South Florida Bulls head coach Charlie Strong held his weekly press conference with the media on Monday—his only availability this week—and we were there to ask questions about the comeback victory over Georgia Tech and look forward to Illinois at Solider Field on Saturday.
Strong: I told Sterlin we need seven here (late in the game). If anything, just give the ball to (Tyre) McCants— Award Winner Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) September 10, 2018
We mentioned it after the game, but the second half playcalling by offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert was flawless. The Daily Stampede haven’t been kind to Gilbert over the last year or so, but he deserves a ton of credit for how he called the game.
The Bulls ran 35 offensive plays in the second half, only five didn’t go for positive yards. And only one of those plays went for negative yards. GT had absolutely no answer for #AirBnB Blake Barnett and company.
Strong: We stayed on track (offensively)— Award Winner Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) September 10, 2018
I told the defense to give us the ball back and we’re gonna go score.
“I told the defense, ‘hold them to a field goal and get the ball back for our offense because we were gonna go score,” Strong said. “I told the defensive coaches ‘I don’t care if these guys gain 1,000 yards, just win the game.’”
Strong: I told (Kevin) Kegler I was totally shocked at how well he played.— Award Winner Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) September 10, 2018
Says Kegler rose to the challenge
Sophomore DT Kevin Kegler “played the game of his life” according to Strong and also destroyed Yellow Jackets’ quarterback TaQuon Marshall on a blindside sack on fourth down.
“I never would’ve expected that from him,” Strong said. “I told him ‘I bet you five plays in of them cutting you and you’ll be done for the day’. He replied ‘Coach, are you still waiting for me to come out?’”
Strong: RB Duran Bell has an ankle injury. Game time decision.— Award Winner Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) September 10, 2018
Naytron Culpepper is still with the team.
Redshirt freshman Duran Bell saw his first game action after sitting out the season opener versus Elon and didn’t disappoint. Bell rushed for 69 yards and added a 14-yard TD to briefly give the Bulls the lead in the third quarter. Bell missed the entirety of the 2017 season due to a left knee injury. Hopefully it’s not something too serious.
Culpepper on the other hand is a conundrum. We don’t believe he’s still injured or being forced to sit out due to a rules violation. We believe he’s taking care of some things and will be back on the field at some point this season.