Up next inside the Big East, are the offensive lines, and linemen. There are some very solid, veteran groups in the conference. Only the Louisville Cardinals have a freshman that cracks their starting unit. There are some redshirt freshmen, but they don't really count. Instead of ranking the units, I'm going to run my first and second team linemen, and then a little more about each school's lines. As mentioned in the previous post, all information is off the depth charts put out by the schools.
First team offenisve line
Don Barclay, West Virginia
Chaz Hine, South Florida
Lucas Nix, Pittsburgh
Mike Ryan, Connecticut
Moe Petrus, Connecticut
Justin Pugh, Syracuse
Jeremiah Warren, South Florida
Desmond Stapleton, Rutgers
Chris Jacobsen, Pittsburgh
Joe Madsen, West Virginia
Let's start things off with the South Florida Bulls. From left to right, we have Mark Popek (Redshirt Jr), Jeremiah Warren (R Sr), Chaz Hine (R Sr), Danous Estenor (Jr), and Quinterrius Eatmon (R Fr). It's not true his last name is Eatmon because his grandparents were cannibals in Jamaica. The tackles are huge, Popek is 6-7, Eatmon 6-6. Warren is a moster at 6-4, 330. They can move some people. The reserves have been in the system for at least a year. Some of them have started in the past. Darren Powe and Kevin McCaskill are redshirt seniors, Damien Edwards a redshirt junior, and Tony Kibler and Austin Reiter are redshirt freshmen. Kibler looks like he could be the perfect fill in for Warren, as he's 6-4, 324. Big boys.
Rutgers offensive line last season was brutal. They gave up 61 sacks for nearly 400 lost yards. The line is once again a major question mark, despite two very solid seniors. From left to right we have Andre Civil (So), Desmond Winn (Sr), David Osei (So), Antwan Lowery (So), and Desmond Stapleton (Sr). The pass protection is the major story with Rutgers. They have playmakers, but letting Chas Dodd have time is crucial. The Knights also have an unproven RB situation, which needs cooperation from the line. There are a couple of senior back ups, Art Frost, and Caleb Ruch. Matt McBride is a soph, while Betim Bujari and Kaleb Johnson are a redshirt and true freshman respectively.
West Virginia has an experienced line, but lots of depth issues according to Dana Horgolson. From left to right, we have stalwart Don Barclay, Jeff Braun, Joe Madsen, Tyler Rader and Pat Eger. Eger has been pushed by Quinton Spain for the starting job. The Mountaineers might have a little struggle with the transition of coaching, but one doesn't think it should be that much to worry about. Barclay and Madsen are two of the best at their position in the league. West Virginia should be able to give Geno Smith and Ryan Clarke and company plenty of time and holes to run through. The rest of the back up linemen are Nick Kindler, Chad Snodgrass, John Bassler, and Cole Bowers. I already don't like Chad Snodgrass. That sounds like a fake name. Like if you were at a stuffy party and saw a guy wearing a kerchief, you would be like oh, there's Chad Snodgrass. I should stop talking about him. He could kick my ass.
Speaking of kicking ass, we move on to the Connecticut line. The Huskies line has been a staple the past few seasons. They have a great run block scheme, which got Donald Brown and Jordan Todman drafted. Like John Madden would say in Madden all the time, "It all starts with the offensive line." The Huskies from left to right showcase Mike Ryan (R Sr), Gary Bardzak (R Sr), Moe Petrus (R Sr), Adam Masters (R Jr), and Kevin Friend (R So). There is competition at the left guard spot, where Steve Greene (R So) is pushing. They are listed as an OR on the chart, but Bardzak's name came first. All of the UConn linemen are near 300 lbs. Only Adam Masters, 292, and Bardzack, 289, are under. Mike Ryan is a beast at left tackle, 6-5, 335, and Petrus is a bulldozer in the middle at 6-2, 300. Friend goes 6-5, and Masters 6-4 on the right side. That's not a group you want to mess with for 60 minutes. The reserves are Jimmy Bennett (R Jr), Tyler Bullock (So), Guz Cruz (R Fr), and Stephen Brown (So).
Center is a very deep position in the Big East. You have Madsen, Cruz, Petrus, and Mario Benavides at Louisville. The Cardinals line has the second biggest question marks out of what we've seen so far, mainly because they are not very experienced. From left to right, Alex Kupper (Jr), John Miller (Fr), Mario Benavides (Jr), Jake Smith (R Fr), and Ryan Kessling (Sr). Graduation hit the line hard, as everyone but Benavides is new to the mix. The line worked well last season, setting up Bilal Powell for a monster season. They are going to have to gel fast against Murray State. The reserves are a lot of freshmen, Chris Acosta (redshirt), Chas Peterson, Chris Walker (red), and Aaron Epps. Herctor Hernadez and John Clark are the reserve seniors, with Hunter Stout the lone sophomore.
The Syracuse Orange have an experienced line as far as years so. From left to right, we have the very talented Justin Pugh (Jr), Zack Chibane (Jr), Macky MacPherson (So), Andrew Tiller (Sr) and Michael Hay (Sr). There is no way in hell Macky MacPherson is a real person. He's the only new face in the Syracuse wall. Unlike UConn, Syracuse has but 1 lineman over 300 bills, Andrew Tiller. Pugh, Chibane, Tiller and Hay are all 6-5+ to make up for it though. While the starters are experienced, the back ups are not very. Rob Trudo and Ivan Foy are freshmen, while Lou Alexander, and Andrew Phillips are juniors. Depth is an issue here, as Alexander is the back up at left guard and right tackle. At 6-4, 331, he should see some playing time anyway. The reserves are actually bigger than the starters, which is rather odd. The Orange line doesn't seem to be an issue.
We wrap things up with the Pittsburgh Panthers. From left to right, they roll out Juantez Hollins (R So), Chris Jacobson (R Sr), Ryan Turnley (R Jr), Lucas Nix (Sr), and Jordan Gibbs (R Sr.) The Panthers line has some experience, and goes 305, 295, 320, 310 and 315. Those are some big boys. Bearcat fans know all too well what the Pitt line can do when they start blocking downhill. The Panthers boast probably the best line in the league. The back ups are Greg Gaskins (R Sr), Cory King (R So), Matt Rotheram (R Fr), and Zenel Demhasaj (Jr). Center depth could be a problem, as Jacobsen is the listed reserve. If Turnley goes down, expect a shift to come. The Panthers should be able to get Ray Graham near 1,000 yards yet again.