5 Keys for USF vs. Wisconsin

Posted: September 26, 2014 in Football

This is going to be a really, really tough test for the young Bulls. They are hitting the road for the first time in 2014 and heading to one of the most hostile environments in college football. Can they handle the noise and have some success or will the size and strength of Wisconsin prove to be to much to handle? Here are my 5 keys for the Bulls as they hit the road.

Handle Camp Randall – Over 80,000 will be in Camp Randall bouncing to Jump Around. It is one of the craziest home field advantages and for the Bulls, it will be a little overwhelming at first. This is the first road game and the first time many of these players have ever seen a stadium like this. They will have to stay calm, not allow the environment to get them, and just play their game. It will be crazy at first, but the players have to stay focused, take a deep breath, and just do what the coaches have taught them.

Slow down Melvin Gordon – Melvin Gordon might be the best running back in the nation. He had 5 touchdowns in the last game and went for over 200 yards. It will be nearly impossible to stop him and for the USF defense, who looked strong in their last game, will have to figure out a way to slow him down. It would be foolish to say the defense has to stop Gordon, not many can do that. For the defense to keep the Bulls in this game, they simply have to slow him down. They cannot allow the big runs that crushed Bowling Green last week. If they can do that, they could hang in this game.

Get Mack going – Mack was the workhorse last week and the Bulls have to continue that trend. The offense is still shaky and with a hostile environment facing them in this one, feeding Mack is key. If they can get a few first downs, avoid quick 3 and outs, and get some extended drives, they will be able to keep the crowd quiet and keep that rushing attack of Wisconsin on the sidelines.

Protect Mike White – White was effective against Uconn in spite of the rainy conditions and without Andre Davis. In this game, the Bulls will have to keep him on his feet and allow him to get the ball out to Rodney Adams, Mike McFarland, and the rest of the receivers. Wisconsin is fairly stout against the run so if Mack can’t get going too much in this game, the passing game will come in play and keeping White on his feet is going to be key. Having Thor Jozwiak back on the field is key, he is a vocal leader and will have to rally the line to get after it in this game.

Keep it close – Wisconsin had a historic game in the last outing vs. Bowling Green. They ran all over the field and shut down the Eagles. It was ugly. For USF, a team that has already been beaten up against NC State, this game could get out of hand if they aren’t careful. Winning this game is going to be a real, real challenge but its not impossible. If the Bulls want to stand a chance in this game, they have to keep it close. They can’t allow the big plays, can’t have 3 and outs, and must force turnovers to keep the Wisconsin offense on the sidelines. It will be real interesting to see how this one plays out.

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