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Embrace the suck.
That is the motto USF football Head Coach Willie Taggart has engrained into his players when talking about preseason training camp.
The Bulls, who went 8-5 last year, have high expectations surrounding them for the upcoming season. Senior wide receiver Rodney Adams says that he and the rest of the team are embracing those expectations.
USF was picked as the preseason favorite to win the AAC East, and potentially their first American Athletic Conference title in their twenty-year program history. Coach Taggart made it very clear that this was the organization’s sole focus as well.
“USF football supports no other cause, foreign or domestic, other than winning an American Athletic Conference. Period.” Taggart said when asked about the possibility of USF’s realignment to the Big 12 conference, an issue that has been at the forefront of the AAC for several weeks.
With the return of junior starting quarterback Quinton Flowers, and junior running back Marlon Mack, the Bulls offense appears to be stacked heading into the season. Both Mack and Flowers have been placed on the preseason watch list for several awards, including the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Maxwell, along with nine other Bulls.
Last season, Marlon Mack was perhaps the most impactful player on the Bulls’ offense, rushing for 1381 yards and 8 touchdowns. Mack heads into the 2016-17 season just 309 yards away from breaking USF’s all-time rushing record.
The success the Bulls had in 2015 was a major turning point in the career of Coach Taggart, who was 7-21 leading the Bulls before week 5 of the 2015 season. Since week 5 USF has gone 7-2.
Despite the uptick in the Bulls’ success last season, Taggart is not concerned with the past. “What we were last year wasn’t good enough to get us what we want,” Taggart said, referring to the loss to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the Miami Peach Bowl that ended the Bulls’ season.
However, Taggart is confident about the future. “Everything I envisioned for our football program is starting to happen for us now,” Taggart said.
The Bulls kick off their season September 3rd at home against the Towson Tigers, which will air on ESPN 3. Continue Reading by Clicking Here
by Jake Hood, The SkyBoat Sports
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