Well we acknowledge this could get ugly, but Craig from State Of The U was kind enough to answer some questions ahead of Saturday's matchup. Normally we make these longer... but in this case, what else is there to say? The Bulls have to be looking internally much more than externally for the answers to their problems.
Here's my responses to what Craig asked me about the Bulls. Spoiler Alert: I don't think we're very good at football.
1. The win over Florida shows this team is for real, but you only had 212 yards of offense. Do you have any concerns about the offense at all heading into this game, or was that just second game issues against an excellent defense? And who are the biggest threats in the running game
Florida is otherworldly, defensively. Im just glad the Canes put together two early scoring drives on them. Not too concerned about the offense, aside from Morris' early struggles with consistency....and that ankle. Still, Ryan Williams showed he's more than capable of connecting with an extraordinarily talented WR group. RB Duke Johnson, you know (or will on Saturday), but big Gus Edwards looked like a dump truck rolling through a nitroglycerine plant last week, and Dallas Crawford has been productive.
2. What players should the Bulls look for on defense that will really make an impact? USF is putting a quarterback out there that's never started a game before in Steven Bench, and the team as a whole has really struggled holding onto the ball so far this season. Who will be looking to force some turnovers?
What a difference Curtis Porter has made in the middle since returning from injury. The big man was a big reason UF had zilch to show for the inside run. Denzel Perryman is an instinctive, playmaking LB. DE Tyriq McCord is quick off the ball and can make your QB, and tackles, look foolish. DE Anthony Chickillo is noticeably bigger. In fact, this defense is well-conditioned and stronger. Proof positive when you're on the field 38+ min vs UF rushing attack and don't show signs of tiring late, which is ridiculous. McCord, Shayon Green, and Al-Quadin Muhammad will be expected to create pressure off the edge this year.
3. Running back Marcus Shaw for USF has been the lone bright spot for USF this season, who is a smaller running back that has an ability to make plays in space. What kind of fronts and looks can we expect to see to try and keep him at bay?
Probably nothing out of the ordinary. Miami has the ability (and shown) multiple fronts, due to their size at DE/DT with Porter, Chickillo, and Olsen Pierre. I saw 3 and 4 man fronts from Miami against UF, and I would expect more of the same against USF to try to create confusion.
4. Got a score prediction? Be honest, we won't be offended, and will probably agree with you.
I'll take Miami 38-17, with the game being a little closer than Miami fans would like early.
6. This is the last game of this USF-Miami series. Your coaches will be out recruiting in our area this weekend, and this series certainly keeps expenses down and sells more tickets for both sides. We're not going to be this terrible forever. Wanna keep playing this thing??
I'd like to, and I'd think the school would have some interest for the purpose of keeping their noses in this part of the state and featuring the team in Tampa in an NFL stadium. But ultimately Miami will probably want to add some home-and-homes with other non-conference opponents, and if there's any chance to work a home-and-home once a decade with UF, that could hinder a regular series with USF.
Thanks to Craig for the time, and be sure to check out State Of The U this week as well.