USF Football

USF Football Week 1 Projections – WKU

We are just days away from week 1 of the 2023 season for the Bulls, and the excitement couldn't be any higher for USF fans.

Throughout the majority of fall camp, Golesh and his staff have kept the position battles and depth chart very private, especially at the quarterback position, but the talent in the QB room is a luxury that not many coaches have in year one.

The most popular name that we hear surrounding the position is Gerry Bohanon, who really started to look comfortable last season right before getting injured. Another candidate is Byrum Brown, who stepped into the fire late last season showing two really promising performances against Tulsa and UCF as a true freshman. And the final candidate, Bryce Archie, who just transferred from Coastal Carolina and has all the tools to be a balanced quarterback in this new system.

USF QB Byrum Brown

It is very likely that the public will not know who will be taking the first snap under center for the Bulls before kickoff at Western Kentucky on September 2nd , but given the talent and Golesh’s recent success with quarterbacks, we should expect big things from the offensive side of the ball as a unit.

Following a season at Tennessee where his offense led the country in total yards, Golesh expects to take a fairly ranked offense that was 65th in total yards last season, to the upper echelon of offensive threats in the country. He will face a respectable defense in week one against a Hilltoppers team with some key returners; one being their leading tackler,

JaQues Evans who was named to the Conference USA’s First Team honors in 2022. But with more depth acquired through the transfer portal at much needed skill positions, the Bulls should have some confidence to start the season off on the right track.

What I expect to see from Golesh this week is to take advantage of the pure athleticism on his offense and present Western Kentucky with mismatches early in the game. I’m confident in newcomers Naiem Simmons (WR), Nay’Quan Wright (RB), and tight end Weston Wolff (TE) to make immediate impacts in week one. I predict to see a high tempo opening drive to establish dominance early, keeping the Hilltoppers defense on their toes for the entirety of the game and never getting comfortable.

Defensively, this staff was aware that there was work to be done. But, similar to the offensive side, there are key pieces on all levels of this defense to begin with, and we hope that a scheme has been developed to maximize the strengths of our guys and minimize the amount of outstanding plays given up.

A huge focus in the portal for the defense has been the #WarDaddies, also known as the big guys up front. Given that Golesh brought back Coach Kevin Patrick who developed the talents of all time Bulls like George Selvie and Jason Pierre-Paul, we should all be excited to see how much of an impact we make on the defensive line this season after bringing in guys like Immanuel Hickman, D.J. Harris, and Lloyd Summerall just to name a few.

I expect to see a steady rotation up front to stay fresh and keep as much pressure as possible on the Hilltoppers’ returning quarterback, Austin Reed, who led the country in passing yards last season (4,744 yards). Keeping this offense uncomfortable won’t be an easy task, but it starts in the trenches and now the Bulls have the depth on the edge and in the interior to do so. With so much talent up front, it is hopeful to help the rest of the unit when enough pressure is getting through. The Bulls have talented players in the box and on the back end of the defense who can show their ability to make plays when all the pieces are together.

We should be excited to see these big plays executed from key returners like Aamaris Brown (DB) who flashed a ton of athleticism last season, DJ Gordon (LB) who was second in tackles on last year’s team, and Daquan Evans (DB) who is coming back healthy for his final season.

Now that the clock is winding down on the off-season, the Golesh Era will finally begin against Western Kentucky this Saturday, meaning all the speculation and outside noise will be ignored and we finally get to watch this team perform.

There is a lot of positive surrounding this team and the University of South Florida as a whole right now, and the best way to show the country that we deserve it all is by beating our opponent in their stadium to start the season off.

It has been an exciting off-season and now it is time for Coach Golesh and the Bulls to turn things around and #BeWhoYouSayYouAre!




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