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The Daily Stampede Mailblog

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We’re halfway through the season, let’s answer some questions.

NCAA Football: East Carolina at South Florida Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The South Florida Bulls football team has stumbled out of the gate in year one (or negative-1 depending on your view) of the Jeff Scott era. Having to deal with a new team, coaching staff, no spring practice, and a pandemic was a recipe for disaster for the first-year head coach.

With that, let’s answer some of your questions through the first half of the season.

With the NCAA granting everyone a free year, any senior on the team who wants to come back for their sixth year are eligible to do so, and will not count toward the scholarship limits. Additionally, teams can recruit a full 2021 class as they normally would.

For example, a team can have 85 scholarship players during a normal year. If every single player comes back, you could, in theory, sign a full 25 person freshman class for a nice, robust 110 scholarship players.

Word on the street is Scott and company are pretty well finished with the 2021 class save for decommits, and the transfer portal.

The NCAA granted all winter sport athletes an extra year regardless of how many games, minutes, etc they play. So senior guards David Collins and Justin Brown could play in every game, and every minute of the season, then come back next year.

If DC and JB were to come back, they would not count toward the NCAA limit of 13 scholarship players. HOWEVER, if they decide to transfer to another school for their extra year, they’d count toward their new school’s scholarship limit.

The Bulls are likely to try to sign one or two players in the early signing period.

Mark Zeigler at the San Diego Union-Tribune lays it all out very well here.

Defensive line and it’s not close. I said it on The Bulluminati Podcast this week that among the players listed as defensive ends, they’re responsible for 0.5 TFL. The entire defensive line combined have just 7.5 TFL. As a team, the Bulls have just 22 TFL, and three sacks. Linebacker Antonio Grier has all three sacks. Without consistent pressure from the defensive line, opposing quarterbacks are going to have a field day against the USF secondary. Take away the season opener versus The Citadel, USF has 15 TFL, and two sacks as a team. That’s not going to get it done.

The offensive line gets a bit of a pass here, they’ve had just two games with their preseason starting five playing together. With that said, right tackle Jarrett Hopple was benched after giving up a sack which led to Jordan McCloud’s first fumble at Temple. Josh Blanchard stepped in after that and performed well. I think Blanchard is the right tackle going forward.

The wide outs have improved from the first few games of the year. Latrell Williams and Omarion Dollison are great assets. DeVontres Dukes has finally come to life this year, and Bryce Miller continues to be a reliable target from the slot. That position should continue to improve as we progress through the year. Also, shout out to the wide outs doing the dirty work downfield blocking for the ballcarrier. Huge improvement there.

Offensive line, and defensive line are the obvious answers here. They need size, and talent in the trenches desperately. Take the Sonny Dykes at SMU approach and bring in a whole bunch of JUCOs to plug in holes as you build cache as head coach at USF.

That was a lot of fun. We will definitely do that again soon.

The wife and I made a deal in August if the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup we’d name the baby Brayden after Brayden Point. But, a dark horse name has come into the contest.

It’s now between Brayden and Brody.

With all the other conferences deciding to play football again after deciding not to earlier in the year, even with everyone being eligible despite a losing record, there won’t be enough slots to get in a 1-9 (it’s possible) USF team.

Thanks to everyone who asked questions this week. We’ll continue to do this the rest of the year as we close out this funky, and strange season.

Remember: It’s year negative-1, things will look bad now, but Jeff Scott will turn it around. And wear a mask.

Go Bulls!