BROOKSVILLE, Fla. —- Okay! Okay! Enough with the rain.
They say the rain falls mainly on the plains of Spain, well the many good friends and neighbors of Uncle Mel are saying, that the amount of rain that is falling in west Florida including the Blueberry Capital of the World is enough to make an alligator aggravated.
Last week, the University of South Florida football program welcomed the bye week by resting those players with nagging injuries and getting a fresh new look at the 2013 football season.
The 0-3 start to the season is not exactly what Bulls football coach Willie Taggart wanted for his team but you sometimes don’t get what you want.
This Saturday afternoon, at the best home field in the American Athletic Conference, the spacious Raymond James Stadium, the Bulls will be facing the No. 15 team in the NCAA-the Miami University Hurricanes and kickoff is scheduled for noon.
History will not be on the Bulls sideline because the Hurricanes and Bulls have met five times before and Miami has won four games.
“They’re not a tropical storm anymore. They’re a hurricane now but we will be ready,” Taggart said about the game this Saturday. “We’ll be ready and we won’t bow down to them, that is for sure!”
The Bulls will have 12 players representing the Miami area on the field Saturday and they would all like to have a great outing against the Hurricanes.
In order for a good outing against Miami University, the Bulls will have to do a couple of things on the field a little better than they have shown the first three games of the season.
Taggart said after the 28-10, lost to Florida Atlantic University, his team needs to a better job holding onto the ball because the turnovers we’re killing his team.
The next item on the list to fix for Taggart is finding a quarterback that can play with confidence and be consistent in running the Bulls’ offense,
Taggart is giving the opportunity to lead the Bulls’ offense to sophomore Steven Bench.
Bench is a transfer student-athlete, he left the cold and snow of Penn State University and enrolled at the University of South Florida to play football for Taggart and for the Bulls.
Taggart says that he believes that Bench gives his team the best chance to win games.
“I think Steven gives us a really good chance to win ballgames, he can make some things happen when they’re not there,” Taggart said about Bench. “He is one of those guys that can make things happen for you and he brings a lot of energy to our football team.”
Bench appeared in his first game for the Bulls against Michigan State University and even though the Bulls fell to the Spartans 21-6, Bench’s performance against Michigan State University perhaps should have earned him a starting position at quarterback against Florida Atlantic University.
“I think he has all the characteristics that we’re looking for from the quarterback position,” Taggart said. “We don’t need him to be Tom Brady. We just want him to be Steven Bench.”
A trouble area for the Bulls this season, four fumbles and four interceptions that is a grand total of eight turnovers.
Taggart and his coaching staff, the players and the average football fans sitting in the seat at Raymond James Stadium realizes that this is unacceptable and what really makes for soggy taste in the popcorn is turning the ball over and the opposition turns those turnover into an instant touchdown-that is a momentum crusher!
The turnovers started with the first game of the season.
Against McNeese State University, there was a team safety, a 76-yard interception returned for a touchdown and then during the second game of the season against Michigan State University, there was a 7-yard fumble recovery for a score, a 56-yard interception returned for a touchdown and a couple of poor decision made by the Bulls’ punt return specialist not once but twice which cost the Bulls field position.
Finally against the Owls, there was a 10-yard fumble recovery and a 75-yard interception for a score. Those turnovers for points clearly changed the complexion of the game for the Bulls.
All of those turnovers and all of those points is something that is making Taggart concern and is something that he is not willing to accept from the Bulls but he is not giving up and he believes that his team is improving with each passing day of the season.
“I trust every single guy we have. I believe in our guys,” Taggart said. “They have to go out and play hard for our university and I believe they will do that with a fanatical effort.”
The Bulls fans are wanting to believe in this team and like the players they believe in Taggart and want to share the joy of winning and experience a bright-sunny future with the Bulls.
This week, the Hurricanes will be arriving Saturday morning and they will be showing, the Bulls that they are a storm and a force to be dealt with and if the Bulls turn the ball over the storm is going to gather and when it is over the Bulls will be cleaning up another lost.
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.