The morning after, afternoon edition: Defense fights, offense looks awful

Posted: September 7, 2013 in Football

Welp, USF is now 0-2 to start the season.  The defense, after getting gashed by McNeese State came to play in this one, but the offense couldn’t do anything against the stout MSU defense.  MSU scored 14 points with defense while their offense failed to do much, but it still stings seeing how far the Bulls have to go.

Lets start with the USF defense.  The Bulls got hit a few times on long drives, but they held strong and only allowed one offensive touchdown to the Spartans.  MSU struggled all day with their quarterback play, rotating in 3 guys and seeing several of their receivers miss and drop passes.  USF allowed 265 yards total, but they played much harder than they did last week.  They swarmed to the ball, battled, got pressure and held their own.  Aaron Lynch is still missing out there, but Forte had a huge forced fumble, Dede Lattimore (had 14 tackles) was all over the place and others like Mark Joyce came to play.  Seeing that effort gives me hope going forward that the defense will rally and become the strength of the team and keep games close, because the offense won’t be coming up big anytime soon after watching this one.

The offense was just ugly today.  I stated that it would be a rough day at the office against the Spartans, but I had no idea how awful it would be.  Bobby Eveld got the start but didn’t get a thing done.  He went 6 for 25 for 66 yards and threw one interception that was taken back for a touchdown.  Steven Bench got into the game after Eveld got hit, one of many times he hit the turf during the game.  He had 4 yards on a carry and was 0 for 1 passing.  Marcus Shaw carried it 23 times for 94 yards and Mike Pierre had 5 for 15 yards.  Andre Davis had 2 receptions for 41 yards, Derrick Hopkins had 2 receptions for 14 yards, and Ryan Eppes had 2 for 11 yards.

It was ugly on offense and a lot of it had to do with the USF offensive line.  They were physically out-matched up front vs. the Spartan front 7 and it showed all day.  There was never a clean pocket, always constant pressure on Eveld or Bench, and no running lanes for Shaw.  It was a tough match-up for them, but they failed to hold up and it killed any chance the Bulls had to win this game.

Special teams were a little bit better.  They had better coverage and no bad snaps.  Marvin Kloss was 2 for 2 on field goals and hit a long 49 yard attempt.  Mattias Ciabatti was consistent at least , he punted 9 times and averaged 42 yards per kick.  Durden had a few solid returns, but also made some bad decisions on returns inside the 10 yard line, but it was clear the coaches caught it and got into his ear about it.

FAU is next (0-2), it will be really interesting to see if this hard fought game will teach the team anything and if they will be able to learn and apply it to the field.  If they lose to FAU, it will be even worse around here.


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