USF Game -- Defensive Analysis

The Hurricanes defeated South Florida today by the score of 40-9. Read on to see what CanesTime's Mike Bakas is saying about the game -- from a defensive standpoint.

* I've said it all year. A lot of people like Anthony Chickillo and Brandon McGee but if I can have one player on this defense, it's Denzel Perryman all day long. He's a game changer. By knocking out the USF starter, Perryman changed the whole game plan for the Bulls. It's really unfortunate that he was forced to miss the Virginia game with an injury. Had he played, the Canes would likely be playing Duke for a rematch against Florida State.

* As a whole, even though they got tough in the redzone and didn't allow a touchdown, the defense could have played a lot better. The Bulls ran with good success right at them today, and USF's third string quarterback made too many plays I thought. Aside from Bethune Cookman, that was the worst offense UM faced all season and they still gave up close to 400 yards and didn't register a single sack. This unit is making progress but they're still not where they need to be, obviously.

* The lack of pressure from the front four continues to be an issue. The Canes used six different players at defensive end. Three of them played a lot of linebacker in high school (athletes who were brought in here to get after the QB). For whatever reason, it's not happening. The Bulls threw it 43 times. Getting an elite level pass rusher should be one of main priorities in the 2013 class, even if it's a Juco transfer.

* When all the linebackers are healthy, that's a very talented group. Perryman, Eddie Johnson, Gionni Paul, Jimmy Gaines, and Rapheal Kirby give UM five solid linebackers heading into 2013. They've all played well at times. They make mistakes, and have battled injuries but it's a fun group to watch.

* Deon Bush was missed at safety. He's the best player on Miami's roster at the safety spot. Rayshawn Jenkins is quickly becoming number two. It's never good when your safety leads the team in tackles, like Jenkins did today, but I'll say this -- it'll be a whole other ball game when the Canes enter 2013 with Bush/Jenkins back there, instead of the A.J. Highsmith/Kacy Rodgers tandem.


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