Big East Week 10 preview

Here are the scheduled matchups for the Big East this week. Expansion talk couldn't come at a better time, as there are only two league contests — and only one on Saturday — with four teams having byes.

B.J. DanielsICONSouth Florida QB B.J. Daniels finally found a rhythm against Cincinnati. Can he thrash the Rutgers defense?

Rutgers (4-3, 1-1) at South Florida (4-3, 1-2): The Scarlet Knights and Bulls meet on Wednesday evening in a huge game between teams that have underwhelmed this season. Both teams have been a mess offensively but have been able to stay in games because of their solid defense. B.J. Daniels struggled all season trying to be more of a pocket passer in Skip Holtz’s first season, but he finally found a rhythm against a very young Cincinnati defense. He completed 13 of 16 through the air for 286 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more scores in a turnover-free game. Can he continue that play against Rutgers? Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights will have true freshman Chas Dodd under center for the fourth game in a row. He won his first two starts but was pulled in the loss to Pittsburgh in favor of Tom Savage. Despite being fully healthy, Savage will return to the bench. The rushing attack hasn’t been very potent this season, and at times it seems that the Knights rely upon athlete Mohamed Sanu way too much.

Louisville (4-4, 1-2) at Syracuse (6-2, 3-1): These two teams may be the best stories of the entire 2010 conference season. Doug Marrone is doing wonders in his second season at the ‘Cuse. The Orange need one more victory to become bowl eligible (they have two victories over FCS teams, which counts as one win for bowl-clinching purposes), and the attacking, blitzing defense is playing at a very high level and ranks 14th nationally in scoring defense. Meanwhile, Charlie Strong’s rebuilding effort at Louisville seems as if it’s on an accelerated track, especially defensively. The Cardinals were woeful in that area last season but have shutouts over Memphis and Connecticut this season. Running back Bilal Powell is already over 1,000 yards, but a right knee injury could prevent him from playing this week. Quarterback Adam Froman also was banged up in the loss to Pittsburgh, as he suffered a thigh bruise.

Byes: Pittsburgh (5-3, 3-0), Cincinnati (3-5, 1-2), West Virginia (5-3, 1-2) and Connecticut (4-4, 1-2) are off this week.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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