5 keys for USF vs. NC State

Posted: September 12, 2014 in Football

The Bulls lost a frustrating game last week to Maryland where the special teams unit hurt their chances. Entering the game, the Bulls will have questions at the quarterback spot and will need another big performance from the defense. Here are the 5 keys to the game.

Who is the quarterback? – Coach Taggart has said all week that White is getting better and has a shot to play. However, he is a game time decision and Bench could be playing if White is not ready. If this is the case, Bench has to run the offense efficiently and not make mistakes. Bench does not have to be superman out there, he just has to protect the ball and make smart decisions. Could another player like Quinton Flowers rise up to take the job or become a back-up that pushes for a chance to play, it’s possible, but it would Bench’s job if White can’t go.

Feed Mack and the backs – Mack had 73 yards in his second game and his second start of his freshman campaign. The Bulls will need to continue to feed him the ball and get it to the other backs as well. NC State has shown they can be run on,something USF needs to take advantage of with questions at the quarterback position entering the game. The offensive line needs to open up those running lanes and Bench needs to feed his backs. It will make life much easier for him throughout the course of the game.

Fix the snaps on special teams – Special teams were bad last week. The bad snap on the field goal attempt and the blocked punt that was taken back for a score killed the Bulls and showed in the final score book. I would imagine that Coach Taggart and Coach Holt will be getting after all of the special team unit members and making sure they clean it up. The return game is going well with Chris Dunkley but they need the rest of the units to get better and not turn the ball over.

Keep the defense going – The defense adjusted well after this first game and forced 6 turnovers against Maryland. So many of the young players like Auggie Sanchez and Devin Abraham continue to shine while veterans like Todd Chandler and (still young) Nigel Harris continue to make stout plays. They have to keep this going in this game, especially if the offense continues to struggle. If the Bulls want to defend their home turf, the defense will have to make something happen.

Keep building – The Bulls showed a lot of progress after the first game. The defense adjusted and got a lot better. The offensive line is getting there. Marlon Mack continues to show he can carry the burden. Mike McFarland and Rodney Adams have shown they can be very reliable targets even without Andre Davis out on the field. The team is still very young and still learning, but they showed what they learned from the first game and showed progress. Hopefully they continue that process and get a win in the process.



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