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The Official 2007-2008 USF Thread


 


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 11 years ago '05        #251
booker20 
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 BoSox84 said
On the plus side, Jessie Hester looks to be getting better by the week. Man next year, Johnson and Hester on the outside with Bogan in the slot, Mitchell coming in anywhere on the field... our receiving corps has the potential to be absolutely disgusting next season
Bogan could end up being one of our best receivers ever... which isnt all that hard since we've never had a receiver go over 800 yards in a season...

 11 years ago '05        #252
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EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - "Those boys are really hurting inside that locker room. We as coaches have to do a great job of getting them back up," USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said shortly after the Bulls' 22-15 loss to Connecticut.


Andre Dixon became the second straight running back to go for more than 100 yards on the USF defense.
Even if he gets them up, Burnham and the rest of the coaches are still facing a multitude of problems. The bleeding seems to be all over the place and no one, from player to coach, is immune from criticism.

Poor tackling, dropped passes, questionable play calling - there are enough issues to fill up a week's worth of practice time before Saturday's homecoming game against Cincinnati.

The USF football team right now looks like a cold that you knew was coming, but somehow hoped would go away. The signs were there. Even in victories over Auburn, West Virginia and FAU, it was obvious this team had problems that would make it vulnerable to any respectable opponent.

The Bulls could usually take comfort that the defense would somehow make things turn out all right and cover up the mistakes of a flawed offense and troubled set of special teams. But the Connecticut game hit the Bulls right between the eyes.

There is an awful lot of blame to go around, as head coach Jim Leavitt and Burnham alluded to after Saturday's game without mentioning names.

The most troublesome stat is the Bulls' lack of production inside the 10-yard line. On five different possessions, USF had a first and goal and all it could show for that was 10 points. An interception, a missed field goal, a touchdown nullifying penalty, a dropped pass by a wide open receiver in the endzone and a questionable play call all contributed to the problem.

Despite everything that went wrong, the most painful thing is that the Bulls had a chance to send the game into overtime when they had a second and goal at the UConn one in the last minute.

On third and goal from the one, the golden opportunity vanished when a nekkid bootleg was called and quarterback Matt Grothe headed backwards to avoid several tacklers. He was eventually brought down for an 11-yard loss and then threw an incomplete pass on a fourth and goal from the 12. On the prior play, Moises Plancher, who has carried the ball one time all season, was stopped trying to score from the one.

Leavitt wouldn't answer why Plancher got the ball other to say that Mike Ford was unavailable because of an injury. He wouldn't say who called the bootleg, though that distinction likely falls into the hands of offensive coordinator Greg Gregory.

"When those plays (the bootleg) work, you like them and when they don't work, you don't like them. I don't want to talk about that anymore," Leavitt said.

Grothe had a career game with 146 net yards rushing, but his mistakes were costly. He threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and was picked off in the endzone when the Bulls had reached the UConn 4-yard line in the third quarter.

The Bulls could've overcome Grothe's mistakes if not for the poor way the defense played in the first half and the dropped passes.

"In the first half we didn't even come close to stopping them. We played pretty good in the second half, but it was too late," Burnham said. "We had two or three major adjustment problems in the first half, didn't set up right and they got a couple of big plays. I don't know how you explain the missed tackles. We are not doing the things it takes to be a good tackler. It is a major problem for the second week in a row.

"We got to play better technique football. We are going backwards. Maybe we need to practice with a little more contact. The only way to get better tackling and defeating blockers is to do it at full speed. We are not getting there on our sacks. I don't see anybody (opponent) doing anything differently. We are just not doing a good job of getting off blocks."

Richard Clebert said the loss was particularly painful because it brought back memories of two years ago when the Bulls were on the Connecticut 2 in the closing minutes and failed to get a TD in a 15-10 loss. He said the team knew about West Virginia's victory over Rutgers before the game, which cleared the way for USF to win the Big East championship if it could win out.

"It was very difficult to see them (UConn) run the ball the way they did in the first half," the nose tackle said. "We have a couple of injuries and that has affected us. My ankle is bothering me and can't play as much as I want or move as well. The defensive line is not in synch right now, but we can come back and have a good second half. This will test the character of our team."
Gregory has to go...:finger:

 11 years ago '05        #253
BoSox84  OP
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From what I've heard Ford has a broken rib. And there's been some reporting of miscommunication. Apparently Carl Franks put Plancher in because he was the next back on the depth chart, and Gregory was unaware that Ford was no longer available because of the injury. The coaching staff needs to get their sh*t together

 11 years ago '05        #254
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Ok, so no broken ribs. From the St. Pete Times USF blog:

Defending Moise and other football notes

Running backs coach Carl Franks defended having sophomore Moise Plancher in the game for a crucial second-and-goal play from the 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter Saturday. Plancher was stopped for no gain, but Franks said he was confident with Plancher in the game in place of an injured Mike Ford.

"Mo's practiced there. It's his spot as a backup," Franks said Monday night. "If we had blocked it right, he would have scored. If I had not been comfortable with him, I would have not put him in, or we would have not run that formation."

Leavitt, clarifying an ambiguous statement he made after the game, said Monday that he knew Plancher was in the game, but didn't realize he'd be the ballcarrier on the play, thinking he was a lead blocker for another running back.

Ford, by the way, had injured his rib cage as he tried to throw a block on the previous drive. He was at practice Monday night, running with his teammates while carrying a ball in post-practice conditioning runs, and Franks said it's possible he could play Saturday. Again, Ford was hospitalized for a short time Saturday night because he was having trouble breathing and there was concern he might have collapsed or damaged a lung; tests there showed no lung damage and no broken ribs.

Receiver Amarri Jackson was not at practice Monday night, but I saw him Monday afternoon, and he was still walking on crutches, with a heavy brace on his injured knee. Jim Leavitt and receivers coach Mike Canales said they don't know yet how long he'll be sidelined; this Saturday certainly seems questionable at best. Freshman Carlton Mitchell, leading USF with 280 receiving yards, would step up for his first start if Jackson can't go.

-- Noticed something interesting watching Saturday's game on DVR: On USF's opening drive, after Jamar Taylor's 54-yard run, on third-and-goal from the 3, it looks to me like USF was running the same ill-fated nekkid bootleg the Bulls tried on third-and-goal from the 1 at the end of the game. In heavy rain, Grothe loses the ball after the snap and recovers it for a short loss, but all three running backs took off in the opposite direction, leaving Grothe alone on the back side for the bootleg. It didn't fool UConn then, so I don't get why the Bulls would go back to that play with the game on the line. Similar situation, similar call, similar result.

-- As much as we wrote that USF had a terrible first half, the first quarter wasn't that bad. Two missed field goals, but otherwise, the Bulls weren't really outplayed, down 3-0. Total offense was within 6 yards of being dead even. UConn outscored USF 13-0 in the first seven minutes of the second quarter, and that made the Huskies' victory possible.

-- I'm impressed by the number of players battling through injuries. Defensive tackle Allen Cray, who saw significant action with Richard Clebert slowed by an ankle injury, made two tackles easily 20 yards downfield, even though he was slow to walk off the field with trainers between the two plays. Safety Carlton Williams literally collapsed coming off the field after taking a blow to the head, and was back out shortly after; Matt Grothe had his right ankle wrapped after the play where his interception was run back for a score, and he was scrambling for yards two plays later.

-- Watched the 1-yard Mike Ford touchdown run, where Cedric Hill was called for holding. After reviewing it a couple of times, it seems like a legitimate call, relevant to the play. Hill is pulling on a Connecticut player's jersey as he's trying to tackle Ford. ESPN's analysts never picked up on the flag being on Hill, making a comment about a lineman unrelated to the play or the flag. I think the flag came a second late, but the call itself shouldn't be questioned. And if you watch Hill's pivotal drop, a UConn defender did have a hand in the air right in front of his face. Rough sequence of plays, to be sure. Again, I admire the guy for coming off the team bus to address his play in the game.

-- Officials stopped the game in the fourth quarter to review whether a 1-yard UConn pass play on second down was a completed pass or not. I don't know how long a play would have to be to seem worth stopping play for a few minutes, but I have to think that distance is longer than 1 yard. Is the difference between third and 6 or third and 5 worth the hit in credibility you take for reviewing an irrelevant play?

-- Check out these stats: In USF's first five games, Grothe had 246 rushing yards and two touchdowns; USF's three running backs (Williams, Ford, Taylor) had 609 yards and 11 touchdowns; in the last three, Grothe has 304 yards and four touchdowns, the three RBs have 203 yards and two scores.

-- USF's receivers are so depleted. You had Taurus Johnson out, then Jackson, and Jessie Hester was the only Bulls player to catch a pass in the first half. Found out Monday that freshman Eddie Alcin didn't make the trip because of a groin injury, so on that last drive, the Bulls are using freshman A.J. Love, who doesn't have a catch yet this season.

 11 years ago '05        #255
booker20 
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damn the injuries are piling up

 11 years ago '05        #256
BoSox84  OP
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For real man

 11 years ago '05        #257
booker20 
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the big east championship was right there and now.. we get sh*t... another sh*tty bowl game somewhere in Mobile

 11 years ago '05        #258
BoSox84  OP
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If we had to go to Charlotte again, I could live with it, because last time we had a pretty good time, plus we'd at least be playing a team from a BCS conference(ACC). If we play in Birmingham again, I won't be going, I'll watch that sh*t in HD at home. I'm still hoping we find a way to get into a BCS game, or at the worst the Gator Bowl

 11 years ago '05        #259
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 BoSox84 said
If we had to go to Charlotte again, I could live with it, because last time we had a pretty good time, plus we'd at least be playing a team from a BCS conference(ACC). If we play in Birmingham again, I won't be going, I'll watch that sh*t in HD at home. I'm still hoping we find a way to get into a BCS game, or at the worst the Gator Bowl
we not too far out we just gotta get back to the top 8... its possible

 11 years ago '05        #260
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wow injuries have completely destroyed this season... I was there yesterday and it was horrible to watch grothe... that Rutgers game is still in his head... the Freshmen are getting a lot of playing time right now and Next year should be good but now we have to f!ght to make a decent fu*kin bowl... sh*ts depressing they shouldnt lose at RayJ

 11 years ago '05        #261
BoSox84  OP
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Yesterday was the first time since he took over that I really questioned Matt Grothe as a quarterback. He made a lot of dumb decisions. On the bright side, Mike Jenkins showed why he's thought so highly of, and Dontavia Bogan played a pretty damn good game. And that last play was clearly pass interference, I had the game DVR'd and watched it when I got home, paused it when the ball was in the air, and the dude had Hester in a bear hug

 11 years ago '05        #262
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 BoSox84 said
Yesterday was the first time since he took over that I really questioned Matt Grothe as a quarterback. He made a lot of dumb decisions. On the bright side, Mike Jenkins showed why he's thought so highly of, and Dontavia Bogan played a pretty damn good game. And that last play was clearly pass interference, I had the game DVR'd and watched it when I got home, paused it when the ball was in the air, and the dude had Hester in a bear hug
til bogan got hurt and then sh*t was pretty much over... Mitchell is a burner but drops way too many balls...

It was there for everyone to see. At 6-0, the USF football team was far from perfect and not too far from mediocrity.

But the fall from grace has been quick and hard. From #2 BCS ranking to sharing the Big East cellar with Syracuse is a huge drop. Why didn't somebody provide a safety net to cushion this descent?

The Bulls spent 40 days in the USA/Today and AP polls as a member of the top 25. Now they are a feel good story turned painful, also gone from the BCS rankings.

USF is last in the Big East in red-zone offense (76%), first in fumbles lost (14) and second in interceptions (10). Does this explain part of the recent problems?

If its any consolation, the Bulls last two opponents, Connecticut and Cincinnati, are first and second respectively in redzone defense. Cincinnati also leads the conference with 21 interceptions and Connecticut is second with 19.

There is so much blame to go around. Quarterback Matt Grothe might be the easy target, but despite his critical interceptions the last two weeks it would be unfair to lay these three straight losses all at his feet.

Grothe does what he is asked to do and it is obvious he is asked too much. There is a lot of football talent in his body, but there are limitations, particularly with his arm. He can't launch a lazar throw that can squeeze a pass between defenders or drill one out to the sidelines without worry that a defender will take it back the other way.

Coaches have to help him instead of putting the offense on his back, hoping he will make things seem all-right.

It's time to make some changes in the offense. Head coach Jim Leavitt doesn't have to scrap the spread he has tried to make the cornerstone of his program, but needs to add some wrinkles. It would help to develop a running game that utilizes running backs.

The Bulls offense is all finesse. It doesn't pound defenses. It doesn't make them feel pain when a tackle is made. It doesn't wear out defenses the way a Ray Rice or Andre Dixon has done to USF.
Leavitt blames the lack of a run game on the blocking without addressing the scheme.
Several USF defensive players have questioned why USF rarely if ever runs from the I-formation.

Who has not heard people ask why Mike Ford at 6-2, 225 pounds, isn't utilized more. His 74 yards against Auburn is the second highest the Tigers have given up to a running back all season. He had 21 carries that game, which is the only time this season he had double digit rushing attempts.

Ford is big enough and strong enough to move piles, make defenders pay a price when they hit him and has good speed. With him in the game, defenses can't just solely concentrate on Grothe. Mix him in the right way with Jamar Taylor and Ben Williams and the Bulls should have a respectable run game.

Offensive coordinator Greg Gregory says the spread limits your options, particularly when a defense won't spread out with you.

"When the defense isn't necessarily willing to spread out with you, you have two choices," Gregory said. "You throw the ball or you run the quarterback because if you run the back they have an extra guy close in there so the running back has to block and the quarterback has to run."

Cincy leftovers:
Several Cincinnati players said the USF fumbles and blocked punt were not the result of luck, but by design. The Bearcats' Connor Barwin, who blocked Delbert Alvarado's punt, said his team had everything meticulously planned.

"We waited until they started their count and just rolled into it at perfect timing," Barwin said.. "Then all four of us got free on the big free shields and they just weren't ready for us. It opened up right when we thought it would."

Cincinnati safety Haruki Nakamura, who stripped the ball from A.J. Love and Grothe, has three forced fumbles for the Bearcats, who rank sixth in the country with 13 fumble recoveries.

"I just ripped the ball out of the receiver's hands (Love). I got the ball and was f!ghting. I was just trying to rip the ball and secure the tackle," Nakamura said. "The other one (Grothe) I was pursuing the ball and got a good hold of Grothe and just ripped the ball out of his hands."

Marcus Edwards has struggled as the punt returner with more than a few drops. He often doesn't judge the ball properly. In his fumble against Cincinnati, the ball hit him in the upper part of the left side of chest. He also doesn't pose much of a return threat back there and ranks 67th in the country, averaging 7.48 yards per return.

"I got down the field free and watched, and it came right to me. It was a lucky play for me. I was in the right place at the right time," said Barwin, who recovered Edwards fumble.

Mike Jenkins, who returned a kickoff 100 yards for a TD in his first career return opportunity , returned punts in high school and might be a viable option. He said he hasn't been asked to do that job.

The blocked punt was the third of the year for Cincinnati. Mike Mickens interception TD return was his fifth of the season, which ties him for the Big East lead. It was his second interception return for a touchdown this season.

Barwin said the trick receiver pass that set up Cincinnati's final touchdown and proved to be the difference in the final score was part of the game plan.

"We knew that if we wanted to win the Big East we had to win this game so we came prepared with whatever we had to do to win," he said.

Big plays, trick plays, you can't eliminate those and argue the Bulls should've won. A bigger question is what has happened with the trick plays the Bulls used under former offensive coordinator Rod Smith.
Gregory is garbage...

 11 years ago '05        #263
booker20 
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17 commits already :wow: last time i looked it was 13

 11 years ago '05        #264
BoSox84  OP
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I think it's 18 now with that Landi kid that just committed. At least, that's what I read somewhere else

 11 years ago '05        #265
BoSox84  OP
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All I know is that kid Keon (Kion?) Wilson from PRCC is gonna be a beast

 11 years ago '05        #266
booker20 
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 BoSox84 said
All I know is that kid Keon (Kion?) Wilson from PRCC is gonna be a beast
yea its Kion... he will be... is Claude Davis coming back from there?

 11 years ago '05        #267
BoSox84  OP
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Word is that he is still big on USF, not sure when he's supposed to come back though

 11 years ago '05        #268
BoSox84  OP
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Looks like we finally got our god damn swagger back

 11 years ago '05        #269
booker20 
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this is what happens when u give them a steady dose for Ford... dude is a beast

 11 years ago '05        #270
BoSox84  OP
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I love how he just refuses to go down. Even plays that have been blown up in the backfield, he's still at least getting back to the LOS. And the two runs before the touchdown were just fu*kin tough runs

 11 years ago '05        #271
booker20 
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nice to have TJ back... If we had him and Ford at 100% for the last 2 weeks we would have had 2 wins

 11 years ago '05        #272
BoSox84  OP
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This was just a good game for USF. Despite the stupid penalties in the first half, they played pretty well. Especially in the second half just pounding the rock and k!lling time. Set a school record for total yards on offense. Almost had 3 guys run for 100 yards (Ford had 134, Samuels had 101, and Grothe finished with 74). Carlton Mitchell continues to improve as a wide receiver. He's quickly becoming more than just a track star. And it was good to see TJ playing well.

 11 years ago '05        #273
BoSox84  OP
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Louisville's catchin a beatdown on Saturday night

 11 years ago '05        #274
booker20 
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I hope so starting to get players back and they givin Ford the ball finally... somebody must have threaten Gregory's life...

 11 years ago '05        #275
BoSox84  OP
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If Mike gets 29 carries at home against Louisville's garbage defense, it's a wrap. He could go for 200

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