TAMPA, Fla. — Well it is a plan, your old buddy and Uncle Mel thanks that he is not sure that it is a good plan but none the less-it is a plan.
It is a simple plan too!
Easy to explain by University of South Florida football coach Willie Taggart and it is easy to execute by the players.
Last Saturday night Nov 19, the Bulls left Gerald R. Ford Stadium, Dallas and Southern Methodist University in the Texas dust with plenty of Mustang fans removing their cowboy hats rubbing their skulls and then their chin wondering about-what happen here because it not exactly clear!
“This is one we’re going to look back on and say this one hurts,” Sothern Methodist University football coach Chad Morris said. “I was so proud of our guys. They just kept fighting. We had a chance.”
The 18,417 football fans inside Ford Stadium watched under that great big old Texas moon and watched Mustang quarterback Ben Hicks throw the ball 41 times and completing 25 passes for 380 yards but it was not enough to overcome the Gulf Coast Offense. USF left the great state of Texas with a 35-27 win over the Mustangs.
The folks in the stands got to witness sophomore wide receiver for SMU, Courtland Sutton set a single-game record with 252 reception yards for SMU. He caught 13 passes and two touchdown passes against the Bulls.
“We played with confidence. We had a swagger about us,” Sutton said. “We knew we could play with the No.7 ranked offense in the nation. We knew we had the same fire power.”
Well that was all part of the plan!
Oh yes nieces and nephews, it is true that the Bulls offense is ranked No. 7 in the nation but that is the beauty behind the madness.
You see, the USF defense is ranked 120 in the nation and the defense is first in being out on the football field because of giving up 918 offensive plays.
Saturday night, SMU’s offense gains 578 total yards of offense, ran 89 offensive plays and held onto the ball for 36 minutes and 11 seconds, just part of the plan.
The offensive plan unveiled itself on the first play from the line of scrimmage in the first quarter.
University of South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The idea of the plan – is to score early and often.
“It was good to get the points that we did,” Taggart said about the plan. “And to come out and get the big play to start the game, I thought that really set the tone for our guys.”
With 10:05 on the clock in the first quarter, Bulls’ running back Marlon Mack found a seam in the SMU defense and was able to run for 60-yards and score the second touchdown of the night for the Bulls.
Morris seemed to upset about his defense giving up a 65-yard touchdown pass play by Flowers to Tyre McCants to start the second half.
“There were too many one-play scores. I thought that was poor on our part,” Morris said about the quick scoring plays by the Bulls. “They scored on the first play of the game and the first play of the third quarter. You just can’t do that!”
Taggart asked his old pal, if he saw the play of the game?
Uncle Mel nodded and said, “Yes!”
It was a defensive play made by Deatrick Nichols stopping SMU’s running back Braeden West on a fourth and one play with 1:19 left in the game.
“Once again, we needed a defense stand and they stood up,” Taggart said about his defense making a play. “(Deatrick) Nichols came over to me and said. ‘We got you coach.’ They stepped up once again.”
Now you know nieces and nephews, your old Uncle is not one to grumble about a plan but some plans just look like a plan for disaster.
The plan for the University of South Florida is simple, score often and score quickly because sometimes the defense well to put it nice – it is a project.
Flowers is making plenty of noise to become the most valuable player in the American Athletic Conference but can his success continue to mask the poor play of the defense.
There are 128 teams that play at this level of college football and USF is ranked 120 but being out on the field for 918 offensive plays is a receipt for plenty of bad things to happen out on the football field.
Just one more game left in the regular season, a home game against Central Florida University, Saturday, November 26 at Raymond James Stadium, kickoff is yet to be announced.
Taggart and USF football fans are hoping that there is continued success with the plan derived by Taggart and his staff because Uncle Mel and his friends would like to make some plans too, like travel plans to nice sunny destination for bowl season.
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.