Stewart happy that Burnham has left the Big East

August, 5, 2009
8/05/09
10:47
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

At least one Big East coach is glad that veteran defensive coordinator Wally Burnham has moved to his new job at Iowa State.

West Virginia coach Bill Stewart told the Tampa Tribune he won't miss the challenges posed by Burnham's intricate schemes when he was South Florida's defensive coordinator.

"Wally's been a great friend, I'm a big admirer of him," Stewart told the Tribune. "But I'm glad he's out west."

Under Burnham, South Florida's defense stifled the Mountaineers the past three seasons. West Virginia averaged 12.7 points and 153 yards rushing versus the Bulls, compared with an average of 36 points and 284 yards rushing against every other opponent during that span.

"What they did, they had two corners that locked us down and a guy they walked down in the box," Stewart said. "It's hard to run that spread with nine guys in the box and we had to throw the ball."

Burnham will face one of the biggest challenges of his career as he attempts to turn around Iowa State's struggling defense. The Cyclones ranked among the bottom-10 defenses nationally in scoring defense (tied for 110th), total defense (112th), pass defense (116th) and pass efficiency defense (117th) last season.

And it doesn't figure to be any easier, considering all of the potent offenses they will face in the Big 12 this season.  

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