USF Bulls Season Summary

Now that all of the games involving USF have been played (including the All-Star games) we have to look back at what happened this season. The season started off with a win, a win which wouldn’t seem like much if it weren’t for the fact that USF started off with a loss against an FBS program last season and the win was against a solid football team. USF was losing to Western Carolina and looked out-matched most of the game, but found a way to win at the end largely in part to an AMAZING and record performance by freshman running back Marlon Mack. A star was born that day, but USF fans couldn’t be too happy being that they barely beat an FBS team. Looking back at it now, we see that Western Carolina wasn’t an ordinary FBS team and had a very impressive season led by senior defensive back extraordinaire Ace Clark.

Following the season opener, USF hosted Maryland in a game which carried with  it national attention. USF’s defense showed up in a big and somewhat unexpected way keeping the Bulls in the game. The defense which was so tough against Maryland might have taken a day off the next week against North Carolina State as the Bulls got romped 49-17. The game against Connecticut was also a defensive show-down and also a much needed victory for the Bulls. The Bulls pulled off a tough win against a weak Connecticut team 17-14.

USF went up to Madison, Wisconsin for its fifth game and after the beating USF took from NC State and how well Melvin Gordan was playing, USF seemed highly likely to get pounded on national television. The Wisconsin game was a show-down between two top ten running backs in Melvin Gordan and Marlon Mack. USF held Gordan in check for most the game, but allowed him to run wild at the end and secure a 27-10 victory for the Badgers.

USF hosted Eastern Carolina for its homecoming. At 2-3 the Bulls needed this win for a realistic chance of heading to a bowl game. The Bulls had back their star Andre Davis for this game and needed him back badly. Although the Bulls looked much better than ECU most of the game, ECU found a way to win the game at the end. Bulls did get a victory against Tulsa in Tulsa although it wasn’t a pretty one. Following the Tulsa win, USF needed to win 3 out of their next 5 games to become bowl eligible, but one of those wins did not come the following week against the Cincinnati Bearcats whom won decisively.

USF hosted Houston in their Veterans and MIlitary Appreciation day, but the game didn’t go well from the get-go as the Bulls fell 27-3. USF put themselves back together when they traveled to Dallas, Texas to take on the Southern Methodist University Mustangs.  The Bulls pulled off a squeaker getting by with a win with a one point margin 14-13. The Bulls needed to win their remaining two game to become bowl eligible, but lost the following week against Memphis. The Memphis game guaranteed USF would have another losing season under Willie Taggart.

Despite the guaranteed losing season and elimination from bowl hopes, USF fans were excited about hosting in-state rival the University of Central Florida Golden Knights. A win against the Golden Knights would have made everything better and the season may have even been considered a success especially looking back from last year. The game had not gone as USF had hoped. USF’s offense looked dreadful against UCF. UCF’s offense managed the ball well and consistently drove it down the field. UCF beat USF 16-0 in the season’s first shut out and the team’s first home shot out.

The season had many calling for Willie Taggart’s head. Many journalists were predicting USF would turn another coaching page. The curse USF received from firing Jim Leavitt started to seem more real. USF’s effort not to have a revolving door at head coach and his good recruiting effors seem to be the only reason he is still a Bull. Taggart did the right thing by getting rid of his offensive coordinator and his defensive coordinator. In getting new assistants, Taggart showed that he will not allow others to hold him down.

Despite a rough season, the Bulls looked good in the all-star games. The Bulls had several of their players playing in all-star games including Reshard Cliett, Andre Davis, Quinterrius Eatmon, Chris Dunkley, and Marvin Kloss.  Davis and Eatmon dazzled during practice (Davis at the Shrine Game and Eatmon at the Medal of Honor bowl). Kloss came up huge in the Shrine game getting the offensive MVP award.

The most positive notes of the season came from the fact that the best players on the team were under-classman. USF named Andre Davis as their MVP although it should have been Marlon Mack. Davis did set every receiving record in USF receiving history which is a huge and highly admirable task and is certainly leaving USF as a legend, but it is hard to award him MVP when he missed 4 1/2 seasons and his stats weren’t too impressive overall (although the stats were solid for the amount of time he played). Mack wasn’t the only under classman to lead the Bulls as Nate Godwin, Devin Abraham, and Nigel Harris all had phenomenal seasons. With Godwin, Abraham, and Harris, USF looks to field a very solid defense next year. Mack can help anchor an offense that seriously needs much improvement. USFas as a whole needs to improve from this season or else you will likely see some big changes made after next season.

Wish List for New USF Offensive and Defensive Coordinators

The University of South Florida Bulls have already named Danny Hope as its co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach and Autry Denson as its running backs coach, but have yet to name a offensive  coordinator (or another co-offensive coordinator) or a defensive coordinator. These jobs aren’t hot college football jobs by any stretch of the imagination, but are certainly extremely important to USF football and are high profile jobs. If USF does choose to keep the two co-offensive coordinator concept, we applaud them as it worked to well for the Texas Christian University football team this past year. USF has been pretty quite about who their front runners up and there haven’t been very many names to emerge as to who may land these positions. Below is a list of some potential guys who could come in an help elevate the Bulls immediately.

Mark Mangino (for Offensive Coordinator): Although it has been a while since Mangino has done something major, he would be a great fit and victory for USF. Mangino is the current offensive coordinator of Iowa State and although they are coming off an awful season, Mangino had very little to do with their woes. No one doubts Mangino’s abilities to effectively run an offense. For those of you who don’t know Mangino … He is the guy who took Kansas from a low tier college football team to a national championship contender.

Pat Narduzzi (for Defensive Coordinator): This is being extremely  wishful as Nadduzzi is considered one of the top defensive coordinators in the country. If USF can match or beat what Michigan State is paying him than there wouldn’t be much else hold Narduzzi to MSU.

Mark Hudspeth (for Offensive Coordinator): Hudspeth help the University of Lousiana Lafayette to improve to a very good season. He has a good energy about him and a high spirit. Considered a brilliant offensive mind and a great recruiter. His personality should fit well with that of Willie Taggart.

Greg Schiano (for Defensive Coordinator): although he has been a head coach for a long time there doesn’t appear to be much demand for him at head coach. Certainly Schiano enjoyed his time in Tampa and can use this tenure to re-spark his career. Schiano did phenomenal at  Rutgers, recruits very well in Florida, and didn’t really get much of a chance with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Schiano has a long and successful career coaching and developing defenses.

Sal Sunseri (for Defensive Coordinator): This is a realistic choice for USF defensive coordinator position. Sunseri is currently the defensive ends coach for the Florida State Seminoles currently and has had several positions all over the defense. Considered a defensive mind and an up coming big time coach.



Bulls in All-Star Games

Although the USF Bulls football season didn’t amount to a winning or .500 season, the Bulls did manage to land some of their stars in the country’s top bowl games. Rashard Cliett and Quinterrious Eatmon both landed in the Medal of Honor Bowl in Charleston, South Caroloina and in the NFLPA Bowl in Los Angeles,  California. Chris Dunkley will also be joining Cliett and Eatmon in the NFLPA Bowl.   Andrea Davis and Marvin Kloss both will be playing in the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Florida.


Eatmon impressed NFL scouts all through practice and outshined every other lineman in the Medal of Honor Bowl. Cliett held his own during the Medal of Honor Bowl. So far Davis is impressing scouts and coaches during the practices of the East West Shrine game.


With the exposure each player is getting from NFL scouts and management it is without a doubt each of these players is helping their chances of being drafted in the 2015 NFL draft this April. Each of these players is expected to be invited to NFL training camps whether they get drafted or not. With Canadian Football Leauge scouts in attendance, it is highly likely that if any of these guys don’t make an NFL roster, they will certainly be playing up in Canada.

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