Tommy Tuberville takes over the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2013 looking to take them back to the BCS with a Big East title next fall. Helping them get there will be a stout offensive line that returns five starters from the 2012 team that opened up holes for George Winn to rush for over 1,300 yards. There’s no doubt they will be a dominant group, but can they be the best unit in the Big East and pave the way to a conference title?
They will certainly have the talent to get it done. The Bearcats return all five starters from a year ago, including a pair of All-Big East selections in guard Austen Bujnoch and tackle Eric Lefeld. Add in Parker Ehinger, who has another year of experience under his belt after being named a freshman All-American in 2012, and the group is not only experienced, but still getting better. That spells continued development in 2013 for an already solid line.
And that is nothing but helpful to the Cincinnati offense. As a group, the offensive line gave up just 15 sacks a year ago, meaning Brendon Kay will we well taken care of in the pocket. It also bodes well for Ralph David Abernathy as he moves into the No. 1 running back role looking to continue the tradition of 1,000-yard rushers for Cincinnati. There’s no offensive rhythm without a strong offensive line as its backbone, so the Bearcats should be set up for a strong offensive season.
Just how far they go in 2013 will be tied directly to how far this offensive line carries them. They have the talent and experience to be the best in the Big East, but will they capitalize on their opportunity and take the Bearcats over the top next season?