mountaineers are focused and haven’t been consumed by their press clippings or lofty pre-season ranking in the polls.  Eastern Washington began a new era last Thursday without a slew of key seniors, including Walter Payton Award winner Erik Meyer, and it showed.  The Eagles picked up a 56-17 beating at Oregon State to go along with a six-digit paycheck. It’ll be shock if they don’t get more of the same.
Why Eastern Washington might win: Fear the Big Sky, the conference that gave us two of last weekend’s largest surprises: Portland State over New Mexico and Montana State over Colorado.  Could Eastern Washington be this week’s Cinderella? Not unless West Virginia completely looks past the Eagles and is already on to next week’s visit from Maryland.  
Why West Virginia might win: Eastern Washington allowed 483 yards, seven touchdowns, five sacks and a special teams score to Oregon State, and the Beavers aren’t in West Virginia’s class.  A quick hook is all that’ll keep Slaton from a second straight 200-yard day, and when it’s time to play action, QB Pat White will use his honed passing skills to play a game of pitch-and-catch with WR Brandon Myles.
Who to watch: What would happen if White went down with an injury?  Well, junior Adam Bednarik is out with an injury, so the offense would be in the inexperienced hands of redshirt freshman Jarrett Brown.  Brown capped the Mounties’ scoring Saturday, and should get plenty of valuable reps in the second half of this blowout.
What will happen: Next week is a very short one for the Mountaineers, so the mission for Rich Rodriguez will be simple: Pull away early and get the starters out of pads as quickly as feasibly possible.                    

CFN Prediction
:
West Virginia 59 ... Eastern Washington 13 ... Line: No Line
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 1 

Iowa
(1-0) at Syracuse (0-1) 3:30 pm EST ABC Saturday, September 2nd
Why to watch: Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State are getting all the pub, however, Iowa, with an improving team and a fantastic schedule, has quietly positioned itself to contend for a Big Ten title.  With QB Drew Tate back for his senior year and RB Albert Young still doing a little bit of everything, the Hawkeyes are perfectly balanced on offense.  On defense, the entire front four is back, but two new linebackers and cornerbacks continue to get their feet wet.  There didn’t appear to be any issues last week in a 41-7 over a good Montana team.  Syracuse got doubled up by Wake Forest on Saturday and is carrying the stigma of being the lone Big East team with a loss.  After going 1-10 in 2005, the program is staring into the barrel of a deflating 0-2 start to 2006 unless it comes up with its best performance in years.
Why Iowa might win: Syracuse coach Greg Robinson sees progress on offense.  He must be looking at different film than the rest of us.  The Orange continue to slog through its transition to the West Coast offense, and as long as Perry Patterson is the quarterback, the unit will sputter.  He clicked on just 5-of-18 passes for 45 yards and a score last week on the way to just 136 yards against the Demon Deacons.  Once the Hawkeyes reach 20, this game is over.  
Why Syracuse might win: Just like last year, Syracuse can bring it on defense, but it spends so much time on the field, the numbers often suggest otherwise.  LB Kelvin Smith began his All-Big East campaign with 16 tackles on Saturday and future NFL CB Tanard Jackson will help keep a mediocre and mistake-prone Iowa receiving corps in check. 
Who to watch: You sure don’t get better by losing Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge to the NFL, however, Iowa’s linebackers are still in good shape with athletic juniors Mike Klinkenborg and Mike Humpal playing a lot like their predecessors.  Klinkenborg led the Hawks with 11 tackles Saturday and Humpal chipped in six tackles and an acrobatic interception.    
What will happen: The Syracuse defense will keep this game from getting completely out of control, however, until the offense shows it can put more points on the board, the Orange will be no threat to quality opponents like Iowa.                     

CFN Prediction
: Iowa 34 ... Syracuse 13
... Line: Iowa -19
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 2 

FIU (0-1) at South Florida (1-0)  7 pm ET  Saturday, September 9th        
Why to watch: Okay, so this isn’t quite Miami-Florida State, but it is always interesting when a pair of teams from the Sunshine State hook up (and it could be more entertaining than last Monday night’s snoozefest).  At a minimum, there will be plenty of speed and a lot of good athletes on display.  In QB Josh Padrick, DE Antwan Barnes and LB Keyonvis Bouie, Florida International has players with NFL potential, however, that trio wasn’t enough to overcome Middle Tennessee in last Thursday’s sloppy 7-6 loss.  South Florida needed to shake off rust and rally against I-AA McNeese State, but pulled away with 34 unanswered points thanks to backups, QB Matt Grothe and RB Walt Smith, who did a great job filling in for injured starters.
Why Florida International might win: Defense.  For good reason, USF head coach Jim Leavitt calls the Golden Panther D one of the fastest the Bulls will see in 2006.  FIU held Middle Tennessee to just 175 yards in last week’s loss and picked up six sacks with four from the explosive Barnes.            
Why South Florida might win: The Bulls can play a little defense, too.  In Stephen Nicholas, Ben Moffitt and Patrick St. Louis, they’ve got the Big East’s best collection of linebackers, which is going to present problems for a Golden Panther offense that managed just a single touchdown and 247 yards in Murfreesboro.  Padrick has to bounce back, but will have to do so against the country’s No. 11 pass defense.                  
Who to watch: Grothe was magnificent in his first career game last week accounting for 229 yards and three touchdowns while saving the Bulls from a devastating loss.  However, the redshirt freshman is still not the starter.  Leavitt’s being coy with that decision, and if Pat Julmiste’s thigh is healthy, expect to see both quarterbacks Saturday night.        
What will happen: Florida International can stay in this game for a half with its defense, but unless the offense can find the end zone with more regularity, South Florida will pull away in the second half. 
CFN Prediction: South Florida 30 ... FIU 13 ... Line: South Florida -20
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ...

Big East Week Two Fearless Predictions