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The South Florida Bulls triumphantly opened the 2012 campaign with a 34-13 Win against the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Saturday. BJ’s three passing TDs to Derrick Hopkins, Terrance Mitchell & Sterling Griffin excited everyone, including me. These were glimpses of greatness, butโ€ฆ

The running game followed the same trend as 2011 & struggled all night against a less-than โ€˜stoutโ€™ Mocs defense. The lack of consistency at RB will continue to allow defenses to key on Daniels & the passing game, a topic that causes Bullโ€™s fans to cringe at this all too familiar issue. Demetrius Murray lead the RBโ€™s with 16 carries for 55 (3.4 yds/carry) yards followed by Marcus Shaw with 4 carries for 22 yards (5.5 yds/carry). Notably, Lindsey Lamar will be redshirting 2012 to learn the intricacies of the playbook according to Coach Holtz.

The real issue: Offensive Line. The one word I would use to describe the overall performance of the O-Line Saturday: โ€œInconsistentโ€. Not to knock the Mocs, but their D-Line is not known to cause pre-game tremors. Consider time of possession: Mocs 34:19 & Bulls 25:41.The Bullโ€™s Defense always seems to suffer the lashings of the inconsistent Offense. Chattanooga only had to go 7 yards on their first two scoring drives combined. Fitchโ€™s gamble on the โ€˜Wildcatโ€™ formation led to the Daniels fumble & turnover on the Bulls 25 yard line. Then Daniels floated a seam pass intended for Evan Landi, which was picked-off. Once again the Bulls D was back on the field; the same D that held the Mocs to zero first downs & negative offensive yardage until the 2nd quarter. Fans have to hope Quinterrius Eatmonย returns over Damien Edwards on the O-Line & for a cohesive offensive showcase this week against Nevada.

Ryne Giddins ended the game with 1.5 sacks & 1.5 TFL earning a โ€˜Big East Helmet Sticker: Week 1โ€™. DeDe Lattimore posted 10 tackles, 2.5 TFL & 0.5 sacks earning a spot on the โ€˜Big East Player of the Week Honor Rollโ€™. The Defenseโ€™s performance earned a blue-collar โ€˜Hats Offโ€™ & the Offense better be showing them serious gratitude. Will the Bulls cleanup these items during this weekโ€™s practices & film study sessions? And do these concerns reflect the emotions of fans? Or do some of you have other concerns? Sunday all will know if this is finally South Floridaโ€™s big year.

by Matthew Manuri

SoFloBulls Blog by Matthew Manuri

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