The University of South Florida's defensive unit was nothing short of stout in 2013, closing Chuck Bresnahan’s inaugural season ranked 21st in Yards-per-Game (350.8 yds./game), 28th in rush defense (139.8 yds./game) and 26th in pass defense (211 yds./game). For Coach Willie Taggart to right the ship in 2014 he will rely on Chuck Bresnahan’s unit to produce similar numbers despite losing 1st Team AAC defensive end Aaron Lynch, 2nd team AAC defensive tackle Luke Sager and 3rd team defensive end Ryne Giddins to graduation and the NFL.
The Bulls have historically thwarted opponents never allowing more than 4-yards per carry in school history and will rely on the four returners to uphold the precedent.
Willie Taggart was named the AAC’s ‘Best Coach As Recruiter’ by Athlon Sports and the Bulls will rely on Derrick Calloway, dubbed the ‘prize of Taggart’s first recruiting class in 2013’, to command the interior in 2014. The Bulls return redshirt-senior Todd “Mr. 700 pd. Squat” Chandler, senior Elkino Watson, as well as projected starter junior defensive end Eric Lee.
USF also picked up JUCO defensive end Demetrius Hill from Fort Scott Community College to add necessary depth and increase the Bulls pass-rushing presence. Additionally, Bresnahan’s defensive front is considering a switch to the 3-4, hoping to effectively adjust the scheme to properly utilize current players on the roster.
Controlling the line of scrimmage will prove crucial to USF’s success in 2014. Bulls fans must have faith Chuck Bresnahan’s unit will return to the field not only matured, but with the same passion for swarming the ball and forcing fumbles fans have grown accustomed to over the years. While I am not a betting man, my chips are on Coach Bresnahan and company to come out ahead when the dust settles in 2014.