Scouting USF Bulls Offense

The Gator football team definitely faces a significantly better opponent this weekend when the USF Bulls head up I-75 for a visit to The Swamp. USF is coming off an 8-5 season that included a stunning 17-7 over Florida State in Tallahassee. They also have a new coaching staff and new way of doing things with Skip Holtz taking over for Jim Leavitt.

For the second week in a row Florida will be facing a team that runs a spread offense. However unlike Miami (OH), USF is good at running the ball. That's a key difference. Another is that the quarterback is much more dangerous running with the ball. USF is coming off a 59-14 drubbing of Stony Brook; a game that was tied at 14 after one quarter. You have to keep in mind that Stony Brook was playing its first game ever against a major college opponent. And it's not like they are a power in the championship subdivision. Stony Brook was 6-5 last year.

If you want to look at common opponents from last season, Florida's 37-10 win over FSU was 17 points better than USF's, while the Bulls lost to Cincinnati 34-17 and the Gators destroyed the Bearcats 51-24.

The USF offense revolves around sophomore QB B.J. Daniels who is an excellent runner and decent thrower. He was their leading rusher last year (772, 9 TD) while also throwing effectively (1,983 14/9) in relief of Matt Grothe. While he is clearly a better runner that Miami's Zac Dysert I'm not convinced he's a better thrower. Florida needs to corral Daniels and keep him from improvising. Daniels did not run much in the opener (5-23, 1 TD) but he almost certainly will have to run a lot more in Gainesville.

The running backs are decent players. Demetrius Murray got the most carries in the opener (9-55), while Mo Plancher (7-27, 1 TD) is the top returning back (581 in '09). Marcus Shaw (5-77, 1 TD) took one 63 yards in the fourth quarter Saturday.

The receiving corps is unproven but has talent and size. Evan Lendi is 6-3, had a good first game (5-92) and looks like he could be a match up problem. Dontavia Bogan (3-86, 1 TD) and Stephen Bravo-Brown (4-48) give them two other threats. Bogan is probably the best of the three. Like most spread teams they will throw to the RB. Murray and Shaw combined for five catches in the opener. The TE Jeff Hawkins did not start and did not catch a pass but will block in short yardage.

The offensive line is quite good and will pose a challenge for the Gators who didn't exactly manhandle a lesser Miami front. The strength of the unit is the interior with center Sampson Genus and guards Chaz Hine and Jeremiah Warren. They have good size and should be a good match up with Florida's DTs. The tackles are Jacob Sims and Jamar Bass and both have good size. This unit is better than some that the Gators will see in conference play.

Overall, this is a better offensive team than what Florida saw last week mostly because they can run the ball a bit with their backs as well as their QB but I don't think they throw it better.

That's a look at the USF offense. Tomorrow we'll check out the Bulls defense and special teams.

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