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Big East PreSpring Preview - What Needs Work?
UCF QB Blake Bortles
UCF QB Blake Bortles
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 28, 2013


2013 Big East Pre-Spring Preview - What Every Big East Team Needs To Work On.

2013 Pre-Spring Preview   

What To Work On - Big East


2013 Big East Pre-Spring Preview
- Big East Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On
- 2013 Big East Recruiting Rankings

Cincinnati


The Number One Thing To Work On Is … developing new leaders on defense. LB Greg Blair was awarded a sixth year, and DT Camaron Beard is a riser up front , but the Cats lost a lot senior leaders to graduation. Last year’s 89th-ranked pass defense, in particular, will be without six veterans who exhausted their eligibility.

Connecticut


The Number One Thing To Work On Is … fixing the offensive line. At least three seniors are expected to man the front wall, but a veteran presence guarantees little for this unit. At the heart of last season’s offensive stumbles was an O-line that ranked 100th nationally in sacks allowed, and did a poor job of creating space for RB Lyle McCombs, the team’s top offensive threat.

Houston


The Number One Thing To Work On Is … third-down defense. The Houston D was on the field for far too long last season, the result of an inability to make key stops. The Cougars ranked 107th nationally in third-down defense, which had two debilitating effects; it not only wore out the Houston defenders, but it also kept the team’s best offensive weapons idle on the sidelines.

Louisville


The Number One Thing to Work on Is … special teams. The Cardinals are quickly ascending under Strong, but they’ll need to correct the small things in order to live up to Top 10 billings. The special teams unit was a vast wasteland a year ago, struggling badly in every imaginable phase of the game.

Memphis


The Number One Thing To Work On Is … igniting the offense. Against Conference USA competition, the Tigers still managed just 318 yards a game, good for 110th nationally. The challenge for offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey gets markedly tougher this fall. It’ll be incumbent upon RB Brandon Hayes to pick up where he left off last November, while senior QB Jacob Karam does a better job of stretching out opposing defenses.

Rutgers


The Number One Thing to Work on Is … the offense. The line is set, but the surrounding talent still leaves plenty to be desired. Can QB Gary Nova raise the level of his game? And if not, will RB Savon Huggins pick up the slack left by Jamison’s exit? Rutgers averaged just 11 points over last year’s final four games, a trend that might bleed into 2013.

SMU


The Number One Thing To Work On Is … the secondary. Acker is a fine place to start, but he won’t survive on an island in 2013 without more help from the safeties and his fellow cornerbacks. While the Mustangs picked off 21 passes, 13 came in blowouts of Stephen F. Austin and Houston. And the DBs too often allowed opposing receivers to get behind them. Worse yet, Hunt, Davis and LB Taylor Reed are no longer around to apply pressure, and take some heat off the overmatched pass defenders.

South Florida

The Number One Thing To Work On Is … creating more takeaways. There is so much for Taggart & Co. to work on during the offseason, but topping the list will be creating more short-field opportunities for the challenged offense. In 2012, USF had just nine takeaways, tied with New Mexico State for fewest in the FBS.

Temple


The Number One Thing To Work On Is … the passing game. Rhule and his coaches have six months to generate a spark from a passing attack that produced just 10 touchdown passes in a dozen games. Sure, Addazio’s offense leaned heavily on the run, but the 2013 squad needs more balance, while getting TE Cody Booth and WR Jalen Fitzpatrick better involved with the offense.

UCF


The Number One Thing To Work On Is … preparing Storm Johnson to be the new feature back. As a backup to Latavius Murray, the gifted Miami transfer carved out 507 yards and four touchdowns on 113 carries. Now that he’s slated to assume a much bigger role, he needs to give the Knights balance on offense. Bortles is good, as is his bevy of experienced receivers, but the quarterback is far more effective when opposing defenses can’t sit back to play the pass.

2013 Big East Pre-Spring Preview
- Big East Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On
- 2013 Big East Recruiting Rankings