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2011 South Florida Preview – Offense
USF RB Demetris Murray
USF RB Demetris Murray
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jun 12, 2011


CollegeFootballNews.com 2011 Preview - South Florida Bulls Offense



USF Bulls

Preview 2011 - Offense

- 2011 USF Preview | 2011 USF Offense
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What You Need To Know: Well, the good news is that the Bulls will have the same coordinator in successive seasons for the first time in four years. Todd Fitch is back, looking for much better results out of the pro-style attack he installed in 2010. After an opening day blowout of Stony Brook, the offense fizzled, ranking 105th nationally in total offense and 85th in scoring. The face of the struggles was QB B.J. Daniels, who failed to build on his rookie year, throwing more picks than touchdowns and waiting until the bowl game to explode. The program clearly needs him to be more prolific in order to have any chance of turning things around. Making matters worse, the receivers are ordinary and the line needs to replace three starters. Hope, however, comes from the backfield, where Demetris Murray is ready to evolve after playing well last season, and Colorado transfer Darrell Scott makes his highly-anticipated debut. He has every-down potential, but needs to prove he’s worthy of the touches.

Returning Leaders
Passing: B.J. Daniels
143-245, 1,685 yds, 11 TDs, 13 INTs
Rushing: Demetris Murray
120 carries, 542 yds, 4 TDs
Receiving: Evan Landi
28 catches, 390 yds, 2 TDs

Star of the offense: Junior QB B.J. Daniels
Player who has to step up and become a star: Junior LT Mark Popek
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Terrence Mitchell
Best pro prospect: Senior G Jeremiah Warren
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Warren, 2) Daniels, 3) Junior RB Demetris Murray
Strength of the offense: Dual-threat under center, backfield depth
Weakness of the offense: The passing game, the line, the receivers, big plays, third down conversions, red zone conversions

Quarterbacks

State of the Unit: You’re only as good as your last game. No Bull hopes that still applies more than 6-1, 214-pound junior B.J. Daniels , who waited until the Meineke Car Care Bowl to finally play a complete game in 2010. He was sharp, earning MVP honors in the win, but it couldn’t gloss over the struggles he endured throughout his second year. Regressing from his rookie campaign, he went 143-of-245 for 1,685 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions to rank 82nd nationally in passing efficiency. A terrific all-around athlete, he was also less effective outside the pocket, running 112 times for 259 yards and five touchdowns.

Firmly entrenched as the backup is 6-4, 209-pound sophomore Bobby Eveld, one of last season’s pleasant surprises. A walk-on when he arrived, he rose up the depth chart in his first year on campus, playing in six games and starting the finale versus Connecticut. Another quality athlete, he earned valuable reps, going 42-of-75 for 454 yards, two touchdowns, and three picks. He’s being tailed by 6-1, 189-pound true freshman Matt Floyd, who enrolled early and already took part in spring drills. Very sharp in April, he performed with uncommon poise, and sees the field exceptionally well.

Watch Out For .... Daniels’ feel for the system. He clearly struggled as the leader of the new attack, only getting comfortable as the season wound down. If the program is going to build on last year’s late surge, it’s going to need Daniels to become a more consistent field general.
Strength: Dual-threat potential. Yeah, he ran a lot less than in 2009, but Daniels can be a scary ballcarrier when he leaves the pocket and starts channeling Donovan McNabb. Thick and powerful, with good speed, he can avoid the rush and keep defenses honest on designed runs.
Weakness: The passing game. Daniels had all kinds of problems through the air in 2010, going through long stretches of inconsistency. Behind him are a second-year former walk-on and a true freshman. After ranking 101st nationally in passing offense and 98th in passing efficiency, this area of the offense has a long way to go.
Outlook: Which Daniels shows up in 2011, the one who played like a future star in his debut or the one who was in danger of being benched last fall? Considering his last performance in Charlotte, South Florida is banking on the former. He has a lot of raw physical ability, and the extra time in the system can only help his overall development and maturation process.
Rating: 7

Running Backs

State of the Unit: With the help of a few returners and a couple of well-placed transfers, South Florida hopes to have as much talent and depth in the backfield than at any point in their recent history. It’s a good thing, too, because the Bulls have had a long history of struggles in the running game, averaging less than four yards a carry and ranking just 71st in the country. While leading rusher Moise Plancher is gone, the staff is confident it has the reinforcements to handle his departure.

Rising to the top of the depth chart is 5-10, 202-pound junior Demetris Murray , last year’s second-leading rusher. A tough, between-the-tackles runner, he carried 120 times for 542 yards and four scores, adding 11 catches for 153 yards and two more touchdowns. No burner, he runs with good vision and plays the game with passion and an infectious attitude.

The big story in the backfield has been the availability of 6-1, 230-pound junior Darrell Scott , a transfer from Colorado. Considered by many to be the premier back of the class of 2008, he failed to make an impact in his first two years in Boulder and is looking for redemption. At his peak, he’s a physical runner, with the cutback moves to make people miss in the open field. The Bulls have also added 5-9, 224-pound sophomore Dontae Aycock , who’d been bounced by Auburn a year ago. Running low to the ground and with good leg drive, he’s a load to bring down, especially in short yardage.

Watch Out For .... Scott’s attitude and conditioning. Fair or not, he’d gained a reputation for being lazy and out of shape, which impacted his reps and standing among the coaches. His upside potential remains indisputable, but only if he operates with a new attitude in Tampa.
Strength: Power backs. The South Florida running game will again be dominated by physical, north-south runners, who can carry people with them. Murray, Scott, and Aycock are all north of 200 pounds and have the lower body strength to do damage, especially on third down and near the end zone.
Weakness: Lack of game-breakers. New year. Same gripe. Ideally, the Bulls could trade one of their bruisers for a jackrabbit, one of those small and shifty backs who make defenses wince. Instead, they’ve got a methodical running game and no one capable of burning the other team around tackle.
Outlook: You have a lot of potential in the backfield, South Florida. Now go out and fulfill it. Murray and Scott, in particular, have feature back ability, physical runners, with some experience in the prior years. Assuming Scott gets his act together, both players will have prominent roles in the rotation, wearing down defenses with their downhill running styles.
Rating: 7

Receivers

State of the Unit: The Bulls have parted with last year’s leading receiving and all-star, Dontavia Bogan, leaving a void on the outside. At face value, what’s left is an ordinary collection of pass-catchers that’ll need to rise up in order to support the development of QB B.J. Daniels. Don’t expect an overnight transformation from an ensemble that lacks star power and doesn’t return a single player with more than 30 receptions in 2010.

One of the leaders to be Daniels’ go-to guy is 6-3, 221-pound junior Evan Landi , the starter at split end. A quarterback when he arrived, he’s a terrific all-around athlete who’s adapting nicely to his new position. After starting all 13 games and making 28 grabs for 390 yards and two touchdowns, he’s poised to produce much bigger numbers this fall.

Over at flanker, 5-10, 157-pound sophomore Terrence Mitchell has the look of a rising playmaker of the passing game. An explosive athlete, he didn’t catch a pass in his debut, but did rush for a 45-yard score and distinguish himself as a punt returner. He’s currently holding a lead on 6-1, 192-pound sophomore Sterling Griffin, who sat out last season with an ankle injury. In his 2009 debut, he flashed the speed to get behind the secondary, making 14 receptions for 265 yards and two scores.

When the Bulls ditch the fullback or tight end and go to a three-wide set, 5-10, 194-pound senior Joel Miller will enter the huddle. A sure-handed veteran and former walk-on, he caught his first 11 passes for 121 yards and a score.

The program’s new tight end is 6-4, 242-pound junior Andreas Shields , who caught his first five passes for 74 yards in 2010. His blocking has improved as he’s added muscle, but he’ll still be utilized more as a receiver than a cog in the running game.

Watch Out For .... Mitchell to quickly bloom into a smaller, speedier complement to Landi on the outside. While still raw, he has the ingredients for success that can’t be taught. He gets to top gear in a hurry and is capable of taking a quick slant and going the distance with it.
Strength: Speed. After Landi, who’s quicker than he is fast, South Florida has an ample supply of burners, like Mitchell, Griffin, and junior mighty-mite Lindsey Lamar . With those three able to stretch the defense, it’s going to help make life simpler for Landi and the tight ends.
Weakness: A true go-to guy. Landi is headed in the right direction, but he’d be better served as a No. 2 or No. 3 of the passing game. The Bulls are in need of the type of pass-catcher who can’t break down defenses and open up the field for the rest of the skill position players.
Outlook: Right now this is a marginal unit that doesn’t appear capable of elevating the play of the quarterbacks or commanding the respect of defenses. With no seniors in the heart of the rotation, the staff is hoping that this group will get progressively better as the season develops before really taking off in 2012.
Rating: 6

Offensive Line

State of the Unit: After cobbling together one of the best lines in school history, South Florida needs to virtually build from the foundation up. Yeah, a pair of starters are back and four upperclassmen are likely to start the opener, but losing all-stars Sampson Genus at center and Jacob Sims at right tackle won’t be easily overcome. The Bulls will need to insert the right replacements and get them ready in a hurry, or else the rest of the attack is going to suffer.

South Florida will have a returning starter on each side of the line. To the left of center, at guard, will be 6-4, 327-pound senior Jeremiah Warren, who’s been in the lineup for the last 26 games. One of the more powerful and versatile players up front, he needs to watch his weight and improve his conditioning in order to be effective for all 60 minutes.

Over on the right side, the guard will be 6-4, 296-pound senior Chaz Hine, a veteran of 33 games and 25 starts. Self-made and blue-collar to his core, he began his career as a preferred walk-on. One of the most reliable and smartest of the blockers, he’s become a leader of the front wall. The program is excited about the potential of 6-4, 324-pound sophomore John McGhin, who’s on the fast track to starting in 2012. A physically-imposing run blocker, he impressed in the spring after missing most of last year with a hip injury.

Slated to take over at center is 6-0, 315-pound senior Kevin McCaskill, a letterman as Genus’ backup over the last two seasons. Blocking with good leverage and lower body strength, he’s difficult to move off the ball. He’s being challenged by 6-3, 296-pound junior Danous Estenor, who’s also backing up Hine at right guard.

The relative graybeard of the tackles is 6-7, 283-pound junior Mark Popek, a key reserve off the bench and nine-game starter over the last two seasons. Entrenched on the left side, he has long arms and light feet, but still needs to add weight during the summer. The frontrunner at right tackle is 6-6, 299-pound redshirt freshman Quinterrius Eatmon , one of the huge surprises of the offseason. Finally looking the part after losing 60 pounds during the offseason, he has a great future in Tampa if he can remain in shape and continue honing his fundamentals. The premier backup in the rotation will be 6-5, 321-pound junior Damien Edwards, who’s currently behind Eatmon. Though he’s played sparingly, he continues to improve and has the size to engulf opposing linemen.

Watch Out For .... there to be a lot of shuffling going on in the summer. South Florida likes to cross-train its blockers, mixing and matching when necessary. Hine is capable of shifting to center if necessary and Warren is a proven tackle, meaning a fair amount of juggling of the lineup is likely when the team reconvenes in August.
Strength: The guards. Assuming Warren and Hine stay put, the Bulls will boast a couple of hard-working seniors flanking the new center. Both players are physical at the point of attack and go to the whistle, providing running room for the backs.
Weakness: Pass protection. Even with improvement, South Florida still ranked 68th in the country last fall in sacks allowed. Now, after losing Sims and Jamar Bass to graduation, the program is keeping its fingers crossed that Popek can adjust to left tackle and Eatmon can handle a significant promotion in his first year.
Outlook: After piecing together one of the top units in school history, South Florida will need to do some rebuilding with the insertion of three new starters. There’ll be a handful of key questions needing to be answered in the summer, such as whether or not McCaskill is ready to handle the center job. This group figures to be a work-in-progress that requires tinkering throughout the year.
Rating: 6.5

- 2011 USF Preview | 2011 USF Offense
- 2011 USF Defense | 2011 USF Depth Chart
- USF Previews  2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006