With conference play just beginning last week, Pittsburgh (3-2) and Rutgers (3-1) sit alone at 1-0 atop the Big East standings. They square off this weekend in Piscataway, N.J. in the biggest game in the Big East this week.
Both teams come into the game after big wins to begin Big East play. Pittsburgh took down undefeated South Florida 44-17 and Rutgers beat Syracuse in double overtime 19-16.
For two teams that were predicted to finish middle of the road in the Big East, this is a game that will have huge implications and the winner will have an inside track at the conference championship.
Pittsburgh running back Ray Graham started off the year strong and after a few sub par games, he had the game of his career last week, rushing for 226 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
For Rutgers the big question is who will be the starting quarterback. True freshman Gary Nova has split reps this week with Chris Dodd. Head coach Greg Schiano has not announced who will start. Nova relieved Dodd last week and led Rutgers to a double overtime win.
With Pittsburgh having the tiebreaker and a one game lead on South Florida a win could put them in the drivers seat to win the conference. Rutgers already has a road win in their unbalanced conference schedule and must prove they can hold serve at home.
Pittsburgh may be a slight favorite in this one, but playing on the road makes this game a virtual toss up. While it is still early in the season, the winner of this game will have a big advantage with only five conference games remaining. The loser will find itself back in the pack with the rest of the conference.