And sometimes it all comes together.
For the first half South Florida looked like the team we hoped they would at this point in the season. Crisp and efficient on offense, speedy on defense with a good bit of controlled aggression. The second half they coasted and the weather had a lot to do with that. Most importantly the Bulls are through the second leg of this three-game stretch and head into conference play on a short week but full of confidence.
QUARTERBACKS (A): This was a great night for Matt Grothe, 259 yards passing and 68 yards rushing. He didn't get sacked and he was accurate on most of his passes finishing 20-of-29 (not helped by a couple drops). It was the type of performance you want from this three-year starter a week after he struggled against FIU.
RUNNING BACKS (A-): The running backs collectively gained 165 yards on 36 carries and scored three touchdowns. Good night overall and Mike Ford and Ben Williams are another step towards full health. That's good news for the Bulls offense even though it looks like Jamar Taylor (5 carries, 3 yards, TD) might be on the outside looking in again.
WIDE RECEIVERS (B): A couple of drops keeps this grade from being at least a half-grade higher if not more. Seven different receivers caught balls with Jessie Hester (7 receptions, 68 yards) proving to be the most reliable target. Taurus Johnson (1 catch) where ya been man?
OFFENSIVE LINE (A): No sacks, 520 total yards against a pretty decent defensive line. Nothing to be ashamed of here boys.
DEFENSIVE LINE (B+): Did Harrison Beck say something about Jarriett Buie's mom? Because Buie was all over his ass for several plays. This is encouraging because Buie should be the benefactor of the increased attention being given to George Selvie. Craig Marshall got the sack but the story of the defensive line is the 9-of-32 performance by Harrison Beck with most of his incompletions coming due to being harassed by the defense.
LINEBACKERS (B): There weren't a lot of guys with big tackle numbers because USF ran almost twice as many plays as N.C. State on offense. Kion Wilson responded well after last week with five tackles and a tackle for a loss. Tyrone McKenzie was his usual self and even added an interception for kicks.
SECONDARY (C-): Beck only completed nine passes but virtually all of them were for huge gains (Beck finished . Luckily for USF none of the Big East quarterbacks try fear in my heart because this unit has some serious coverage flaws and my fear is they will get exposed at the worse time. On the positive end, Jerome Murphy had one of the Bulls' three interceptions.
SPECIAL TEAMS (A-): Maikon Bonani missed his first field goal but made up for it by hitting one from the same distance (44 yards) later in the game. Meanwhile Delbert Alvarado's gaudy 62.9 punt average deserves a mention and some props.
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