Editor’s Note: This is part six of an eight part series giving analysis of each of the eight teams in the Big East Football Conference, proceeding alphabetically, but ending with Syracuse. A new team will be released each weekday for the next eight days. Feel free to use the comment section to supplement the facts and analysis presented, however my opinions will stand. Enjoy and I hope you are looking forward to the new Big East football season as much as I am. Part five can be found here.
Preview – Coach Jim Leavitt returns a squad with 8 starters on both offense and defense. The major surprise in the Big East last year, winning their bowl game against East Carolina of C-USA, this team looks to shake up the top tier of the Big East again. Predicted to take forth or even third in the conference this year, they will look for continued success from their sophomore starting QB Matt Grothe (202/317, 2576yds, 15 TD, 14 INT, sacked 25 times). This team has solid linebackers, cornerbacks with experience, and the defense will be solid. The only question is how successful the Bulls’ running game will be. Freshman Mike Ford could make an immediate impact as Grothe was the teams leading rusher last year. Grothe, however, had some off field problems of the legal kind in a misdemeanor for serving alcohol to minors at his bartending gig, as well as a hairline fracture of his fibula in their bowl game last fall. He appears to be 100%, as he played well in their spring game, but the legal issue could mentally affect the play of this QB this season.
Key Returning Players – QB Matt Grothe, DE George Selvie, LB Ben Moffitt
Key Losses – LB Stephen Nicholas, WR S.J. Green, WR Ean Randolph
My Thoughts – This team will again be solid and a legitimate above the middle of the pack team. How far above the middle will be up to them. This is not an elite team and I would be hard pressed to be convinced they could take out West Virginia or Louisville. Grothe’s success could have been a fluke last year and he may find it not as easy this time around. Therefore so goes Grothe, so goes the Bulls’ season.
Will We Beat Them? – I think we have a legitimate shot with a decent passing game, something we desperately needed for the success of the run and the fatigue of the defense. This game is also in the Carrier Dome and I think we have a real shot at beating a team that is not named Louisville or West Virginia. Plus this picture might be motivation enough.