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#AskTDS: Mailbag Edition

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I’m here to talk X’s and O’s.

Connecticut v South Florida Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Every week we ask you to send us questions so that we can answer them on The Bulluminati Podcast, presented by RP Electrical Solutions, LLC (813-426-6592) and every week you guys send a bunch in that we sometimes just can’t get to and this week was no exception. Well, I decided I’d answer them in a mailbag.

Let’s do it.

This is a fantastic question from fellow TDS writer Ryan Smith and I spent much longer on figuring out this question than I should have.

In a regular offense:

  • QB- Marquel Blackwell
  • RB- Quinton Flowers
  • WR- SUPER BOWL CHAMPION B.J. DANIELS
  • Slot WR- Matt Grothe
  • TE- Blake Barnett

Two of these guys (Flowers and SBCBJD) played their positions in the NFL, makes sense. While he was athletic, Blackwell is best suited to be the quarterback of this team. Grothe seems like he’d have no trouble going over the middle and would almost be Tyre McCants-like at getting tough yards. Barnett is the 6’5” tight end that you forget is kinda fast and will burn you on a seam route twice a game.

BUT, I’d run the triple option with these guys.

  • QB-Blackwell
  • FB-Grothe
  • Slotback- Flowers
  • Slotback- SBCBJD
  • Token Tall WR- Barnett.

For one week at least, offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert gets a reprieve from the slander that has plagued him during his time at USF. As I discussed on the pod, the poor first half offensively versus UConn really did come down to execution.

If TE Mitchell Wilcox releases on the screen at the correct time (according to #AirBnB), Barnett doesn’t throw it faster and it doesn’t get tipped up in the air and intercepted. The second pick is one Barnett for under-throwing it to Wilcox. Then sacks and penalties set the USF back in the first half until that final drive.

The offense clicked into gear on a seven play, 80-yard touchdown drive on the final possession of the half and was off to the races after that. In the second half, USF averaged 13.1 yards per play. That is not a misprint. They averaged a first down per play. For the game (excluding the kneel downs at the end of the game), USF was gaining 9.9 yards per play. You can’t shit on 9.9 yards per play.

Defensively, the Bulls are going to have to somehow contain Houston QB D’Eriq King and force a couple of turnovers to give the offense extra possessions. Only problem is, he doesn’t make mistakes. King has thrown just three interceptions all season while tossing 26 touchdowns and running for another nine scores.

Using DE/hybrid LB Greg Reaves as the middle linebacker didn’t work against UConn and it looks like he’s getting the start there again this week with regular starter Nico Sawtelle set to miss his second straight game due to a shoulder injury. Defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary said Reaves had only moved to LB the Monday prior to the game, so hopefully another week at the position will help him.

White Mike got out of Western Kentucky at the right time because current head coach Mike Sanford has ruined the Hilltoppers this season. White Mike now just has to deal with The Clapper Jason Garrett (copyright The Ringer’s Mike Lombardi). It’s hard to tell if Dax is just a bad quarterback or if he just got ruined by Garrett being an all-around awful coach. Owner Jerry Jones may have hit his breaking point with Garrett over the weekend and might actually scold him. Garrett’s never getting fired.

Gilbert sounded less than optimistic during his media availability that running back Duran Bell would play this weekend at Houston (along with Elijah Mack). It’s hard to gauge how injured he is without the coaches telling us what’s wrong. I do know he wasn’t in a boot on Saturday and that’s about all I got.

Sophomore DB Naytron Culpepper has been “taking care” of some things, but he’s still with the team. I spoke to a source close to Culpepper and they indicated that he’d be back soon. For the first time in a while I actually saw him on the sidelines during pregame warm ups prior to UConn. If he misses Houston, he could play in the last four games of the season (excluding AAC title game and bowl game) and still be eligible for a redshirt so keep that in mind.

Any trick play that gives USF a Piesman Trophy candidate, I’m all for it. “Tight end” Eric Mayes catching a goal line pass from running back Jordan Cronkrite? Sign me tf up.

Offensive lineman Christion Gainer’s home was severely damaged by Hurricane Michael and a GoFundMe has been set up for them in an effort to ease the burden of trying to rebuild their lives. USF has gotten clearance from compliance for this, so if you can donate to him, please do. Thank you in advance.