#84 South Florida Football 2014 Preview

South Florida Bulls

Overall Rank: #84
#7 American

South Florida Team Page#84 South Florida Football 2014 PreviewBuy South Florida Football Tickets

South Florida started off the 2013 season with a 53-21 loss to McNeese State. Somehow the Bulls beat Cincinnati and Connecticut in back-to-back contests, but the rest of the season went how it started. Coach Willie Taggart and company will need to learn from their mistakes and attempt to develop some consistency on both sides of the ball.

2013 Record: (2-10, 2-6)
2013 Bowl: None
Coach: Willie Taggart (2-10 at South Florida, 18-30 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Paul Wulff
Defensive Coordinator: Chuck Bresnahan

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Darius Tice, RB, 141 yards
Passing: Mike White, QB, 1,083 yards
Receiving: Andre Davis, WR, 735 yards
Tackles: Reshard Cliett, LB, 56
Sacks: Elkino Watson, DL, 1.5
Interceptions: Hassan Childs, DB, 3

Other Key Returnees: TE Mike McFarland, K Marvin Kloss, P Mattias Ciabatti, DB Nate Godwin, OL Quinterris Eatmon

Key Losses: RB Marcus Shaw, LB DeDe Lattimore, DE Aaron Lynch, DE Ryne Giddins, S Mark Joyce

The USF defense did an admirable job considering the tough spots the offense put them in. The coaching staff hopes to mix in a 3-4 look in order to keep the opposing offense off balance. That move also helps the Bulls replace the massive losses suffered on the line. Aaron Lynch, Ryne Giddins, Tevin Mims and Julius Forte are gone and now Eric Lee and Elkino Watson will have to be the main pass rushers. Linebackers Reshard Cliett, Tashon Whitehurst and Nigel Harris are quality options. Cliett is the team’s returning leading tackler at 56. Redshirt freshman Auggie Sanchez is one to keep an eye on. He has had a solid spring and could be starting in the middle from day one. Johnny Ward and Nate Godwin are coming off of strong freshmen campaigns and should develop into more consistent players in 2014. Coach Taggart will also find a spot for junior college transfer Jamie Byrd. The secondary is still young, but they are extremely talented. If the front four, or three as the case will be at times, can get to the quarterback at all, the USF defense will be tough to throw against.

South Florida’s four starting quarterbacks threw just seven touchdowns and 16 interceptions during the 2013 season. It cannot get much worse than that. This time around it comes down to Steven Bench and Mike White. Bench completed just 40.6 percent of his passes, while White was slightly more efficient. However, White also threw nine interceptions. If the Bulls can develop consistency at quarterback, they do have some decent wide receivers. Andre Davis caught 49 passes for 735 yards, which is quite a bit considering the team as a whole only passed for 2,002 yards all season long. Tight end Mike McFarland is a decent option in the red zone. The concerns on offense do not end at quarterback. Running back Marcus Shaw is gone after tallying 756 yards on the ground. Often he was the only hope for the offense. Michael Pierre, who rushed for 114 yards and Darius Tice, who totaled 141 yards on the ground, are the likely replacements.

The Bottom Line:
The USF defense may do enough to keep this team in some games, but that was the case last year too and it did not turn out very well. The offense must find a reliable quarterback and have enough of a ground game to open everything up. That will be a tall order for this group. The best they can hope for is to develop for the future and keep building under Coach Taggart.

Projected Bowl: None

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 88.7 (118th in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 166.8 (108, 10)
Total Offense: 255.5 (121, 10)
Scoring Offense: 13.8 (120, 10)
Rushing Defense: 139.8 (28, 7)
Pass Defense: 211.0 (26, 2)
Total Defense: 350.8 (21, 3)
Scoring Defense: 28.6 (73, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.3 (86, 5)
Sacks:  1.92 (71, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 2.75 (104, 8)

Madness 2014 Recruit Rankings:
#118 Quinton Flowers


See All College Sports Madness Top 104 Football Previews