TAMPA, Fla. — Now wait just a minute!
Let your old buddy Uncle Mel have a say because he is just not buying the explanation from the University of South Florida football coach Willie Taggart is trying to sell.
After Friday night’s victory at home inside the fabulous Raymond James Stadium, against the United States Naval Academy, a 52-45, win getting the Bulls back on the left side of the ledger inside the American Athletic Conference.
Taggart said after the game in a conversation with Uncle Mel, he was proud of the way that his defense performed against the Midshipmen.
“Defensively it was a big for what they did there in the first half,” Taggart said about the defense stopping Navy on a fourth down play. “It allowed us to get up in the ball game and whenever you play a team like Navy you want them to play from behind and I think our game plan worked out pretty well for ourselves.”
How can an offense score four touchdowns in the first quarter, worry about losing the game?
There were 31,824 football fans latterly sitting on the edge of their seat, watching intently and hoping that the game clock would hurry and melt those pesky minutes away.
With just one second left in the game, Navy scored a touchdown and there was a collectively exhale, a wipe of the sweating forehead as they left Raymond James Stadium.
“They are a team that is not going to give up,” University of South Florida linebacker Auggie Sanchez said. “Hats off to them. They are a good team and they have a good quarterback.”
How can an offense score 52 points and worry about losing the game?
“You know I was a little disappointed the way our defense played the second half to give up all those passing yards,” Taggart said. “They had to throw the football to get back in it and it was very disappointing for us to give up those yards at the end.”
USF defense gave up 616 yards, 81 plays and is ranked 12th in a 12 team league – that is last in the conference.
Who can explain the missed tackles, on more than one occasion a defender actually bouncing off of an offensive player, the miscommunication that seems to be abound with the pass coverage and generally the poor execution of the defensive game plan?
If your defense can give up 616 yards of total offense then your offense needs to gain over 600 yards and that is what the Bulls did against Navy.
It is turning out this season, that the best defense for the University of South Florida- is the offense.
University of South Florida defensive coordinator Raymond Woodie moved from the press box to the sideline, the idea according to Taggart is to help with the communication.
“He is down on the field so you can talk to him easier. We came in here with a really simple game plan,” Sanchez said. “We came here with a simple game plan to play football and that is what we accomplished.”
If the game plan was to allow 616 yards of total offense, give up 45 points and have the entire fans sitting in the stands sweat then Uncle Mel would agree that the game plan was executed but Uncle Mel is not really sure that he is digging what Sanchez is saying or agree with that game plan.
Nieces and nephews, it is clear that your old buddy and pal Uncle Mel is not a Rhoads scholar or a well-informed shopper but Uncle Mel just can’t buy the results of the USF defense.
Last in the conference in total defense and ranked 103rd in the NCAA should have Taggart and Woodie working late into the night searching for any answer.
“I said earlier in the week our football team is learning what it takes to be a champion,” Taggart said. “We’ve never been a champion before. Champions come ready to play every single week and that is tough to do for 12 weeks and that is why we don’t have a lot of champions out there. We are still learning to do that and our guys are learning to do that hell or high water.”
Champions also play defense and if the Bulls continue to give up 616 yards of total offense then there will be no championship trophy or banner.
Plenty of football coaches in the NCAA keep telling Uncle Mel, that a strong defense is essential for any thought of being a championship.
USF can’t rely on the offense to gain 629 yards of total offense and score 28 points in the first quarter or any other quarter to protect the defense.
USF can’t afford to have a bad offensive game?
There is plenty of room for improvement and most important for the Bulls’ defense they have some time left in the season.
This week, the University of South Florida will enjoy the bye-week, a chance to heal and a chance to find the answers that can help the USF defense.
The next game for the Bulls will be on the road contest, a trip to Memphis to face the Tigers of the University of Memphis.
The game is scheduled to be played Saturday Nov. 12 at the Liberty Bowl and the scheduled kickoff will be announce at a later date.
If everything goes right, the answers can be found by the University of South Florida defense then maybe purchasing championship’s tickets can be a reality.
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.