Big East Preview: Rutgers To Gain First BCS Birth
Here's how the big east should round up by the end of the season:
RU has the best O-line by far in the big east, returning all 5 starters, 1 of them being Anthony Davis, the All American candidate.
The rushing game looks good with Jourdan Brooks' power and explosiveness, Joe Martinek's breakthrough and big play ability, a highly touted Ray Rice-like freshman in Deantwan Williams, and the sometimes good but oft-injured Kordell Young.
The key on the offense is their passing game. The QB battle is lead by Senior Dom Natale, followed by Senior Jabu Lovelace, Redshirt Freshman DC Jefferson, and highly-touted Freshman Tom Savage. If one can settle in to be a solid QB who doesn't make mistakes, the offense should be fine.
At the WR position, Tim Brown should be the go-to guy due to the absence of Rutgers all-time leading receiver Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood. Others who will be in the mix are Julian Hayes, Andrew Depaola, and converted WR's Mohamed Sanu and Mason Robinson.
The targets at tight end will be Shamar Graves, and True Freshmen Paul Carrezola and Malcolm Bush.
On the defensive side of the ball the D-line is loaded with Alex Silvestro and George Johnson attacking off the ends and Blair Bines and Scotty Vallone stuffing the middle, and plenty to work with off the bench (e.g. Freshmen Antwan Lowrey and Isaac Holmes, Jonathan Freeny, and Charlie Noonan)
The LB position has some star power with Bednarik Trophy watch member Ryan D'Imperio, Damaso Munoz, Manny Abreu, and Antonio Lowery.
The secondary is solid with safety Joe Lefeged, veteran Zaire Kitchen, David Rowe, along with CB's Devin McCourty, Brandon Bing, and Freshmen Darell Givens, Logan Ryan, and Abdul Smith.
When you add a defense that's tops in the big east, an O-line that's top 5 in the nation, and the deepest running game in the big east, you get a league championship and a BCS birth. Projected Record: 10-2
They have lots of fire power on offense.
Jarrett Brown is a Pat White replica who could beat you through the air or on the ground.
Noel Devine is on of the top RB's in the nation and should put up big numbers this coming year. They return their leading WR from last year but not much else in the way of pass catchers.
Their D is very solid, led by JT Thomas, who should rack up the sacks this year. WV could make some noise in the always wide-open big east with all of the star power on offense. Projected Record: 10-2
Pitt should be a very solid team this year. They return Bill Stull, who, with the heavier workload, could have a breakout season. He'll throw to returning WR's Jonathan Baldwin and Cedric McGee, along with Returning TE Nate Byham. The rushing game will not be like last seasons, which boasted star Lesean McCoy, though they have potential in Dion Lewis and Chris Burns.
The D will be okay, but the secondary will be shaky. The D-line is where they will shine. They have returning starters Greg Romeus, Jabaal Sheard, and Mick Williams. All 3 are capable of causing plenty of havoc and could pick up their fair share of sacks. Projected Record: 9-3
They have a QB-WR combo that is tops in the nation. Tony Pike and Mardy Gilyard will be a combo feared throughout the big east. Though, they are not the only WR threats opposing D's will have to worry about. Marcus Bennet, a 30 reception guy last year, could also be dangerous. The rushing game will be very solid with the returning duo of 600 yard rushers, Jacob Ramsey and John Goebel.
The D is very questionable, returning just one starter, Aaron Webster. Their D is too questionable to put them at the top of the big east, but they do have a dangerous passing game that could carry them. Projected Record: 8-4
The Bulls return their star dual-threat QB Matt Grothe, along with four of their top six receivers from 2008, including Jessie Hester, their #1 WR. They should be able gain through the air, but the running game will be weak. They lost their leading back in Benjamin Williams, and he only rushed for 407 yards.
The D was not too good last year, and this years D wll be a little better only due to experience. The one bright spot on defense if All-American candidate George Selvie. He could help a soft defense with his pass rush. The Bulls have what to work with, but their lack of depth at all positions other than WR will hurt them. Projected Record: 7-5
The Huskies were a team that thrived upon running the ball down the opponents' throat, not relying on the passing game at all. Now, Donald Brown, the star back who rushed for 2,000 yards last year, is gone to the NFL, and the loss of star tackle William Beatty will not help the running game.
The passing game will be lousy, lacking any standout receiver and an unproven QB with a hint of potential.
On the defensive side if the ball, they lost standout pass rusher Cody Brown, Julius Williams, and Darius Butler. They do have a good LB core with Scott Lutrus and Greg Lloyd leading the way. The loss of Donald Brown will prove to be too great for Uconn to stand a chance at competing in the big east. Projected Record: 5-7
Their passing game took a hit with the loss of Hunter Cantwell, but they still have leading WR Doug Beaumont. The running game should be very potent. RB Victor Anderson is bound to have a breakout year after rushing for over 1,000 yards as a true freshman.
The secondary is shaky, though they do return DB Jon Dempsey. They also return LB's Daniel Covington, Antwon Canady, and Earl Heyma.
The offense will be Okay at best, and the D will have trouble, especially in the secondary. It looks like another tough season for UL. Projected Record: 4-8
The orange lost most of their offense in Curtis Brinkley, so it doesn't look like 'cuse will put too man points on the board, unless former Duke point gaurd Greg Paulus could lead the way.
The lone brights spot on the defense is top prospect Arthur Jones. The Orange will be in the Big East dungeon once again. Projected Record: 3-9
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