The Bearcats remain on top of the rankings after Week 8. To get you up to speed, Andrea Adelson who writes for ESPN’s Big East Blog claimed in her preseason rankings that Cincinnati’s defensive line unit was 7th in the conference, just ahead of Rutgers. I knew better. Derek Wolfe is an NFL draft pick, Walter Stewart and Dan Giordano are very good ends, and John Hughes is a stellar nose tackle. The big difference is that depth in 2011 along that line is night and day compared to 2010, with guys like Brandon Mills and Monte Taylor filling in on speciality roles that makes them even more dangerous. The numbers don’t lie. Take a look:
- Mills and Taylor are nightmares to block on 3rd and long. They each tallied a sack last week and each was when South Florida was in an obvious passing situation.
- Other than them, the Bearcats didn’t have another sack among the D-Linemen.
- After watching the game, UC had at least one player in the backfield on almost every snap despite tallying only two sacks among the DL. I think this says more about B.J. Daniels’ scrambling abilities more than Cincinnati’s ability to pressure the quarterback. A less mobile QB would have been sacked a lot more.
- Overall, still showing the Big East how it’s done in the trenches!
Big East Notes
- All teams have had at least one bye so far this year so the numbers in the table are pretty reflective of how the units are playing.
- I thought Rutgers would have made more of a push this week considering their DL has been very good this year and were playing against Louisville but they held firm in 3rd.
- Also, I thought Syracuse with as many times as they hit Geno Smith would have better stats out of their DL and rise in the rankings. They didn’t and remain at 7th.
- Overall, no one in the rankings moved.
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