BROOKSVILLE, Fla. —- Okay, okay, so it was not what Uncle Mel or the University of South Florida football coach Willie Taggart expected but remember it was only the first game of the 2013 football season and there are plenty of games to go – but oh boy!
Your old Uncle Mel’s advice to watch out for McNeese State University fell by the roadside because the Cowboys walked inside Raymond James Stadium, took care of business and went home to Lake Charles, Louisiana with a nice paycheck and with a 53-21 win over the Bulls.
After the game, Taggart faced the music from the media but before he answered questions he first offered an apology for his team’s performance, he described it as piss poor and Uncle Mel agrees with that depiction.
“My biggest nightmare!” Taggart said. “I know where we are. I know how we’re going to get where we need to be..”
The most upsetting to Uncle Mel other than the score is Taggart saying that he had players quit during the game!
“I did tell our guys we’re going to watch this film and we’re going to put the right guys in there,” Taggard said. “ We’re not going to allow guys to quit on this football team.”
The University of South Florida players need to understand this rule in football, you are a team, you win together and you lose together but most important is that you learn together.
Remember, you have to look at that team mate with the sweat rolling off your forehead, the blood staining the uniform and the pain in your eyes and know that you put forth your best effort because that is all that Taggart and his staff can ask for but most important, that is what you ask of yourself.
The Cowboys took advantage of great field position, turnovers and poor defensive execution.
McNeese State University offense gained 424 yards of total offense, took an interception 76 yards for a touchdown with 12 seconds left in the disastrous first half and the defensive line did not record a sack and the Cowboy running game ran through the line for 180 yards.
“This is unacceptable,” Bulls linebacker Reshard Cliett said. “I am shocked.”
“We can’t beat anybody like this,” Bulls safety Mark Joyce said. “It’s got to change.”
Uncle Mel agrees with all of that and would also like to tell all of the nieces and nephews that follow the Bulls relax, take a deep breath and remember that this is not the time to worry.
First of all, there is obviously going to have to be a great deal of improvement at the quarterback position.
The Bulls started Matt Floyd who won the position with a good training camp but did not play well and was replaced by Taggart early in the third quarter with Bobby Eveld.
Floyd completed 9-of-20 passes for 72 yards and two interception.
“He fought a lot of things and just was not locked in,” Taggart said about Floyds’ performance. “He just wasn’t sharp. It was a surprise to me.”
Eveld did his best to get the Bulls back into the game against the Cowboy but the momentum never changed and the game just continued to spin out of control.
“We were looking dead,” Eveld said.
Eveld finished the game 10-of-20 for 137 yard but most important to Taggart did not throw an interception.
Uncle Mel has seen plenty of new coaches come into a program and after the first game it looks pitiful and that there is no hope but remember all the success that is coming and it will, it just take some time and patients.
“I am not going to get bent out of shape,” Taggart said. “Because I’ve been there before!”
The answers to the questions need to be found quickly because the next game for the University of South Florida will be a tough road trip.
The Bulls will travel to Big Ten Conference country and East Lansing, Michigan and play Michigan State University inside the historic Spartan Stadium, Saturday September 7, 2013, beginning at noon.
Uncle Mel’s advice is to get ready for some noise, huge offensive linemen and some in your face ground game other than that remember win or lose, stick together and play like a team then there will be no apology needed.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.