2016: Willie's Bullies

📌 Run Defense Woes Plague USF Football

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📌 Run Defense Woes Plague USF Football | SoFloBulls.com
Photo by Dennis Akers // Twitter: @DAphotospot

The USF run defense has been…shaky to say the least this year. They have given up some big numbers throughout the first eight games of the season and it’s been frustrating to watch. Here is a statistical break down to see just how bad it has been.

So far, USF is allowing 206.2 yards per game on the ground, 4.5 yards per carry, and have surrendered 17 rushing touchdowns. Compared to this time last year, the Bulls were allowing just 165 yards per game (+41 yard difference this season), 3.9 yards per carry (+.6 yards difference), and had allowed just 11 rushing touchdowns (six more this year).

It’s been ugly out there and it gets worse when you look at how each game has gone down.

vs. Towson: 127 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

vs. NIU: 157 yards and one rushing touchdown.
vs. Syracuse: 199 yards and no touchdowns.

vs. FSU: 478 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns.
vs. Cincinnati: 168 yards and one touchdown.

vs. UConn: 72 yards and one rushing touchdown.
vs. Temple: 319 yards and four rushing touchdowns.

The USF run defense has allowed every opponent except for one to rush for over one hundred yards against them. Two opponents have gone over 200 yards and both of them, FSU and Temple, went well over 300 yards in their victories. Even Cincinnati and Syracuse were able to push towards the 200 yard mark. Nearly every opponent has had their way against the run defense and little has happened to correct it.

As a fan and writer, it’s been tough to sit up in the press box and watch it happen over and over again. We have heard Coach Taggart say changes will be made, but at this point, with Navy coming to town I don’t think a week will be enough time to make changes to slow down one of the best run teams in the country.

Will a switch up of the personnel help or play calling duties help? Maybe, but at this stage, we have seen this story before and know how it usually ends. The Bulls are in a big time funk and really have not had an answer to their run defense all season. Friday night could get rough for this team unless something big changes for this unit. #BeatNavy

by Matt Staton
SoFloBulls.com Columnist | @USFMatt

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