2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The USF Offense
Protect the passer a bit better. Or a lot better. The style of offense to a more deliberate style should work a whole lot better at giving Blake Barnett time to work. There’s no excuse to give up 38 sacks again with all the experience returning and with what should be a more productive passing game. Barnett has to be sharper, too.
Biggest Key To The USF Defense
At least slow down someone’s running game. The Bulls allowed 1,523 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in Charlie Strong’s first season at the helm in 2017. The D allowed 200 yards just once.
Last season, the Bulls got destroyed for 200 yards or more nine times, over 300 yards four times, and got hit for 419 yards against Georgia Tech. In all, USF gave up 3,218 yards and 36 scores at over five yards per pop. That’s not good.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Blake Barnett, Sr.
Yeah, the 6-5, 217-pound veteran doesn’t have to push for the job this year, but he also has to be a whole lot more consistent. He completed 61% of his passes for 2,710 yards and 12 touchdowns with 11 picks, and he ran for eight touchdowns.
While he missed two games over the second half of the season, he wasn’t great in the four losses he was a part of, throwing just two touchdown passes, and he couldn’t pull the team up out of the nosedive. It’s on him now to use his experience and status to make the Bulls more of a player.
Key Game To The USF Season
at UCF, Nov. 29
If the Bulls play up to their capabilities, they should be able to rip through the first part of the American Athletic season, and then they get three of the big boys – Temple, Cincinnati and Memphis – in Tampa. There’s no excuse to not go into the War on I-4 at the end of the regular season with a shot at taking down the Knights and winning the West.
– USF Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 USF Fun Stats
– Penalties: USF 99 for 977 yards – Opponents 81 for 675 yards
– 4th Down Conversions: USF 12-of-20 (60%) – Opponents 13-of-23 (57%)
– Time of Possession Opponents 33:00 – USF 27:00