TAMPA, Fla. —- What a week!
Just taking care of a couple of things around the News Ranch, time to enjoy the sunshine and blue sky and just getting reacquainted with friends and family all because of the University of South Florida bye week.
Returning to the garage to overhaul the engine of the Bulls’ Express, lead driver and coach of the University of South Florida, Willie Taggart looked up Uncle Mel to let him know all about the changes that will be made to the Bulls’ offense.
“Uncle Mel!” Taggart said as Uncle Mel walking into the office of the garage. “Did you enjoy the week off?”
“Before you answer, let me tell you a something,” Taggart said with a smile. “I made a coaching decision, my friend. I’m going to start working toward the future of USF football. I am going to start, Quinton Flowers against Southern Methodist University Saturday night.”
“So what do you think of that?” Taggart said. “But before you answer that let me tell you why I made a coaching decision like that, cause it pretty radical”
Your old uncle lifted his hands in surrender and said, “Wait just a minute, hold on here, let me catch my breath and keep my head from spinning.”
Does it have anything to do with the last two games and the way that the offense reacted and performed out on the football field?
Does it have anything to do with the fact that against the University of Cincinnati, Mike White looked like he was looking for directions on how to hold on to the football and how to get out of Ohio?
Does it have anything to do with Steven Bench’s so-so performance against the University of Houston?
Maybe it’s because the offense is ninth in the conference in scoring, averaging just 19.1 points per game or perhaps it is because the Bulls are ninth in total offense averaging 298 yards per game-you know your old uncle is taking wild guesses here.
Uncle Mel doesn’t know too much but does it have anything to do with, being ranked last in the American Athletic Conference in throwing the ball. Bulls’ quarterbacks have thrown for 183.8 yards, completed just 48 percent of the passes thrown after nine games, only to have eight touchdown passes or is it because the quarterbacks have thrown 11 interceptions.
So, White and Bench are out and Flowers is in and yon know his début could not come against a better opponent.
Uncle Mel is thinking there could not be any more of a mess than there is in Dallas and at Southern Methodist University.
The former coach of the Mustangs, June Jones quits his team Monday Sept 8, 2014 a couple of days after he watched his teams’ defeat at the hands of the University of North Texas, a 43-6, lost and it was just the second game of the season.
Jones said that he is all ready feeling the pressure of the season and it is taking a toll on him in a personal way. So after 50 years in the game, he believed that for his issues to be addressed and solved, he needed to step away from the Mustangs.
Southern Methodist University has not recovered yet from Jones’ departure not to say that Tom Mason is not a good coach, he just did not really have enough time to get prepared.
The Mustangs are still looking for their first victory of the season and what a better way to celebrate Homecoming but with a victory against the Bulls and there new quarterback.
So Flowers will take the keys to the Bulls’ Express and directed the offense for the first time against an angry, upset prideful heard of ponies and try to leave the city of Dallas and the state of Texas with a victory.
Now nieces and nephews you know your old buddy and pal Uncle Mel loves a great Hollywood story and you all know that your uncle is not one to stand on a soapbox to voices his opinion.
Taggart was asked if he would think about the direction that the offense was going, could there be a change of philosophy or a change at the quarterback position.
Taggart said that he would look at all of the options available, he would open up the quarterback position once again for a competition between, Flowers, White and Bench.
What is really confusing to your old Uncle Mel and maybe to Taggart too, is this.
The game against the University of Tulsa started out to be a disastrous contest in the first half. At halftime, White pulled up his pants, tighten his chin strap, wiped the sleep from his eyes and performed the way we all thought that he could, he did a great job.
Leading the Bulls from sleepy-time in Tulsa by erasing a 27-point deficit and defeating the University of Tulsa 38-30, ruining the Homecoming festivities for the Golden Hurricanes.
Taggart and his coaching staff though, that just maybe, White had turned the corner and had confidence enough and with the experience of starting was finally paying some dividends for the Bulls’ offense.
Something happen, because against the University of Cincinnati, White looked so bad against the Bearcats. Taggart needed to call on Bench to try and save the game.
White fumbled the ball twice, he threw two interceptions and he just never looked comfortable. Taggart and his coaching staff were right back at square one with the quarterback situation and with White at the University of South Florida.
Taggart told Uncle Mel that he had to take the keys away from White and reopen up the position for competition, he wanted to see the best player at the wheel of the Bulls’ offense.
White lost the competition to Bench to start against the University of Houston at home at Raymond James Stadium.
Taggart said that he felt like that Bench did some good things when he replaced White against the Bearcats early in the third quarter but against the Cougars, Bench’s performance was nothing spectacular.
After the 27-3, defeat by the University of Houston, Taggart said he will open up the competition looking for a quarterback for the good of his team and he thinks that Flowers will provide some quality leadership against the Mustangs.
“I think every decision we make is what is best for our football team,” Taggart said about his choice to replace White and Bench. “This past week we gave him more reps than we had before, he wasn’t getting a lot of reps, so he really wasn’t able to show us exactly what he can do. He’s shown when he’s going against our defense in practice some of the things he can do.”
Flowers has made some brief and Uncle Mel means brief appearances this season for the Bulls and your old uncle thinks that Flowers really has not made an impact running the offense.
Flowers has made appearances against North Carolina State University, East Carolina University and the University of Houston with no success.
So far in his college career, Flowers has thrown the ball six times and completed two passes for a total of six yards. He also has rushed seven times for 36 yards, he has thrown two interceptions and has no touchdowns.
The beam of the hot spotlight will be on Flowers in Dallas against the Mustangs, Saturday night at Gerald J. Ford Stadium starting at 7 p.m. CST.
Uncle Mel can’t answer the question that Taggart asked. All that your old uncle and the rest of the riders on the Bulls Express can do is-wait and see it everything comes up in the flower garden.
If Flowers loses to SMU or looks bad against the Mustangs then what will Taggart do?
Will it be back to the drawing board and open up the position again or with just two games left in the season-does Flowers get to keep the keys to the bus.
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.