USF’s Disappointing Season Continues

USF's Disappointing Season Continues

USF’s Disappointing Season Continues

A date with ECU proved to be too much for USF as they fall 48-28 this past weekend. The Bulls’ defense struggled against a very good ECU passing offense. USF’s disappointing season continues as the team’s hope starts to diminish.

A Slow Start

ECU scored on its first possession against the Bulls and quite literally didn’t look back. The Bulls yet again couldn’t start well in their contest against the Pirates. The result of a slow USF start was a 41-7 lead for ECU at halftime. USF’s inability to get the offense going kept Holton Ahlers on the field all throughout the first half.

Ahlers had himself a career day against the Bulls completing 31 of 41 passes for 465 yards and 6 touchdowns. Four of those touchdowns went to C.J. Johnson who also had himself a career day catching seven passes for 197 yards. All around ECU dominated the first half against the Bulls.

An Improved 2nd Half

Despite a hefty loss, the Bulls pulled together in the 2nd half. USF was able to keep ECU off the board for most of the 2nd half except for one touchdown. On the other hand, the Bulls were able to muster up 21 points in the final two quarters.

Gerry Bohanon who had issues throwing the football in games prior showed signs of life. Bohanon completed 18 of 28 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns went to Jimmy Horn Jr. including one that went for 91 yards. Horn Jr. ended his day with eight receptions for 180 yards.

Another Tough Defensive Outing

As the season has progressed the defense has continued to struggle. The Bulls were handed their third straight loss at the hands of ECU and their fourth loss of the season. In three out of the four losses, USF has given up more than 40 points. While in their only other loss they still gave up 31 points.

Although USF’s defense has shown promising strides in some of their games, they still have yet to prove that they can play a full 60-minute game. With every game comes new things to fix, but USF has seemingly been unable to fix those errors. USF’s lack of ability to tackle has killed them in more than half of their games.

Even though the offense hasn’t been great either, the defense has shown repeated concerns with coverages along with missed tackles. Furthermore, the schedule consists of a lot harder games for the Bulls. For them to change their direction they will have to go back to the basics in hope of more success on the defensive side of the ball.

Key Improvements

USF drops their first conference opener and now drops to 1-4 on the season. Considering the AAC is still a very competitive conference no games will come easy for the Bulls. USF will have to make a lot of changes to have a chance to win games for the rest of the season.

First, USF must start better in their coming games. USF’s first-half scoring has been non-existent in all their games which has been a big problem. A fast start could be exactly what USF needs to gain confidence. A good start to a game could be the turnaround the team needs to be able to keep games closer.

Another thing that will need to improve is USF’s ability to tackle. USF has been unable to efficiently tackle against most teams this season. Working on that aspect of the Bulls game will be imperative to them playing a sounder defensive game.

Lastly, Bohanon will have to play up to his potential under center. He ended his year at Baylor with a 70.2 QBR last year. Now after week five the Baylor transfer lands 118th on the ESPN QBR list with a 28.6. Despite playing his best game against ECU, he still showed he could be better. If he can play as he did at Baylor USF might be able to get back on track.

What’s to Come

USF now hits the road to play the #24 team in the country the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats whose only loss came to the Arkansas Razorbacks who are a very talented SEC team will be an extremely tough team to beat. Considering the Bulls are coming off a loss, the team will have to fix their mistakes and have a better outcome.

Despite being unable to stop ECU’s offense, USF will have it just as tough against the Bearcats. The Bearcats are #18 in the country when it comes to points per game as they are averaging 40.2 points per game. All in all, USF will have its hands full against a very powerful offense. A much-needed bounce back for the Bulls against the #24 team in the country could be what get’s this team going.

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