When it came to stopping the run last season UB's defensive line did not hold up it's end of the bargain. A line which had an athlete like Steven Means and a massive center like Richie Smith should have done better than 180 yards a game. This season Means will need to do better without Smith.
Smith, who earned a tryout with the New York Jets, is now gone and it's up to Steven means to rally the unit so that he can have a memorable senior season.
Means Burst onto the scene in early 2009 and took the starting job in week seven. His two sacks against Gardner Webb, and two more against Akron the next week established Means as a presence on the line. Means has now played in 36 straight games, and started the last 31 of those contests.
Last year Means had a bit of a fall off only putting the Quarterback down twice. Means still found his way into the backfield and is a beast on special teams but he seemed to be missing something last season.
On the plus side Means, in a down year, still manages had six hurries, two blocked kicks, and a 42 yard interception return for a touchdown. But if Means wants a crack at the next level he has to play about that level this season.
Replacing Richie Smith is the man who backed him up last season. Wyatt Cahill was a Juco transfer from Scottsdale Community College. As a lineman for the Fighting Artichokes Cahill racked up 30 tackles, nine for losses, and four sacks, in just eight games. His 2010 work caught the attention of Coach Oliver and Cahill was offered a scholarship.
Last season Cahill was a key role player on defense. As a backup for Senior Richie Smith Cahill saw action in every game put together 15 tackles and a pass deflection. He also had a key fumble recovery in the season opener against Pittsburgh.
Opposite means is Colby Way. By the time last season ended Way had played his way into UB's starting lineup. He held onto that role through the spring and will start opposite of Steven Means as the right defensive end.
Even with less than six starts led all defensive lineman with 49 total tackles and finished second on the team with three sacks.
The Bulls have a great starting lineup but the depth situation is up in the air. The Bulls have a lot of talent behind the starters but only a very slight amount of meaningful game experience. This is not a unit that can afford any of the starters to miss a significant amount of snaps.