USF Josh got snagged by ESPN (that is how our people roll, but that also is quite an indictment of the hacks like OldSchool and The Doc who are still here!) but as any good contributor, he found his own replacement before leaving us. Check out the first entry of our guest writer Wes (the Phenom).
Prior to the season this game against FAU probably looked like a game with no meaning and would just be a bridge to Big East play starting next week. However, with how USF has looked thus far, they have a lot of things to work on this weekend. Yes the Bulls should win this game by something like 100 points, or maybe something like 21, but USF has a ton of question marks right now and a seemingly unproblematic opponent like this can hopefully be the answer to these questions.
Last week USF had its worst game through the air in team history against a Western Kentucky defense that ranks 117th in the country. Bogan and Griffin could both be back this weekend and that has been a lot of the Bull’s problem; they have had to go way down in the depth chart at receiver to try to compensate for the major injury problems at the position. Bogan is no doubt the go-to-guy for big plays through the air, so having him back and getting him back in the mix and comfortable before Syracuse next week is very important and should be a big boost to the passing game. Through 3 games BJ Daniels only has 27 completions for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has been solid running the ball, which is a staple for him, but he MUST and should get better throwing the ball as the year goes on and this is the perfect game to continue progress with this.
An enormous positive to take away from last week is the running game and rush defense of USF. The Bulls’ defense held the nation’s 5th leading rusher to just 64 yards on 21 carries. On the other side of the ball USF rushed for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns. USF has definitely not had any problems on the ground as they rank 22nd in the nation with 216.7 yards per game. Giving Demetris Murray more touches has been the biggest boost to their running game; he is leading the team in rushing and is averaging 6.2 yards per carry. I expect USF to continue having success on the ground against a Florida Atlantic team that ranks 114th in stopping the run. USF will keep pounding the ball and I reallyyy, really hope and think that Murray should continue to get the majority of the touches.
I know I have really talked FAU down. I even said USF will win by 100, or 126736483, or something like that. However, in reality, FAU has had some decent showings this year against good football teams. They beat UAB, a team that last week lost to Tennessee by only 3 points, and they lost a relatively close 30-17 game against #24 Michigan State. I could see FAU possibly hanging around for a while, but with the Bulls running game it should only be short lived and they should be in control most of the game. If the Bulls get the passing game going, on top of their running game, it should be the blow out that I have been referencing throughout the article.