BULLS : AFTER THE DUST SETTLES : EAST CAROLINA
By Leo Haggerty

OK, Bulls fans, let’s put the South Florida 61-31 drubbing of East Carolina in Greenville in the proper perspective.   There are some things that need to be addressed but not many.

Being totally honest, scoring 61 points covers up a lot of sins. But there are a few area that HC Charlie Strong and his staff need to address during the bye week.

First, the positives. 61 points. That will win you almost every game. 390 yards rushing for an average just a touch under eight yards a carry. You have the football and your opponent doesn’t.  Third down efficiency was just under 70% with the Bulls converting 10 of 14 to keep drives alive and that’s outstanding.

As you can see, not a lot of problems on offense  if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

There are a few thing on the defensive side of the football but not many. The main one, obviously, is points allowed.

Yes, I know that allowing 31 points is unacceptable at any level. So does the Bulls coaching staff especially DC Brian Jean-Mary. Period and end of that conversation.

We need to keep this fact in mind. The opposition offense is made of scholarship players as well.  Give them the ball enough times and someone’s going to make a play.  That’s not an excuse but a fact of life.

It’s all about scoring per possession.  USF held ECU to five scores, four touchdowns and a field goal, in 14 series.  That’s just under 36% which is normally considered a touch high.

Most teams would like it to be 33% or lower but the Green & Gold are a different animal.  When you’ve score at least 30 points in the last 22 straight games, you’re not even in the conversation of beating South Florida unless you get to at least 31 on your side of the scoreboard.

The fact that the USF offense scores in bunches allows the Bulls defense to take chances. And, sometimes you eat the bear like when LB Auggie Sanchez returned an interception for a touchdown. But sometimes the bear eats you when the Pirates hit a 31-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 14-10.

The big thing USF must concentrate upon during the bye week is to stay hungry.  Don’t get complacent because there’s plenty of football to be played and teams are not going to roll over and play dead. And oh by the way , don’t look now but there’s a school about 70 miles up 1-4 that may be really good and feels they have a score to settle with South Florida in Orlando the day after Thanksgiving.