Miami invades Raymond James Stadium with hopes of doing what McNeese State and Florida Atlantic have already done - win with authori-tah! Living in Tampa, I can attest to how the buzz about this football team went from optimistic to a completely unspoken subject on the radio waves. That can all change if USF and Willie Taggart can get that "bus" back on track Saturday against a, well...let's face it, superior Miami team. Collin Sherwin from Voodoo Five was kind enough to respond to my questions about the matchup.
1. Ummmm.....so.....yea....WTF is going on with your football team? McNeese State? Seriously.
Oh we are levels of terrible you can't even begin to quantify. We've got kids designed to operate a spread system now put in a Stanford/49ers style smashmouth offense, and that's been a disaster. It doesn't help that our kids are just really bad at football on the whole. It's going to take Willie Taggart getting a couple of recruiting classes of kids he needs to run his system to get us anywhere near acceptable. In the interim... Mother of God we are just horrendous.
2. Bobby Eveld, Matt Floyd, Steven Bench- any of these guys give you a "best" chance to win Saturday?
Bench has been named the starter and seems to be the most athletic of the three, but that's akin to being the tallest midget. They've all been pretty bad so far, but Bench seems to have the most promise. I wouldn't expect we'd see Floyd if it goes wrong as he's been a gas can despite being named the starter in preseason, so it'll be Eveld who's more much consistent and steady in his terrible if Bench gets pulled or hurt.
3. Willie Taggart seems like a high-energy guy, but his team's performance is far from it. Why?
That's the question none of us can answer. Not sure he's gotten a lot of buy in from the players yet, but part of it is certainly the players he has just don't fit what he wants to do. The only thing you can't ever accept in a transition period is a lack of effort, and the McNeese tragedy had a bunch of guys just flat out quitting on the field. It's gotten better, but it's still nowhere near the level of effort you'd expect on the whole.
Hopefully a bye week will make that a bit better, and seeing that U on the helmets across the line of scrimmage might help too as their best effort so far was against Michigan State.
4. How can USF beat, or at least compete, with Miami on Saturday?
A 3 bus pile up by the 'Canes motorcade on the way to Ray Jay? Bookies paying Stephen Morris to throw the game? The NCAA finally giving you a resolution on Friday night and banning a big chunk of your team??
We have seen absolutely nothing so far that would indicate this team can even hang around with anyone in the Top 75, much less the Top 15. Hopefully some adjustments were made during the bye week and some wrinkles were put in to help cater to the talent we currently have.
One thing to look for: If the Bulls start running some screens and/or misdirections, that might mean some different things have been put in. We've been wondering where they've been to help force linemen and linebackers to at least somewhat stay in their gaps instead of just flying to the ball without any repercussions.
5. Against whom does USF finally get a win on their slate and why?
UConn is on the road and hung around with Michigan last week, so that now seems far less likely. That means the day you've got to circle is Nov. 16th against Memphis at home. They'll have 16 days off heading into that game too. But if not that day... we might take the collar for 2013. Oh. My. God.