There was a tone of disbelief at Raymond James Stadium on Friday night, when the South Florida Bulls fell to the Memphis Tigers by a final score of 24-17.
The USF fans base has become very impatient with the way the team has performed in its first four games, and after a 1-3 start to the season many fans don’t know what to think next.
The 22,546 fans that showed up to the game were not pleased outcome, and didn’t hold back their emotions.
On a 4th and 1 from midfield with the game tied at 10 in the third quarter, USF had a choice to make.
Willie Taggart and the Bulls coaching staff then elected to do something that has seemed to symbolize USF’s season so far, play passive and punt the ball.
On the ensuing drive, Memphis pounded the ball right down the defense’s throat; and put together a 13 play, 92 yard drive which was capped off with a 3 yard touchdown run by quarterback Paxton Lynch.
“It wasn’t good field position,” USF coach Willie Taggart said of the decision to punt. “We’re on our side of the field against a potent offense. Our defense was playing really well. There was no second-guessing, and we didn’t think about going for it there.”
Despite the fact that the team has struggled; however, the USF fan base needs to focus on the growth of its young team.
The defense played well against a very efficient Memphis offense on Friday night, holding the Tigers to only 24 points in the matchup. The unit forced many three and outs, and controlled the Tigers for most of the game.
On the offensive side, Quarterback Quinton Flowers continued to play well. The Miami Jackson product didn’t throw an interception till the final play of the game, and kept plays alive at times when the offensive line struggled.
Although the Bulls are having a tough season so far, both sides of the ball continue to show signs of progress.
Fans believe head coach Willie Taggart is on the hot seat with his 7-21 at USF, but the head coach is silently getting the job done on the recruiting trail.
Taggart has reeled great recruiting classes during his three years with the program, and delivered the number one class in the conference in 2013 and 2014.
The Bulls won’t have much success this season, but fans need to remain patient.
Taggart’s record might indicate he isn’t a great fit with the program, but the players love him as a coach. And with young players such as Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack, this team is indeed going in the right direction.
Game Prediction: The Bulls will face off against the (3-1) Syracuse Orange out of the ACC on Saturday. The Bulls will struggle as a unit in this game, and Syracuse will dominate. Plain and simple.
Prediction: USF 17 Syracuse 34