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USF Football Saturday Takeaways: Tulsa

The uniforms looked good.

Tulsa v South Florida Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Another national tv game, another big loss. In spite of the positivity surrounding the offense last week, we mentioned some warning signs in last week’s takeaways.

The Bulls did a great job taking advantage of short fields and cashing in for points against Temple. I worried that it wasn’t a sustainable model for success. Unfortunately, the Bulls had to play one of the best defenses in the conference and were unable to replicate their performance from last week.

The defense continues to struggle to consistently get stops. It wasn’t a great game for either side of the ball and it’s going to be a long season.

Defense: The More Things Change…

The USF defense has struggled all year stopping the run and getting off the field on third down. Those two issues reared their ugly heads again against Tulsa. Tulsa came into the game averaging only 3.6 yards per rush. The Golden Hurricane almost doubled that number, rushing for well over six yards a rush.

Tulsa also came into this game near the bottom of the country in third down conversion rate at 22.22%. They finished Friday night’s game 7-12 (58.3%) on third downs. Both problems can be somewhat attributed to lack of depth in the front seven and the inability to get a pass rush without blitzing. Unfortunately, I don’t know if the solutions to those problems can be found in-season.

Offense: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in”

After naming a starter for the foreseeable future, it would appear that we are now in days of futures past.

The quarterback derby is back on in full force.

Jordan McCloud was on a surprisingly short leash Friday night. Noah Johnson seems to be a very high variance player, which is not always what you want at quarterback. He makes some great plays but will then turn around and make a big mistake. Cade Fortin came in and provided a spark with his legs, as well all predicted.

The position seems more muddled than ever, but lucky for you The Daily Stampede thrives on solving problems. We have deciphered and easy way to pick the quarterback. Try it out for yourself below.

Special Teams: Good?

The special teams played pretty well on Friday night. A long punt return set the offense up for easy points early and the coverage units did a great job. The only downside was a missed field goal, but they also made a field goal. All things considered; it was a winning performance from a much improved special teams unit.