Big East Presentation Report

August 13, 2002 12:21 PM
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Big East preseason report: Watch out for BC

BOSTON COLLEGE:

Head coach: Tom O’Brien

Player to watch: QB Brian St. Pierre

2001-02 ATS record: 8-4

Victory margin: +9

Comments: Departure of RB William Green likely makes St. Pierre the focal point of offense. Owns pair of All-Big East OL in Mark Parenteau and Dan Koppen. Won six straight ATS during 2001. Has failed to cover back-to-back in season openers over last 10 years.

 

MIAMI:

Head coach: Larry Coker

Player to watch: QB Ken Dorsey

2001-02 ATS record: 7-5

Victory margin: +33

Comments: 4-0-2 ATS in "lined" season openers since 1996. 1-2 ATS last year when favored by at least 40 points. Dorsey sacked just four times in 2001, but offensive line yielded nine in spring game. Had five players chosen in the first round of the NFL draft.

 

VIRGINIA TECH:

Head coach: Frank Beamer

Player to watch: RB Kevin Jones

2001-02 ATS record: 6-6

Victory margin: +16

Comments: 2-5 ATS over the last seven games. Figures to be looking past season opener vs Arkansas State with LSU up the following week. Counting on All-Big East player Jones for big year. Top special teams in country last year (7 blocked kicks, 3 TDs.)

 

SYRACUSE:

Head coach: Paul Pasqualoni

Player to watch: MLB Clifton Smith

2001-02 ATS record: 9-4

Victory margin: +7

Comments: Smith, an All-American candidate, figures to have big year with Dwight Freeney (17.5) sacks in the pros. Must forget 59-0 pounding from Miami. 4-0 ATS in lined season openers since 1997. Makes rare trip out West to BYU to start the year.

 

WEST VIRGINIA:

Head coach: Pete Rodriguez

Player to watch: RB Avon Cobourne

2001-02 ATS record: 4-7

Victory margin: —3

Comments: Cobourne, at 5-foot-9, was sixth nationally (1,298 yds) in rushing. Rough schedule features eight bowl teams from 2001. Disappointing 1-6 SU in league last year. 1-4 ATS in season openers since 1997. Went 2-0 ATS as an underdog last year.

 

PITTSBURGH:

Head coach: Walt Harris

Player to watch: MLB Gerald Hayes

2001-02 ATS record: 7-4

Victory margin: +5

Comments: Lost emotional leader WR Antonio Bryant. Won six straight ATS, including 34-19 victory over NC State in Tangerine Bowl. Has not played a quality team in a season opener since West Virginia (34-0 loss) in 1996. Linebacking corps among nation’s best.

 

TEMPLE:

Head coach: Bobby Wallace

Player to watch: WR Sean Dillard

2001-02 ATS record: 5-6

Victory margin: —10

Comments: Opens with Oregon St, Miami and South Carolina. Dillard led the Big East in catches (51). Owls among nation’s best in turnovers gained (29) and fumbles recovered (14). 4-2 ATS in last six games at Franklin Field.

 

RUTGERS:

Head coach: Greg Schiano

Player to watch: TE L.J. Smith

2001-02 ATS record: 4-7

Victory margin: —25

Comments: Scheduled consecutive home games vs Villanova, Buffalo and Army. Lost 80-7 to W. Virginia and was outscored 191-7 by Miami, Boston College, Virginia Tech and Pitt last year. Also lost to Connecticut and Cal. Smith All-Big East TE.