2008 South Florida Bulls Season
South Florida QB Matt Grothe
South Florida QB Matt Grothe
Posted Feb 4, 2009

2008 South Florida Bulls Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 South Florida Bulls

Dec. 29
2008 St. Petersburg Bowl
South Florida 41 ... Memphis 14

USF had no problems winning what amounted to a home game as Matt Grothe threw three touchdown passes, starting out with a 26-yard scoring pass to Taurus Johnson, and Ben Williams ran for a thee-yard score on the way to a 24-7 lead. Memphis stayed in it in the first half with a three-yard touchdown pass from Arkelon Hall and a two-yard touchdown pass to Duke Calhoun with eight seconds left in the half, but that would be it. USF scored 17 unanswered points in the second half while the defense finished up holding Memphis to just 238 yards of total offense.
Player of the game: South Florida QB Matt Grothe completed 17-of-24 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns, and he led the team with 83 rushing yards on 15 carries.
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 17-24, 236 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Matt Grothe, 15-83. Receiving: Carlton Mitchell, 4-60
Memphis - Passing: Arkelon Hall, 15-31, 154 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Curtis Steele, 12-48. Receiving: Duke Calhoun, 6-39, 1 TD
Inside The Boxscore ... 5 Thoughts on the St. Petersburg Bowl ... Rushing yards: USF 232 - Memphis 66 ... USF QB Matt Grothe became the Big East's all-time leader in total offense. He's only a junior. ... USF's Tyrone McKenzie led all defenders with 11 tackles with a tackle for loss. ... Average yards per kickoff return: USF 35.5 - Memphis 17.1. ... Time of possession: USF 34:24 - Memphis 25:16.

- 2008 USF Preview
- 2007 USF Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record: 8-

Aug. 30 UT Martin W 56-7
Sept. 5 at UCF W 31-24 OT
Sept. 12 Kansas W 37-34
Sept. 20 at FIU W 17-9
Sept. 27 at NC State W 41-10
Oct. 2 Pitt L 26-21
Oct. 18 Syracuse W 45-13
Oct. 25 at Louisville L 24-20
Oct. 30 at Cincinnati L 24-10
Nov. 15 Rutgers L 49-16
Nov. 22 Connecticut W 17-13
Dec. 6 at West Virginia L 13-7
St. Petersburg Bowl
Dec. 20 Memphis W 41-14

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record:

Sept. 1 Elon W 28-13
Sept. 8 at Auburn W 26-23 OT
Sept. 22
North Carolina W 37-10
Sept. 28 West Virginia W 21-13
Oct. 6
at Florida Atlantic W 35-23
Oct. 13 UCF W 64-12
Oct. 18 at Rutgers L 30-27
Oct. 27 at Connecticut L 22-15
Nov. 3
Cincinnati L 38-33
Nov. 10 at Syracuse W 41-10
Nov. 17 Louisville W 55-17
Nov. 24 at Pitt W 48-37
Sun Bowl
Dec. 31 Oregon L 56-21

Nov. 23
South Florida 17 … Connecticut 13
Jamar Taylor ran for a 25-yard touchdown and Benjamin Williams scored from three yards out as South Florida got by in a defensive battle. The Bull defense allowed two field goals and a 43-yard Ellis Gaulden touchdown catch, but it held Donald Brown, the nation's leading rusher, to 96 yards on 28 carries. The Huskies had the ball two times after a field goal made it a four-point game, but went nowhere on either drive. Each team committed 10 penalties.
Player of the game: South Florida LB Tyrone McKenzie made 16 tackles and three tackles for loss
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 9-18, 124 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Matt Grothe, 15-51. Receiving: Jessie Hester, 3-17
Connecticut - Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 10-24, 119 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Donald Brown, 28-96. Receiving: Anthony Sherman, 4-45
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... With the offense sputtering and Matt Grothe the only aspect working against Connecticut, the defense came up with a big game and the special teams proved to be a big key. The team needed to bounce back from its three game losing streak and a run of four losses in five game to turn the season back around. Reestablishing the home field advantage was a plus, but to take a big step forward in the Big East world, a win at West Virginia will be a must. Win there, and all of a sudden the season becomes a major success.

Nov. 15
Rutgers 49 … South Florida 16
Rutgers forced six turnovers and never trailed as Mike Teel threw three touchdown passes with a 93-yarder to Kenny Britt and a 28-yarder to Shamar Graves. Teel also ran for a touchdown while the defense got into the scoring act, too, as Jason McCourty took one of Matt Grothe's three interceptions for a touchdown. The Bulls pulled within 28-16 on a Taurus Johnson touchdown catch late in the third, but the Scarlet Knights scored the final 21 points of the game. Rutgers converted 10-of-14 third down tries.
Player of the game: Rutgers QB Mike Teel completed 18-of-29 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions, and he ran for a score
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 28-43. 292 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Matt Grothe, 13-50. Receiving: Jessie Hester, 10-110
Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 18-29, 294 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Joe Martinek, 21-98, 2 TD. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 8-173, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Does anyone struggle with negative momentum more than South Florida? The Bulls were in the game against Rutgers, but turnovers, missed tackles, and generally sloppy play made it a blowout. A bowl game isn't a sure thing at this point, even though the team is eligible. If they keep playing as poorly as they have over the last few weeks, and if they get blasted by Connecticut next week with West Virginia still to play, Step one might be to get the ground game working to provide some semblance of consistency. Matt Grothe is great, but he can't do it all.

Oct. 30
Cincinnati 24 ... South Florida 10
Cincinnati got two touchdown passes from Tony Pike, including a 26-yarder to Mardy Gilyard, John Goebel ran for a two-yard score, and DE Connor Barwin made a one-yard scoring grab as the offense took advantage of several mistakes. South Florida turned it over three times, all interceptions, and saw two deep drives go for naught. The Bulls tied it at seven in the first quarter on a Moise Plancher touchdown run and managed a 49-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Player of the game: Cincinnati QB Tony Pike completed 20-of-28 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 13-31, 174 yds, 3 INT
Rushing: Benjamin Williams, 17-79. Receiving: Carlton Mitchell, 4-77
Cincinnati - Passing: Tony Pike, 20-28, 281 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: John Goebel, 17-78, 1 TD. Receiving: Dominick Goodman, 5-57
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... After committing 14 penalties last week in a loss to Louisville, South Florida suffered eight this week against Cincinnati, there were three interceptions, and not nearly enough production from the secondary. George Selvie and the defensive front got decent pressure on UC QB Tony Pike, but they didn't force any mistakes and the secondary couldn't handle the Bearcat receivers. Last week, the pass defense had a problem with Hunter Cantwell and the Cardinal passing game. After a week off, the Bulls get a suddenly hot Rutgers passing game, and they need a win in big way to pull up out of the current nosedive.

Oct. 25
Louisville 24 … South Florida 20
Scott Long caught touchdown passes from 69 and 24 yards out, with the second one giving Louisville the lead for good midway through the fourth quarter, to overcome a huge day from Matt Grothe. The South Florida quarterback threw touchdown passes to Richard Kelly from three yards and to Ben Busbee from 15 yards away, but he couldn't get the offense moving late. The Bulls outgained UofL 352 yards to 323, but 14 penalties and two turnovers proved costly.
Player of the game: Louisville WR Scott Long caught five passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 30-40, 344 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Benjamin Williams, 7-14. Receiving: Jessie Hester, 8-74
Louisville - Passing: Hunter Cantwell, 12-21, 212 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Vic Anderson, 18-64. Receiving: Scott Long, 5-134, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... South Florida has to be tighter. The 14 penalties against Louisville were ridiculous, the two turnovers hurt, the offensive line didn't do anything for a running game that cranked out a mere eight yards. Stopping the Cardinal pass rush was a problem, but Matt Grothe made up for it with his mobility. The defense couldn't come up with the big stop when needed late, while the offense didn't help with a late interception. Now the Bulls get to go to Cincinnati in a must-win game to keep Big East title hopes alive.

Oct. 18
South Florida 45 … Syracuse 13
South Florida got three touchdown passes from Matt Grothe and an 11-yard touchdown run in the blowout win. Syracuse had a good first half, staying alive on two Patrick Shadle field goals and a 24-yard Curtis Brinkley run, but the Bulls went on a 24-0 run in the second half helped by a turnover leading to a one-yard A.J. Love touchdown catch and two long scoring drives. USF held on to the ball for 13:07 of the fourth quarter and 23:20 in the second half.
Player of the game: South Florida QB Matt Grothe completed 19-of-26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns and ran ten times for 72 yards and a score
Stat Leaders: Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 11-27, 129 yds
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 20-112, 1 TD. Receiving: Lavar Lobdell, 4-37
South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 19-26, 248 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Matt Grothe, 10-72, 1 TD. Receiving: A.J. Love, 4-21, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Matt Grothe had a fantastic game against Syracuse doing exactly what he was supposed to do against an inferior team. Grothe might have led the team in rushing, but the Bulls were able to spread the wealth around with nine different players getting carries for 239 yards and three scores. Defensively, star DE George Selvie was back and effective making a sack with two tackles.

Oct. 2
Pitt 26 ... South Florida 21
South Florida got out to a hot start with a blocked punt for a score from Charlton Sinclair, but Pitt quickly bounced back with 17 straight first half points highlighted by a Jonathan Baldwin 52-yards touchdown grab and a six-yard LeSean McCoy run, but USF came back. A 22-yard Jessie Hester scroing grab with under five minutes to go gave the Bulls a one point leas, but the Panthers went 60 yards on three plays finishing with a McCoy three-yard score. USF had its chances throughout the game but got a field goal blocked and missed on a fake field goal. The Panthers held on to the ball for 36:54.
Player of the game: Pitt RB LeSean McCoy ran 28 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns, and caught three passes for 23 yards.  
Stat Leaders: Pitt - Passing: Bill Stull, 16-27, 228 yds, 1 TD
LeSean McCoy, 28-142, 2 TD. Receiving:
Conredge Collins, 4-25
South Florida
- Passing: Matt Grothe, 11-21, 129 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Mike Ford, 14-73. Receiving: Jessie Hester, 3-34, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... USF has been inconsistent all season long and it proved costly against Pitt. 11 penalties, missed opportunities, no run defense, little from the passing game, it wasn't a good performanc. Matt Grothe didn't have much of a chance in the first half, but he brought the team back in the second half before stalling. The loss of All-America DE Georgia Selvie, who was out for the second straight game, proved costly. The Bulls could've used a steady pass rush to get the Panthers off ethe field early on.

Sept. 27
South Florida 41 … NC State 10
South Florida dominated from the start as Jamar Taylor scored on the team's opening drive from one-yard out. Matt Grothe hit Carlton Mitchell for a nine-yard score and Mike Ford ran for a one-yard score for a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter, and then came the safeties. Two errant long snaps led to four points in just over two minutes and two of Maikon Bonani's three field goals made it 31-10 at halftime. NC State was outgained 520 yards to 265 and only got into the end zone on a one-yard Andre Brown run in the second quarter.
Player of the game: South Florida QB Matt Grothe completed 20-of-29 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown, and ran nine times for a team-leading 68 yards.  
Stat Leaders: NC State - Passing: Harrison Beck, 9-32, 239 yds, 3 INT
Andre Brown, 9-39, 1 TD. Receiving: Owen Spencer, 3-94
South Florida
- Passing: Matt Grothe, 20-29, 259 yds, 1 TD
Matt Grothe, 9-68. Receiving: Jessie Hester, 7-68
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... South Florida might be 5-0, but it wasn't until this week against NC State that the team finally looked truly dominant. Even without George Selvie and a few other defensive playmakers, USF crushed everything NC State trued to do offensively allowing just 26 yards rushing while picking off three passes. The offense was balanced and crisp with Matt Grothe getting ten days to throw. Now the spotlight is on, and now the Big East slate kicks in with Pitt coming to Tampa.

Sept. 20
South Florida 17 … Florida International 9
South Florida got out to a 17-0 lead and then held on as FIU came up with a tackle of RB Mike Ford in the end zone for a safety and then got its first offensive touchdown of the year on a one-yard Julian Reams run with less than a minute to play. USF recovered the onside kick and survived. The Bulls started off the scoring with two short Ford runs and a 20-yard Maikon Bonani field goal, but the offense struggled to close. The bigger scare came when Bull LB Brouce Mompremier suffered a neck injury and was airlifted to a hospital, but he regained feeling in his hands and feet and is expected to be fine.  
Player of the game:
South Florida DE George Selvie made five tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss.
Stat Leaders: USF
- Passing: Matt Grothe, 14-22, 136 yds
Rushing: Jamar Taylor, 12-56. Receiving: A.J. Love, 3-56
- Passing: Wayne Younger, 3-8, 71 yds
Rushing: Julian Reams, 12-30, 1 TD. Receiving: Greg Ellison, 3-21
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
If South Florida wants to be taken seriously, it has to start playing like it. Any team with any hopes of being considered among the elite of the elite shouldn't have so many problems with Florida International. There was the emotional fright of the Brouce Mompremier injury, and the team played poorly throughout, but this team is supposed to be special. It didn't play like it, and now comes the battle on the road against a resurgent NC State team.

Sept. 12
South Florida 37 ... Kansas 34
South Florida's Nate Allen picked off a Todd Reesing pass to set 43-yard Maikon Bonani field goal as time expired to give the Bulls the thrilling win. Kansas dominated for most of the first half with Reesing running for a four-yard score and connecting with Jonathan Wilson for a 36-yard touchdown on the way to a 20-3 lead. And then USF got hot reeling off 31-straight points highlighted by a 21-yard Taurus Johnson juggling scoring catch, but KU rallied. Reesing marched the Jayhawks to a 78-yard drive finishing with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Wilson, and tied the game on a 14-yard pass to Angus Quigley. Reesing appeared to be on his way to a game-winning score before throwing the pick to Allen. The loss overshadowed a great game from KU's James Holt, who made 12.5 tackles, a sack, three tackles for loss and forced two fumbles.
Player of the game: South Florida QB Matt Grothe completed 32-of-45 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns, and ran 11 times for 30 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 32-45, 338 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: James Taylor, 11-72, 1 TD. Receiving: Taurus Johnson, 7-82, 1 TD
Kansas - Passing: Todd Reesing, 34-51, 373 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Angus Quigley, 3-22. Receiving: Kerry Meier, 11-120
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... South Florida might have been picked apart by KU's Todd Reesing, but it stopped the Jayhawk attack for stretches by generating consistent pressure and turning up the defensive heat. While the game will be remembered for the tremendous game-winning kick from
Maikon Bonani, but it was a defensive play, Nate Allen's interception, that was the difference. The running game got a nice day out of Jamar Taylor, who ran for 72 yards and a touchdown in place of Mike Ford, but the speed of the receiving corps, and the great play of the offensive line, made the offense go.

Sept. 6
South Florida 31 ... UCF 24 OT
In overtime, South Florida got a 25-yard touchdown catch from Taurus Johnson on the second play. UCF had a fourth and short, but an illegal procedure penalty moved the ball back, and it proved costly as Michael Greco came up inches short of a first down and USF held for the win. Cedric Hill caught two third quarter touchdown passes to give the Bulls a 24-10 lead, but UCF came back on two Michael Greco touchdown passes in the final 2:46 with a 31-yard Rocky Ross catch tying up the game with 1:40 to play. South Florida outgained UCF 504 yards to 226.
Player of the game: South Florida QB Matt Grothe, completed 23-of-40 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions, and led the team with 54 yards on 20 carries.
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 23-40, 346 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Matt Grothe, 20-54. Receiving: Taurus Johnson, 6-143, 1 TD
UCF - Passing: Michael Greco, 17-32, 150 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Michael Greco, 6-51. Receiving: Rocky Ross, 8-90, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
The offense hummed for 504 yards against UCF, but it was closer than expected thanks to two fumbles and a kickoff return allowed for a score. The offense couldn't close up 15 points with under three minutes to play, and that has to be a concern against a loaded Kansas team that can crank out points in bunches. Matt Grothe was tremendous, but more is needed from the running backs. Grothe had 20 carries and no back had more than nine. That has to change to keep the star upright late in the season.

Aug. 30
South Florida 56 ... UT Martin 7
It was an ugly mismatch. USF outgained UTM 520 yards to 97 and jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead with Mike Ford running for two scores, and Jessie Hester catching the first of his two touchdown passes. Moise Plancher added two touchdown runs in the second half, and Theo Wilson returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown. Everything worked perfectly for the Bulls except for a fumble late in the third quarter returned 64 yards for a touchdown, but that was a blip. This was ugly from the start.
Player of the game: South Florida QB Matt Grothe completed 6 of 8 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns, and ran four times for 19 yards.
Stat Leaders: UT Martin - Passing: Cade Thompson, 6-19, 25 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Daryl Bourne, 8-34. Receiving: Trace McDermott, 2-9
South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 6-8, 96 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Benjamin Williams, 6-70, 1 TD. Receiving: A.J. Love, 4-57
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It's never a bad thing to have a light scrimmage before diving into the season, and South Florida got a chance to empty the bench against UT Martin in the ugly blowout. This was like a true NFL preseason game. The starters got some work in, sharpened up, and the depth got decent playing time. This was a nearly perfect performance against a way overmatched team. Even so, it's not a bad thing to be sharp on day one.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Kion Wilson LB 6-1 225 Poplarville, MS
Wilson had 98 tackles, seven tackles for loss and one sack during in nine games as a sophomore at Pearl River.  He accounted for 117 tackles, two interceptions and six sacks as a freshman. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Potential Instant Impact Players

David Bedford DE 6-5 240 Independence, KS
Played in 2007 after redshirting at ICC in 2006... Will have three years of eligibility remaining... Had a monster year for ICC in 2007, recording 13 ½ sacks (school record) and 15 tackles for loss among his 63 tackles overall... Had a total of 15 tackles for loss and also forced three fumbles, recovered three fumbles, and batted down four passes ... Chose USF over Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, West Virginia and Oklahoma State ... Coached by Dan Sanso at Palm Beach Lake High School and David Ward at ICC.

Craig Marshall
DE 6-5 255 Poplarville, MS
One of two Pearl River teammates to sign with Bulls in 2008, along with Kion Wilson... Speedy and strong defensive end, who should push for time opposite of All-American George Selvie...Rated as the 30th best Finished year with 41 tackles, 4.5 TFL's, 3.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and an interception... Redshirted is first season at Pearl River and will have three years of eligibility remaining...All Northwest Florida as a sophomore, junior and senior this season.

Rest of the Class

George Baker ATH 5-11 167 Miami, FL
Maikon Bonani K 5-9 170 Lake Wales, FL
Justin Brockhaus-Kann K 6-3 235 Winter Springs, FL
Daniel Bryant WR 6-2 185 Tallahassee, FL
B.J. Daniels QB 6-1 203 Tallahassee, FL
Donnel Engram DE 6-3 265 Tarpon Springs, FL
Danas Estenor OL 6-3 345 Wellington, FL
Josh Garvin OL 6-2 263 Lakeland, FL
Corey Grissom DT 6-2 275 Lagrange, GA
Jeff Hawkins TE 6-4 232 Ocala, FL
Jatavious Jackson OL 6-4 280 Belle Glades, FL
Mike Lanaris LB 6-0 217 Lake Mary, FL
Evan Landi DB 6-3 193 Coral Springs, FL
Jon Lejiste DB 6-0 176 Delray Beach, FL
Demetris Murray RB 5-11 192 Buford, GA
Mark Popek OL 6-7 300 Plant City, FL
Armando Sanchez ATH 6-0 210 Saint Petersburg, FL
Andreas Shields TE 6-6 210 Tampa, FL
Quavon Taylor LB 6-0 190 Miami, FL

2008 Early Lookahead
Why to get excited: OT Walt Walker. He's the only starter gone off the offense that averaged 414 yards and 35 points per game. Matt Grothe should be among the nation's best all-around quarterbacks with a slew of good, unsung weapons to work with. The defense gets pass rushing terror George Selvie back along with just enough talent to not slip too much.  The non-conference schedule is more than manageable against UT Martin, at UCF, Kansas, at FIU, at NC State.
Why to be grouchy: The defense might have a few great players back, but it loses a ton including big tackling/no studying LB Ben Moffitt and, arguably, the best corner pair in America in Trae Williams and Mike Jenkins. For all the good things the Bulls did last year, it got ripped apart in their final two games.
The number one thing to work on is: Playing on the road when it's not warm out. Weather can't necessarily be blamed, but the team didn't play nearly as well out of the tropics of Tampa and the South after September losing at Rutgers and Connecticut, beating Pitt 48-37 and getting blasted by Oregon in the Sun Bowl.
Biggest offensive loss: OT Walt Walker
Biggest defensive loss: CBs Mike Jenkins & Trae Williams
Best returning offensive player: QB Matt Grothe, Jr.
Best returning defensive player: DE George Selvie, Jr.

2007 Recap
Recap: The streaky nature of South Florida's 2007 season was a reminder that this is still a neophyte program that lacks the consistency of schools that have been at this for more than just a decade.  The Bulls rose to No. 2 in the country with a 6-0 start, but lost three consecutive games to fall completely out of the Top 25.  After seemingly regrouping with lopsided wins over Syracuse, Louisville, and Pittsburgh, USF got bombed by Oregon and rookie QB Justin Roper in one of the worst performances of the postseason.  Such is life at a school that's clearly headed in the right direction, yet still has some growing up to do.       

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Matt Grothe

Defensive Player of the Year: DE George Selvie

Biggest Surprise: Everyone pointed to South Florida as a possible landmine for Auburn, but few really expected the Bulls to win this game on the road.  Grothe's touchdown pass to Jessie Hester in overtime gave USF its biggest win in school history and a level of national attention that's usually reserved for Florida, Miami, and Florida State.

Biggest Disappointment: Playing a Pac-10 team in the Sun Bowl was actually a pretty big deal for a South Florida program that's only played in the less prestigious Meineke Car Care and Papajohns.com Bowls.  The heralded Bull defense, however, got shredded by Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart in a 56-21 loss that set the program back a bit.         

Looking Ahead: It'll be interesting to see how South Florida reacts in 2008 to such a disappointing conclusion to 2007.  While a number of key losses on defense will make the unit more vulnerable, the offense returns enough starters to make a quantum leap next fall.