I_Bleed_Green&Gold Posted June 6, 2008 Group: Member Topic Count: 0 Content Count: 526 Reputation: 0 Days Won: 0 Joined: 12/11/2007 Share Posted June 6, 2008 Big East Team Defensive Rankings:1. Pittsburgh (Starters returning: 7)The Panthers ranked 5th in total YPG a year ago and they have one of the best and deepest defensive lines in college led by defensive tackle Mick Williams and defensive end Greg Romeus. All three linebackers return which includes hard-hitting leader Scott McKillop in the middle. Aaron Berry returns at corner and Eric Thatcher is back at free safety for a team that was third in the nation in pass defense last year.2. Rutgers (Starters returning: 8 )This unit ranked 17th in the nation in total YPG a year ago, and eight of them return. Jamaal Westerman returns to lead a deep group of defensive ends and George Johnson starts on the other side. Pete Tverdov returns at defensive tackle where true freshman Scott Vallone joins him in the middle. Linebackers Kevin Malast and Damaso Munoz are back as is leading tackler Courtney Greene at safety.3. South Florida (Starters returning: 7)Three defensive lineman return which includes All-American defensive end George Selvie, who recorded 14.5 sacks a year ago. Tyrone McKenzie returns at middle linebacker, and was the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leader in tackles last year. Nate Allen and Carlton Williams form a solid safety tandem, but Tyller Roberts and Jerome Murphy are inexperienced, yet talented corners.4. Connecticut (Starters returning: 8 )This was a strong unit for the Huskies a year ago, and return three defensive lineman led by ends Cody Brown and Julius Williams. The linebacking corps sees Scott Lutrus moving from the outside to inside while Dahna Deleston is moving from safety to outside linebacker. Darius Butler will start for the fourth consecutive year at corner, and Robert Vaughn returns to play free safety.5. West Virginia (Starters returning: 4)Middle linebacker Reed Williams, the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leading tackler from 2007, is back as is the second leading tackler Mortty Ivy at outside linebacker. The Mountaineers play a 3-3-5 defense and defensive tackle Scooter Berry is the only returning lineman. The secondary is big but inexperienced, where Quinton Andrews is the only returning starter from a year ago.6. Cincinnati (Starters returning: 6)Terrill Byrd, a second team All-American defensive tackle, returns along with Adam Hoppel on the inside. Former tight end Connor Barwin is moving to defensive end and the Bearcats are hoping he can be productive at his new position. Linebackers Ryan Manalac and Corey Smith return as does corners Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith. The defensive line and linebacking units are a little thin on depth.7. Louisville (Starters returning: 4)Defensive tackle Earl Heyman returns and tackle Adrian Grady is coming off a year in which he tore his pectoral muscle. The entire linebacking corps will be new, but the team has high hopes for outside linebacker Chris Campa. Free safety Bobby Buchanan is back as is corner Woodny Turenne, but he played poorly at times a year ago in pass coverage.8. Syracuse (Starters returning: 4)The Orange do return two starting defensive lineman in end Brandon Gilbeaux and tackle Arthur Jones on a team that ranked 111th in defense last season. Bud Tribbey is also a force at tackle. Jake Flaherty returns at middle linebacker, but the outside spots have no experience. Cornerback Mike Holmes is the only returning starter in the secondary.Stud defenses: Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, ConnecticutRising defense: ConnecticutFalling defense: West VirginiaOverall analysis: This has been a conference known for high-powered offenses in recent years, but they feature great options on the defensive side of the ball these days. Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, and Connecticut have enough experience and talent to be consistent options every week.West Virginia has talent on defense, but thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not much experience for this team to start the year. If Cincinnati stays healthy and gets good production on the defensive line, they can be a good option. Louisville and Syracuse have too little experience and not enough talent at this time to overcome that to be options during the season.Ã¢â‚¬Âhttp://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/27453-College-Football-Preview---Big-East-Defenses-040608 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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