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8/18 Around the Big East

CFN published their 2008 Big East preview. I don't think it's very good, but whatever.

Say it ain't so, Brian Kelly. Toning down the offense? Sorry, but I'm still bitter about that swinging gate play from the end of the 2006 opener.

UConn is trying to get past a recent rash of injuries.

Will Matt Simms win Louisville's backup quarterback job? Speaking of wayward Jersey sons - Derrick Caracter, once described as "Derrick Coleman without the work ethic", has forfeited his umpteenth chance with their basketball team.

Pitt's young offensive line looks to be a weird mirror image of ours - they have run blocking down pat, but need to do better in pass protection.

ZEISE: The offensive line is coming together -- particularly as a run-blocking unit - but it still has a ways to go. And it still struggles in pass blocking and it is clear to me that speed rushers at defensive end will give Pitt problems all season. That being said, left tackle Jason Pinkston is really starting to come on strong and he has shown flashes this week that he can become a dominant tackle. Also, John Malecki just continues to get better every day. Of course, with a running back like LeSean McCoy, the line doesn't need to be great to be effective. The other day, for instance, the right side of the line got blown up and McCoy looked like he was trapped in the backfield -- except, he juked the linebacker who had him lined up for the tackle out of his shoes and then ran for about 30 yards before coaches blew the whistle.

Putting star freshman Lucas Nix on the Anthony Davis plan (working him in at guard to prepare him for a larger role next year) may not be the answer here. Young linemen can pancake defenders on pure talent. To keep their QB's jersey clean, they're going to have to get in shape and learn proper technique. If Paul Zeise is correct, then hopefully we will catch Pitt early enough that our pass rush will be a difference maker.

Rare good news from Syracuse: Boonah and Carter are working their way back to full speed.

Jim Leavitt is really laying on the coachspeak.

"I saw as much as I needed to see. We ran about 80 plays. The rain did kind of catch us a little bit there," USF coach Jim Leavitt said. "It was 1’s vs. 2’s until I got mad, then we went 1’s and 1’s for a while and 2’s and 2’s. I just didn’t think we were as sharp as I was really hoping.

"We don’t have a lot of depth," Leavitt said. "We have some guys that are going to go out and try to play as hard as they can. What kind of team do we have? We’ll find out soon enough."

Storylines from the end of WVU camp. Noel Devine sat out during their final practice.