USFNation Game Grades

The Louisville Cardinals avenged last year's loss in impressive fashion by beating the Bulls 31-8. USFNation.com hands out game grades position-by-position. Read on to see how they graded out. Only on USFNation.com!

Quarterbacks: Matt Grothe had a pretty good game considering that he was throwing from his back most of the day. Along with being held to -18 yards rushing, Grothe was sacked six times. When he wasn't getting slammed in the dirt, Grothe was mostly on target. He completed 15-31 237 yards including an interception and a touchdown. The late 44 yard touchdown pass was the only one on the day for the Bulls and Grothe's longest completion of the game. 
USFNation Staff Grade: B

Wide Receivers: The Bulls' playmakers struggled on Saturday with repeated drop balls. Last year's star player, Amarri Jackson, was the leading receiver again but did not make nearly as much noise as last year. He had four receptions for 60 yards while Ean Randolph caught four passes for 46 yards. The receivers came on late and helped USF avoid the goose egg when Amp Hill recorded his only catch of the day late in the fourth quarter, a 44 yard score. Taurus Johnson also added three receptions for 32 yards. If the Bulls want to post a win next week at West Virginia, the wide receivers needs to make sure to hold on to the ball.
USFNation Staff Grade: D

Running backs: Overall the running backs collectively had a bad game against the Cardinals. Ricky Ponton led the way with 11 carries for 52 yards while Benjamin Williams had four rushes for 15 yards. The Bulls were never quite able to establish a balanced offensive attack and did not register a first down until late into the first quarter. It is hard though to place blame solely on the backs, especially when there are not many open lanes to run through.

USFNation Staff Grade: F


Offensive line: One of the biggest problems with the Bulls offensive attack was protection based. Grothe never seemed to have enough time to throw the ball and the Cardinals' defense registered six sacks on the day. Also for the first time this season, the mobile quarterback was held to negative yards rushing. His game total was 15 carries for -18 yards thanks in part to the repeated sacks. Overall, the Bulls rushing attack did not do much better. The combine total for the Bulls' rushing attack was 30 carries for 49 yards. 
USFNation Staff Grade: D-

Defensive backs: The secondary for USF had problems keeping up with Louisville's receivers. The Cardinals quarterback, Brian Brohm, completed 19-33 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns. The longest pass of the day for Louisville was a 40 yard reception. The Bulls were beaten deep at times but seemed to show impressive recovery speed that kept the Cardinals from scoring on a long pass. The two scores through the air came from four and five yards away. 
USFNation Staff Grade: D+

Linebackers: The Bulls' linebackers were the main reason why the defense did not allow a first down for the majority of the first quarter. From that point on, they attempted to keep USF in the game but never seemed to get a break from being on the field. Stephen Nicholas had a game high 10 tackles including one tackle for a loss and one pass breakup. Also Patrick St. Louis had five tackles on the day while Ben Moffitt added two before getting injured. 
USFNation Staff Grade: C+

D-line: The Bulls failed to put any type of serious pressure on Brian Brohm and were unable to register any sacks in the game. The front four were blown off the ball in the Cardinals' red zone and allowed rushing touchdowns from one and seven yards away. Overall, the Cardinals' running backs ran all over the Bulls' defense. By the end of the game, they accumulated 172 yards rushing and two touchdowns off of 36 carries. 
USFNation Staff Grade: D

Special teams: Once again, the special teams of the Bulls seemed to struggle at every position. Delbert Alvarado had one of the worst games of his young career. He had two field goal opportunities from 37 and 51 yards away but failed on both. Louisville was forced to punt only once, and Ean Randolph had a return of only eight yards. Punter Justin Teachey had a below average day overall after punting eight times with an average of 33.9 per kick. The lone high point was the kick return team. Ean Randolph returned one kick for 21 yards while Taurus Johnson had three returns for 53 yards, but neither player was able to break the big one.
USFNation Staff Grade: F


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