Sunrise in the East: Stull solid for Pittsburgh

August, 20, 2008
8/20/08
8:31
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Your one-stop shop for Big East news and notes:

* Although Dave Wannstedt won't officially name his starting quarterback until after Wednesday's scrimmage, it's a foregone conclusion that Bill Stull is The Man, says Ray Fittipaldo in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Stull played a little more than two quarters last year before suffering a season-ending thumb injury in the opener, but he's reclaimed his status after a strong offseason.

"He had a very good spring and summer last year, enough for us to decide that he was our starter," offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh said. "I thought it was only fair that he come back, and not only compete, but probably take the job.

"And he did that. If he had stumbled along the way, had he shown rust or not been confident, that would have shown early. And that didn't happen. He came in like it was his job from Day 1 and he hasn't let anyone take it away from him."

* Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly tells the Cincinnati Enquirer's Bill Koch that the new clock rules in college football this year could play right into the hands of his up tempo, no-huddle offense.

"It's an advantage for us because we can keep the pressure on the defense now in a manner that we weren't able to do last year," Kelly said. "It requires defenses now to have players that have to stay on the field that whole series."

* With eight starters back from a defense that gave up only 19 points a game, Connecticut could be even better this year -- provided it cuts down on opponents' big plays, Desmond Conner writes in the Hartford Courant. Also, freshman running back Jordan Todman is listed as "week-to-week" with a left shoulder sprain.

* Brett McMurphy of the Tampa Tribune reports that several South Florida newcomers have yet to be declared eligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse. He also has some injury updates.

* Safety Courtney Greene, who briefly considered jumping to the NFL last season, is now working on becoming a leader for Rutgers, Tom Luicci writes in The Star-Ledger. And walk-on Howard Barbieri has been elevated to starting left guard in the wake of Kevin Haslam's ankle injury. Coach Greg Schiano is hopeful Haslam can return for the opener against Fresno State.

* West Virginia's Brandon Hogan switched from wide receiver to cornerback in the offseason, but he tells Dave Hickman of the Charleston Gazette that he still dreams of playing offense as a two-way player. Bob Hertzel of the Times West-Virginian says the Mountaineers' offensive line is their unsung strength.

* C.L. Brown of The Courier-Journal takes a look at Louisville's linebacker situation, which will rely almost exclusively on junior-college imports and a true freshman. Meanwhile, columnist Eric Crawford wonders what receiver Scott Long was doing on a punt-blocking drill when the Cardinals are so short-handed. Long broke his foot Monday and is out 2-6 weeks.

* Nico Scott's big-hitting abilities might give him an edge in a tight battle for the Syracuse starting cornerback job, Dave Rahme reports in the Syracuse Post-Standard.

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