Five Players to Watch: South Florida Bulls

Hatts has your five USF Bulls to watch on Saturday vs. SMU.

Marlon Mack

Mack came in as a freshman, started all 12 games and recorded one of the best seasons in South Florida's history. Through 6 games this season, Mack is on pace to shatter that mark. The 6-0, 205-pound running back has 707 yards already this season and is averaging close to 115 yards per game. Last season he caught everyone’s attention and at that point was only averaging 86.8 yards per game. To go along with this impressive rushing total, Mack also has three touchdowns in the six games so far.  Going against a team that has struggled to stop the run especially at the second level, Mack could be in store for a big day on Saturday. 

Quinton Flowers

SMU's biggest problem all year has been defending dual-threat quarterbacks. Good news for them, they will be facing another one this Saturday. When SMU faced Flowers last season, he was getting his first taste of college football. This year, Flowers is a threat both in the running game with 362 yards and passing the ball with 10 touchdowns on the year. The sophomore’s only negative so far has been the six interceptions, which could come into play against a SMU defense that has excelled at forcing turnovers. 

Jamie Byrd

The senior leader of this defense is another defensive back that has had a solid start to the season. Byrd has four tackles for loss to go with two sacks and two interceptions in his second season with the Bulls after originally spending time with TCU. At 5-11, 185-pounds, Byrd is a tough player that comes in to make a lot of plays in the run game and is a very good tackler that will give SMU problems. 

Auggie Sanchez

As just a sophomore, Sanchez is already stepping up as the leader of this defense. Sanchez started all twelve games his first season after redshirting in 2013 and finished fourth on the team in tackles with 65 to go along with two sacks and an interception. This season, Sanchez is leading the team in tackles with 47 already and also has half a sack to go with it. Sanchez will almost certainly be another big factor in stopping SMU’s run game. 

Deatrick Nichols

Nichols got his first taste of college football last year, including his first career start against SMU, but didn’t make a big impact despite playing in all 12 games. This year has been a different story for the sophomore cornerback. Nichols has been a factor both in the pass game with an interception in their matchup with Maryland, as well as, five tackles for losses to go with a sack. For an SMU team that is hoping to run the ball more, Nichols will be a guy on the outside they are going to have to deal with all day long. 

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