5 keys vs. Maryland

Posted: September 5, 2014 in Football

Time for game number two and there are lot of keys the Bulls must improve on if they want to beat Maryland. Here are my top five as the Bulls prepare for the next big test in the 2014 season.

The Mack show or limited roll? – Mack had a monster of a game the last time, rushing for 275 yards, tying the single game record set by Andre Hall. As great as it was, how much of Mack will we see in this game? Darius Tice was out with a tweaked knee, but if he is set to go, how many carries does he get and how many will Mack see? Coach Taggart said that it would be a rotation of backs for the year, but after the break out game that Mack had, it is hard to reduce his carries unless he cools off real fast or makes a few mistakes.

Defense must adjust to quick throws – The new 3-4 defense allowed 394 yards against them, against Western Carolina. Time after time, the Catamounts would sling the ball out in the flat or to the sidelines and get the quick 6 yard gains, making life easy for them on the next down. The Bulls did adjust, bringing up the corners in press coverage, but it wasn’t consistent at times and the defense was on the field for a long time. They have to get better, especially with an offense in Maryland that will spread the field and allow their quarterback to run around. They have a lot of new faces on that side of the ball and they have to learn fast if they want to stay with the Terrapins in this game.

Get pressure in 3-4 set – The 3-4 defense got a lot of work in the first game but it wasn’t that great. The front line totaled just 4 sacks and allowed the passing game of Western Carolina to make plays for the entire game. It’s simple, they have to get more pressure but Maryland has mobile quarterbacks that will make it hard. They will have to play hard but no over pursue and allow the Terrapins signal callers to pull the ball down and get big yardage against them. Players like Reshard Cliett, Nigel Harris, and up front with Todd Chandler, have to come up big in this game if the Bulls want to stand a chance.

Protect Mike White – Quinterrius Eatmon was banged up and Thor Jozwiak could be out for this game with a shoulder injury, so the pressure on the offensive line to protect White. I kicked and screamed all last season about how bad the unit was and after the first game, I’m still screaming. White was pressured a lot and at times, the running lanes were not there, all against a smaller and weaker Western Carolina front. Now the unit is facing a 3-4 look in Maryland that has a lot more speed than the Catamounts had. The unit better get it together or it could be a long afternoon.

Get White going – White was pretty bad in the first game. Overthrows, an interception, and bad timing on a lot of routes mad for a long evening. It was clear he was flustered and did not settle down till the second half. For the Bulls to make it in this game, he has to come out in this game calm and collected. Get him some quick and easy throws to get his confidence going and help calm down! Having Davis back on the field will help, but White has to play a lot better if USF wants to stand a chance in this game.

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