2013 USF Spring Football Analysis
2013 South Florida Bulls ... Head Coach: Willie Taggart
Why To Get Excited … the
Bulls have finally landed the proper successor to Jim Leavitt on the
sidelines. Skip Holtz wound up being an unmitigated disaster in Tampa,
but his ouster did open the door for the hiring of Willie Taggart, one
of the rising stars of the coaching ranks. Taggart has brought instant
excitement to USF, which had been missing for the past two seasons.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 McNeese State
9/7 at Michigan State
9/14 Florida Atlantic
9/21 OPEN DATE
10/12 at Connecticut
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/31 at Houston
11/9 OPEN DATE
11/29 at UCF
12/7 at Rutgers
Why To Be Grouchy … there’s not a single returning all-star
on the 2013 roster. The Bulls are noticeably thin at a number of
positions, most notably behind center. B.J. Daniels was weekly
crapshoot, but he also was a four-year starter. Senior Bobby Eveld and
sophomore Matt Floyd have flubbed auditions, combining for three career
touchdown passes and 12 picks.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … creating more
takeaways. There is so much for Taggart & Co. to work on during the
offseason, but topping the list will be creating more short-field
opportunities for the challenged offense. In 2012, USF had just nine
takeaways, tied with New Mexico State for fewest in the FBS.
Team Concerns For 2013: New head coach Willie Taggart
has to improve the team in just about all areas. First and foremost, the
Bulls have to be better in turnover margin after giving it up 28 times
and coming up with nine takeaways including two - both against
Connecticut - interceptions. The offense died down the stretch scoring a
grand total of 35 points in the final four games, while the defense got
lit up by anyone who wanted to throw the ball down the field. The
special teams could stand to be stronger after cranking out just 17.83
yards per try.
Non-Conference Games: McNeese State, at Michigan State, Florida Atlantic, Miami
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 5-7
Likely Finish: 8-4
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: McNeese State, Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati, at Connecticut, at Houston, Memphis, SMU, at UCF
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Michigan State, Miami, Louisville, at Rutgers
Schedule Analysis: The Bulls get a warm-up against McNeese State before a showdown at Michigan State. Win that, and all of a sudden things get interesting with three home games in a road and four in the next five with fantastic games in Tampa against Cincinnati, Louisville and Miami. Connecticut and Houston are the only two road games in a run of eight going from September 14th until Thanksgiving. However, closing out with a trip up the road to UCF and dealing with Rutgers in New Jersey in December will be harsh.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen.
Willie Taggart has built up a nice class with several decent talents.
The linebacking corps has a good one in JUCO transfer Rahmon Swain and
prepsters Mitchell Wright and Nigel Harris. Corner Nate Godwin leads a
deep class of defensive backs, but the D is getting the most star power
on the front line with Derrick Calloway a potential anchor at tackle and
310-pound Deadrin Senat a big body for the interior. Mike Love needs to
add more weight, but he'll turn into a good pass rusher. The offense
wasn't ignored, especially on the line with three good guards led by
Dominique Threatt and Cameron Ruff.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 72. That Class Was Heavy On ... The lines.
Skip Holtz has the skill players in place after loading up over the last
few years, and the defensive front was addressed heavily three years
ago. Now the D could use a boost up front for down the road, while the
offensive line has a depth issue that has to be addressed as soon as
possible. Holtz is mining the JUCO ranks and is going outside of the
state to bring in talent.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 58. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers.
The offensive line got a huge boost with Max Lang, Darrell Williams, and
Boo Simon all good tackle prospects who should be the anchors up front
in the next three years, and the defense got some help with Corian
Hamilton and Chris Garye two strong safety prospects, but the stars of
the class are at receiver with Andre Davis a local product who should
become a special No. 1 target. Ruben Gonzalez and Alex Mut are also nice
gets who’ll boost up the Skip Holtz passing attack.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 47. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Skill players. Skip Holtz had roughly five minutes to
work, but he still kept most of the key players Jim Leavitt originally
pitched. Jamius Gunsby is a big, athletic playmaker of a quarterback
who'll get a few years to develop, while Marcus Shaw and Tiger Powell
are good looking speed backs who could find roles early on if JUCO
transfer Michael Hayes and his 4.3 speed doesn't take over the workload.
Jamaal Mantague and Deonte Welch might not be five-star receiver
prospects, but they're going to be good. Defensively, JUCO transfer
Claude Davis will be asked to step in right away and fill a gaping hole
at one end, and top corner Terrence Mitchell will get a chance to see
time in the rotation.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 25. That Class Was
Heavy On ... The defensive line. Can you say epic haul? Jim Leavitt
is retooling his defensive front on the fly, with a mix of talented ends
and tackles from junior college, post-graduate schools, and high
schools. George Selvie, Aaron Harris, and Terrell McClain won’t be
around forever, so it was important to bring new reinforcements to
ensure the success of the defense for the foreseeable future. DT Leslie
Stirrups was supposed to be one of the cornerstones of the 2006 class,
but is just now making it to Tampa after problems with grades.