The University of South Florida Bulls head into their game against NC State (2-0) on Saturday sitting at 1-1 and coming off a loss to Big Ten Maryland in a game in which they were without starting QB Mike White, WR Andre Davis, and starting junior guard Thor Jozwiak. As the Bulls prepare for the Wolfpack this week, head coach Willie Taggart says they’ve moved on from their loss against the Terps and are looking ahead. His message is clear and he really feels like the team is coming together more each week.
“We’re not where we need to be but we have a lot more guys doing the things it takes to win ballgames,” coach Taggart said in his press conference Tuesday. “We gotta continue to stay the course and everything we do has gotta be about winning.”
One of the bright spots the first two weeks has been the play of the USF defense. After their six turnover effort against Maryland last weekend, the Bulls rank 6th in the FBS in turnovers on the season with eight through two games. They also rank 3rd in fumbles recovered with five and are 15th in the nation in sacks with three and a half. Reigning AAC Defensive Player of the Week, linebacker Nigel Harris, says the bar has been set.
“We set the bar high this passed game,” said the sophomore linebacker out of King High School. “Now we gotta set it higher these next coming games.”
With the injury to Andre Davis it’s been the other wide outs that have needed to step up in his place. Last week the unit dropped more passes than Taggart would like to see and WR Rodney Adams agrees it’s time they stepped up and made plays.
“We just have to help the quarterbacks out more,” Adams said Tuesday. “Situational football, we have to catch the ball and just make plays when the opportunity is there.”
Saturday’s meeting between USF and NC State will be the third time the two schools have met on the football field. The last time, USF beat the Wolfpack 41-10 back on September 27, 2008. The victory shot USF up the national rankings to #10 in the nation.