We are two-thirds of the way through the season and my bet with Andrea Adelson of ESPN’s Big East Blog is alive and kicking! To get you caught up, she tabbed UC’s defensive line as the 7th best unit in the Big East. I countered with the claim that they would finish in the top half of the conference in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, quarterback hurries, forced fumbles, and the amount of opposing QB heads carried off the field. Being unable to watch ALL of the Big East games and not having a reliable source for this final stat, I had to stick to the first five. Andrea OKed the bet and wager, and we were off! So where do the Bearcats stand as of their game with Pitt? Just looking at the stats, Cincinnati leads the Big East in TFL’s and Sacks, despite relinquishing their lead in tackles to Rutgers. Despite the slip, the Bearcats are still ranked 1st in the conference:
|Height - Weight||6'2" 210 lbs|
|High School||Coral Reef|
|247 Sports||** - 75|
|Rivals||*** - 5.5|
|ESPN||** - 73|
- Dan Giordano’s only significant contribution to this ranking was a few quarterback hurries. While he didn’t even record a single tackle, Giordano was a menace in the backfield forcing Sunseri to make poor decisions.
- Derek Wolfe notched the only sacks for the Bearcats with a pair this week. He now has 7 on the season despite being double-teamed just about every snap.
- Walter Stewart was HUGE in the 4th quarter and his stat line reflects that. He’s second only to Wolfe in tackles, tackles for loss, and is even tied with Wolfe with two forced fumbles.
- Jordan Stepp, playing as Wolfe and Hughes’ back up, fills in nicely along the interior quietly having a very solid season with 23 tackles. He’s going be a starter next year.
Notes on the rest of the Big East
- Rutgers overtook South Florida in the #2 spot in the rankings. The Scarlet Knights boast a much improved defense and it is reflected on the stat sheet. They finished no worse than 3rd in all five of the rankings.
- South Florida continues to tumble in the rankings. In two weeks they have fallen from an average ranking in each category of 2 to 3.4. No wonder they are 0 – 4 in the Big East; They’re defensive line isn’t getting it done!
- Pitt finally separated itself from UConn thanks in large part to a bump in quarterback hurries because Zach Collaros panics so quickly in the pocket. Oh, and the Panthers have a very good pass rush.