As Big East teams begin practicing again, I will have a quick preview of each team to get you caught up on the basics. We continue with ...
Start date: Today.
Predicted finish at media days: Second.
Biggest storyline: Can this team finally live up to expectations? Every year, it seems, USF goes into the season as a team with potential to win the Big East. And every year, something seems to happen to derail those chances. Last year, it was blown fourth-quarter leads in three games and four losses by a field goal. Coach Skip Holtz has pointed to those close losses and said he knows his team is thisclose to putting everything together and making a serious run at the Big East title. With 17 starters returning, a senior class numbering in the 20s, a veteran quarterback and some pretty outstanding players on defense, could this be the Year of the Bull? Many people believe so.
Biggest question marks: There are some question marks that have to be answered. First and foremost is whether B.J. Daniels can put everything together to lead this team to a championship. The potential is clearly there. Holtz points to the stats jump from 2010 to 2011 for Daniels as proof that his quarterback is getting better. But this is it for him. Also on offense, USF really needs to have its receivers find a way to stay healthy, and develop some trust and chemistry with Daniels. What does Lindsey Lamar add to the offense now that he is at running back? Defensively, USF has to figure out what happens at cornerback opposite Kayvon Webster. There should be some competition with junior college transfers Fidel Montgomery and Josh Brown, along with Kenneth Durden. Safety is another area with talented players like Mark Joyce, JaQuez Jenkins and Jon Lejiste.
Who needs to step up: Daniels. I think everybody is looking to Daniels to see if he can finally put everything together, particularly since there is no quarterback in the Big East that is head and shoulders above the rest. The opportunity is there for him to really seize the league spotlight, and that, in turn, would no doubt help USF put an end to all the doubters who believe something will go wrong with this team.