What You Need To Know About The USF Offense
– Offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert is back for an attack that finished sixth in the nation averaging 513 yards and 38 points per game. There’s talent in place, but before doing anything else, Gilbert and the Bulls have to find a quarterback.
Quinton Flowers was the offense over the last three years, and there isn’t a dynamic playmaker like him ready to go. Alabama/Arizona State transfer Blake Barnett will get a shot this fall, but Brett Kean was the main backup who has the slight edge in the race over Chris Oladokun. For the moment, write the depth chart in pencil.
– Not only is Flowers gone after leading the team with 1,078 yards and 11 scores. but the top running backs are done and four of the top five ground gainers are gone. No, the ground game might not be as strong without Flowers putting up big numbers, but there’s talent in the backfield.
Trevon Sands is the leading returning rusher after taking off for 111 yards, but Elijah Mack and Florida transfer Jordan Cronkrite will be the main men.
Paving the way is a line that gets back three starters to play around with. William Atterbury is a guard who could end up at tackle, but Eric Mayes returns on the left side and Marcus Norman is back on the right. There’s just enough versatility to get the best five players on the field no matter what.
– The early strength of the O should be at receiver, even with leading man Marquez Valdes-Scantling gone. Tyre McCants is among the nation’s more physical targets, and Darnell Salomon is a 6-3, 209-pound deep threat who should be ready to get a lot more action. Throw in TE Mitchell Wilcox – an underutilized all-star talent – and there’s a whole lot to like around the core three targets.
Biggest Key To The USF Offense
Replace the lost rushing yards – fast. The O line can’t allow so many plays behind the line, and the new parts to the running game have to come up with at least 3,000 rushing yards for this to all keep on going. As long as the ground attack is averaging five yards per pop, it’ll be doing its job.
Last year, USF ran for fewer than 200 yards just three times. The first in a go-though-the-motions win over Stony Brook, and the second two times against Houston and UCF – the two losses. Over the last three seasons, the Bulls are 0-6 against FBS teams when they don’t get to 200.