In his opening statement to the media Monday morning, South Florida Bulls head coach Charlie Strong spoke about the self-inflicted mistakes that have plagued the team through the first two weeks of the season. He referenced penalties that killed drives for the Bulls as well as those that extended drives for their opponents. He also referenced missed tackles, missed assignments, and the inability to consistently win at the line of scrimmage.
Coach Strong opens talking about self inflicted mistakes. Includes penalties, missed assignments, missed tackles and losing at the line of scrimmage.— Seth Varnadore (@SethVarnadore) September 9, 2019
The offensive line was asked about several times with Coach Strong saying that the team must be able to run the ball to avoid being one dimensional. Strong stated that the offensive line, as well as some of the receivers, need to win one-on-one battles more consistently. One way to win more one-on-one battles may be a change in personnel. Strong stated that several positions will be assessed including the left tackle position currently manned by senior William Atterbury. I would anticipate a few changes on this week’s depth chart at several spots.
Strong asked about offensive line. Says they need to be able to run the football to avoid being one dimensional. Says players need to win more one on one. Even references the receivers needing to win their one on one matchups.— Seth Varnadore (@SethVarnadore) September 9, 2019
However, the most frequent topic of conversation, as it often is, was the quarterback position.
Strong was asked about the position immediately and stated that they are still evaluating and that there will be competition this week. He also hinted that the decision would be made quickly, as Tuesday and Wednesday practices are the real “work days” of the week. Strong referenced his past at Louisville with Teddy Bridgewater, and said he is not afraid to make a change at the QB position.
I do think Jordan McCloud deserves a shot this week versus SC State. If it doesn’t work out, you have a bye week to figure it out. But you gotta give him a full game to find out what he can do.— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) September 9, 2019
On the final offensive play, he turned a 7-yard sack into a 2-yard gain. It’s needed
Strong specifically praised redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud for coming in and taking advantage of the opportunities he’s been given. The Plant High School product finished 4-for-5 for 90 yards, and a touchdown of some significance.
.@jordan_mccloud4’s 20-yard touchdown pass to @_jdf20 against Georgia Tech was the first red zone passing score for @USFFootball since the 4th quarter of the Illinois game in 2018. That’s a span of 12 games. #USF— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) September 9, 2019
I think the fact that Strong was so open to the line of questioning about the position speaks volumes. There may not be a complete change yet, but it feels like something will be different this Saturday.
Strong finished by praising the team’s attitude. He said now they just need to finish more consistently. He specifically praised the transfers that have come in on the defensive side of the ball for their leadership and practice habits.
#USF’s defense had 13 tackles-for-loss today against Georgia Tech.— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) September 7, 2019
They had 14 TFL in the final three games (Temple, UCF, Marshall) of the 2018 season combined.
Strong also confirmed that one of those transfers, Patrick Macon, will miss the first half this week as part of the punishment for his targeting penalty ate in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech.