TAMPA, Fla. — Well nieces and nephews no matter how bad it looked and at times it looked really bad, Saturday afternoon, against East Carolina University, it is still a win and that is all that is important!
Your old uncle woke up early Saturday morning and along with 30,397 early-bird football fans arriving at Raymond James Stadium all helped to celebrate the 2016 edition of Homecoming.
What a party!
The air around the stadium was filled with the aroma of baby-back ribs, Italian sausages and other tasty delectable treats that were being cooked on a grill.
While waiting for breakfast to be served, your old chief was busy enjoying listing to the music that blasted across the open field, the wind muffled sound from a stage and then from the University of South Florida marching band-oh the festivities – they were going on!
It is just too bad, that when game time finally rolled around, that the University of South Florida football team didn’t join us and enjoy the party-that would have been so nice.
Well it is true, that the University of South Florida did beat East Carolina University 38-22, but it was not a picture of perfection, a masterpiece well it was more like scribbling of crayons on a piece of paper.
University of South Florida football coach Willie Taggart described the game to Uncle Mel with just one word – sloppy!
For the Bulls, the offense and defense looked like they were focused on something else, there mind was somewhere else and not on the Pirates.
Oh sure, there were some plays that got the crowd excited that raise the noise level, like the 62-yard pass from USF quarterback Quinton Flowers to Rodney Adams, to just whet the appetite in the fourth quarter.
Adams finished the day with seven receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown.
Then there was a tasty run by Marlon Mack in the third quarter that went for 65-yards, it was just was icing on the cake, no touchdown-it was a sweet run. Mack contributed 18 runs for 152 yards and two touchdowns.
For the most part, the game lacked something, like excitement, except when the neighbor sitting in the stand would have to excuse themselves for falling asleep and dumping an icy-cold beverage in your old Uncle Mel’s lap.
Uncle Mel, Taggart and defensive coordinator Raymond Woodie watched and waited for the defense to show up and show out.
Your old buddy waited and was relieved that the defense woke up just in the nick of time to make a couple of plays that would preserved the win.
It is not like the defense didn’t have a chance to make a play – any play!
East Carolina University ran 91 offensive plays and gained 476 yards of total offense. Uncle Mel believes that is just too many offensive chances, flirting with trouble and maybe Taggart and Woodie might agree with that analyzes.
For the Bulls’ defense, some old bad habits are hard to break, like reaching out to make a tackle only to bounce off of the ball carrier.
Another bad habit that showed up against the Pirates, the busted coverage and missed assignment, which could be enough for Woodie as he would be reaching for the anti-acid in the medicine cabinet.
Poor old Woodie continue to see opponent players in his nightmare this season.
He is still tossing and turning like his defense trying to grab Florida State University running back Dalvin Cook, we all remember the 267 yards that he ran against the Bulls.
Tonight when Woodie closes his eyes, he will see East Carolina University wide receiver Zay Jones running free and catching everything that is tossed his way.
Jones is first in the nation with 84 pass receptions and he is still the number one receiver after flowing through the Bulls’ defense like a ghost. He caught 18 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown against the Bulls.
Woodie will be trying not set up in the bed and start shouting at somebody to please hit East Carolina’s running back Jamie Summers.
Summers paced himself but he did carried the ball 18 times and gained 114 yards and scored a touchdown continuing to make Woodie and his defensive squad’s day unenjoyable.
Now nieces and nephew you all know that your old uncle does not like to cry about spill milk or any other beverage hot or cold but can someone please offer an explanation about what we all saw out on the green grass, under the bright sunshine inside Raymond James Stadium.
Even though there is no such thing as an ugly win, your old uncle is hoping that the University of South Florida just had a bad day against East Carolina University-it happens.
Your old uncle is worried that the Bulls are feeling too sure of themselves and that would be a dangerous game. They must take every team in the American Athletic Conference-serious.
If they continue down that path of destruction, then they are going to be letting everybody down, including themselves and will they be ready for embarrassment.
Will they be ready to answer the question?
Uncle Mel possess the faith and the trust that Taggart and Woodie, to keep the USF defense grounded and find the answers to the questions about the USF defense.
Like getting out on the practice field and once again work hard understanding the fundamentals of football like tackling, understanding assignments and play the game with respect.
Taggart will make sure that the Bulls will be working this week to clean themselves up before they meet the University of Connecticut, Saturday night, October 15, starting at 7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.
As the sun slips under the bay and the lights over the stadium are turned off, Uncle Mel and the rest of his friends are enjoying the left over from the grill and from the cooler, the fading memories of this year’s Homecoming festivities and the victory against the Pirates.
Your old buddy and pal and the rest of the University of South Florida football fans hope that we can continue the celebration next Saturday against the Huskies.
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.