- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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2012 record: 3-9
2012 conference record: 1-6
Returning starters: Offense: 5; defense: 7; kicker/punter: 0
2012 statistical leaders (*returners)
Rushing: Murray (665 yards, 6 TDs)
Passing: Daniels (2,078 yards, 14 TDs, 10 INTs)
Receiving: Davis* (534 yards, 6 TDs)
Tackles: Webster (82)
Sacks: Barrington, Lattimore*, Giddins*(3.5 each)
Interceptions: Jon Lejiste, Elkino Watson* (1 each)
1. Depth along the defensive line. This could end up being a strength for the Bulls this season, given the returning players along the line. Only Grissom is gone among starters last year. Guys who are back include Mims, Sager, Giddins, Watson, Eric Lee, Todd Chandler, Julius Forte, James Hamilton and now Notre Dame transfer Aaron Lynch is eligible. The Bulls should be able to go two-deep here.
2. Andre Davis progress. We have seen flashes from Davis but he showed this spring he has the opportunity and capability of emerging as one of the top receivers in the soon-to-be renamed Big East. Davis had two touchdown receptions in the spring game -- including an 85-yarder -- and was the only real highlight on offense
3. Offensive line. The Bulls had a hard time staying healthy on the offensive line last season, but they return plenty of guys who have seen significant time -- seven started at least one game last season. Perhaps that is a reason why coach Willie Taggart says this position is one he feels more comfortable with headed into the offseason.
1. Quarterback. The Bulls do not have a starter at quarterback just yet as the competition continues between Matt Floyd and Bobby Eveld. Taggart has said that both players are still trying to learn the offense and he wants the competition to continue into the offseason. With Clint Trickett choosing West Virginia over USF, this competition is between Floyd and Eveld.
2. Getting stronger. Taggart wants his team to be much more physical, both offensively and defensively. To that end, he says his team has a lot of work to do in the weight room this summer to bulk up and get stronger in order to be able to handle what he wants them to do.
3. Running back. Being physical, of course, means having a will and a want to establish the run. This has not been a particular area of strength historically for the Bulls, and nobody really emerged as the starter after spring ended among Marcus Shaw, Mike Pierre or Willie Davis. So this could be a position where we see true freshmen contributing early. We’ll see how Sta'fon McCray and Darius Tice do once they arrive on campus later this summer.