Opponent: No. 13/9 Florida Gators
2021 Record: 1-0
Head Coach: Dan Mullen (30-9 at UF)
Date/Time/Location: Saturday, September 11, 1 p.m., Raymond James Stadium (65,857)
How To Watch/Listen: ABC, 95.3FM/620AM WDAE Bulls Unlimited
Series History: Florida leads 1-0 (Last: 38-14 September 11, 2010). First game in Tampa.
Ladies and gentlemen, the South Florida Bulls are coming off their their third-straight shutout in their FBS season opener. What’s the remedy to that? Bringing in the 13th ranked team in the nation.
Let’s not kid ourselves, the Bulls are fighting an uphill battle to even be competitive in this game versus the Gators. The talent disparity is obvious, and evident (more than ever in the trenches), and the Bulls will need some of the Liquid Luck Harry Potter had in the Half-Blood Prince to beat Florida.
USF still has an open quarterback competition with Cade Fortin and Timmy McClain (and even Katravis Marsh) battling it out to be QB1. Yes, Fortin was named QB1 with graphics, a feature, and a walk-and-talk prior to NC State, but six drives last week at NC State was enough for head coach Jeff Scott to revert back to last year’s tagline for the position, “We want a starter named by conference play”.
Florida also has a QB competition, but it’s been two very talented, and quite effective players—Emory Jones, and Anthony Richardson. While the duo weren’t prolific through the air last week versus FAU, they combined for 234 of the Gators’ 400 rushing yards. Running quarterbacks have always been an issue for the Bulls, and with Florida facing Alabama next week, we might not see much from them through the air if they continue to churn out big yards.
USF needs to improve in every area, especially on third down on both sides of the ball. The offense didn’t convert on their first 11 third downs, and those short drives proved costly for the Bulls on defense as they wore down by the middle of the second quarter. Defensively, the Bulls allowed the Wolfpack to convert on 8-of-13 third downs to extend drives. It’s been an issue for two years for the Bulls.
Listen, enjoy the game. Have fun tailgating again. Drink plenty of water. (At least for this game), don’t get hung up in the score. We know it’s going to be a laugher, but find something the Bulls improved on from week one to week two. If that’s just actually scoring points before it’s a blow out, so be it. Find something to take into next week.
Florida 52, USF 10