Today we start a new series looking at a different Big East team each day, highlighting a position group that will be of great significance as spring ball gets underway.
We kick off today with Cincinnati.
Spotlight: Defensive line
Why: Cincinnati returns all five starting offensive linemen from 2012, when it was the Big East's No. 1 rushing offense, so the defensive front will get a strong test every day on the practice field. The Bearcats eventually recovered from the loss of end Walter Stewart last season to finish with 31 sacks, the second-most in the conference. But that number was still down 15 from a year earlier, and Cincinnati loses much of that 2012 production. Stewart (five sacks) and fellow end Dan Giordano (five) are gone, as is Stewart replacement Brandon Mills (3.5 tackles for loss, one sack). Interior lineman Jordan Stepp (1.5 sacks) is the Bearcats' top returning sack man, and fellow tackle Cameron Beard (five tackles for loss) is back as well. But new ends coach Robert Prunty will need to find some pass-rushers on the edge, as returners Josh Posley (0.5 tackles for loss in six games) and Silverberry Mouhon (19 total tackles, one sack) are relatively untested.