BULLS – AFTER THE DUST SETTLES : SMU
By Leo Haggerty
Archived under Featured Articles – College & University of South Florida

A quick Editor’s note.  I will be listing all articles. from this point forward, where they will be archived.  That way, if any of my readers want, they can find a chronological listing of all the columns that I have written.  Hopefully, that will make it easier to locate a specific article.

First of all, I want to thank our West Coast correspondent David Alexander, my good friend of over 50 years as well as my brother-from-another-mother, for joining me in the press box for the SMU-USF contest.  It’s always great to collaborate with DA even though the outcome was not what either of us anticipated.

Dr. David also wrote the post game, which was closer to a postmortem, column and it was not pretty.  The Ponies jump out to a quick 14-0 lead and never looked back.

The Ponies stretch the advantage to 34-zip at halftime.  For all intents and purposes, the final result was already determined. The only issue in doubt would be the final arithmetic and that would be decided by whether South Florida came out of the locker room motivated or if the Green & Gold were going to fold the tent.

To the Bulls credit, they rallied and under the leadership of QB Blake Barnett, who replaced the injured Jordan McCloud after halftime, led the Bulls to three touchdowns in the second half but it was too little and too late.

The big question is whether HC Charlie Strong can get this team back on track.  I asked some hard questions of the USF head honcho.

For some of you who may think the queries were a little harsh, keep this in mind.  My job is not to be a cheerleader for South Florida.  I am charged with identifying what I perceive to be the problems with the program and ask the what is being done to fix it.

Hopefully, when you look at my inquiries, you’ll agree that I am just doing my job.  No softball or sugar-coated questions as you will see.

LH : Are you back to having a quarterback competition?

CS : Well, Jordan got injured and we had to put Blake in there and he played very well.  We’ll have to look at it but Blake did a very good job when he got in.

LH : St. Felix and Horne are you two veteran speed guys at wide receiver.  Neither of them has a catch tonight and there were, at times, when neither one of them was in the game.  Is there something going on?

CS : They’re on the field.  They started.  There was one that St. Felix dropped over on our sideline.  The first third down we gave Horne the ball and he was running to the outside.  He cut it back in into coverage and they were able to get him on the ground.  There are both quick and can get to the outside.  They can both make plays.  We just have to find a way to get them the football.

LH : In the first half, SMU successfully stemmed their defensive line on almost every play.  Was there any though of changing the cadence?

CS : We knew this was something that they did.  Coming into the game, we were pretty sure they were going to do.  We knew they were going to stem and that’s what they did.  They would move three out and the outside guy would just walk up to the line of scrimmage.  We were ready for it.  We just didn’t block it.

LH : It’s all about execution, isn’t it.

CS : It’s ALL about execution.

Finally, all shots by our photo-journalist Trace Crisp.  Enjoy.