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Big East News Blog

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 2, 2008


The latest news, nuggets and information from the Big East.

Big East News Blog

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By J.P. Girouard

Cincinnati – With Ben Mauk denied a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA Friday and Notre Dame transfer Demetrius Jones still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, the Bearcats’ once-muddled quarterback situation has cleared up considerably.  Dustin Grutza, who started 21 games for the Bearcats in 2005-06 but lost the job to Mauk last season, is expected to be the starter for the August 28 season opener against Eastern Kentucky.

Connecticut – Head coach Randy Edsall stated on Wednesday that there is “no position etched in granite”, and quarterback Tyler Lorenzen and running back Andre Dixon can certainly attest to that.  Despite starting all 13 games for the Huskies last season, Lorenzen was briefly benched last week in favor of Notre Dame transfer Zach Fraser.  Dixon, who was second-team All Big-East in 2007, is currently slated to be the backup to Donald Brown.  

Louisville – Despite being shot in the back during an altercation in a Louisville parking garage on July 5, Trent Guy is planning to play football this season.  The junior wide receiver/kick returner started running on Friday and is hopes to be cleared for contact drills as early as next month.  Guy’s return would bolster the Cardinals’ thin receiving corps – junior Scott Long is the only returning offensive player that caught more than 14 passes last year.

Pittsburgh – A battle for the strong safety position is looming between sophomores Dom DeCicco and Elijah Fields.  DeCicco was the starter coming out of spring practice, but Fields - a highly-regarded recruit suspended last season for “violating team policy” – has been impressive.  Head coach Dave Wannstead is apparently looking at using Fields in nickel and dime situations, hoping to get both talented players on the field at the same time.

Rutgers – Greg Schiano insisted at Saturday’s media day that there was nothing in his contract regarding the expansion of Rutgers Stadium.  The Newark Star-Ledger previously reported that Schiano’s 2006 contract extension had a secret “escape clause” if the $109 million project was not completed by 2009.  “There's been a lot of speculation as far as the stadium's completion and there being something tied into my contract, “ Schiano said. “There's nothing like that at all.”

South Florida – Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham suggested on Saturday that the USF defense would be in a nickel package “most of the time”.  By doing so, the Bulls would end up having three experienced safeties in the defensive backfield – returning starters Carlton Williams and Nate Allen, and senior Danny Verpaele, who was expected to win the free safety job last season but was ruled academically ineligible.

Syracuse – Sophomore wideout Dan Sheeran’s broken leg is not only a blow to an inexperienced group of receivers; it’s also had an impact on the Orange defense.  Senior Bruce Williams, who appeared to be on track to start at free safety, has moved back to receiver.  Sheeran’s injury comes just days after the team announced that Mike Williams, who led Syracuse in receiving last year, could not rejoin the team until January.

West Virginia – While the Mountaineers have two dynamic weapons in Pat White and Noel Devine, questions loom about the depth behind them.  Backup quarterback Jarrett Brown tweaked a hamstring in Saturday’s scrimmage, forcing wideout Bradley Starks to play the majority of game behind center.  Meanwhile, both Terrence Kerns and Zach Hulse have failed to impress in their attempts to back up Devine, meaning another receiver – Jock Sanders – has been taking snaps at running back.