BULLS : AFTER THE DUST SETTLES : CINCINNATI
By Leo Haggerty

MIKE, WE HARDLY NEW YOU

It’s Homecoming for USF. Alumni, some coming for the first time, meeting alumni that have been to every celebration since its inception. A nationally-ranked football team that every current student and graduate can be proud. Plenty of pomp and pageantry yet a black cloud hung over today’s festivities.

Assistant Director of Communications Mike Radomski was killed early Thursday morning as he was traveling back to his home in Wildwood. Respected by the media as a true professional and beloved by the football program for his dedication and enthusiasm, Mike will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege to come in contact with him. Rest In Peace, my friend.

Football pales in comparison to life but, as we all know, the show much go on.  The Bulls topped the Cincinnati Bearcats 33-3.  South Florida continued to remain undefeated at 6-0 as well as keep in place two national streaks.  The Green & Gold now have the longest winning streak in NCAA football with 11 straight triumphs plus 23 continuous games of 30-plus points.

You would think that with these three goals accomplished that HC Charlie Strong would be pleased with the performance of his troops.  Nothing was farther from the truth.

In his post-game press conference, Coach Strong was as animated and vociferous as he’s been to date.  He was upset with the effort and the execution especially on the offensive side of the football.  After watching the game film, the Bulls Head Coach said his assumptions were verified and, if we look at some salient facts from the contest, you can see why the team felt his ire.

The Warp I, as I refer to the USF offense, never got out of neutral let alone get to high gear.  For a half, South Florida was only able to muster three field goals and the second half wasn’t much better.  Only a Quentin Flowers 1-yard run along with another field goal was all the offense could put up on the scoreboard.

From a defensive perspective, any time you hold a team to no touchdown it’s considered a good performance especially when you hold a team to 3 points. Plus, you put a score up on the board with a Pick 6.  Was this one of South Florida’s best performances?  Not one of it’s best but it was effective.  Plenty of area, such as missed tackles and coverage breakdowns, that need to be addressed.

The best aspect was, no doubt, the kicking game.  The Bulls converted on all four field goal attempts and, when the offense stalled, P Jonathan Hernandez was able to pin the Bearcats deep with a 48.7 yard average and two downed inside the 20.

Don’t get me wrong, no one discounts a win because they are so hard to get on any level of NCAA football. The outcome was effective but it was sloppy.  The effort, for whatever reason, wasn’t up to the expectations of the coaching staff and you know the players will definitely hear about that.

Still, the beat goes on in Tampa.  USF, no matter what went wrong, secured a win and goes unblemished to the Big Easy to play Tulane this weekend.

All photo courtesy of It’s Sports Magazine photojournalist Trace Crisp.