QB Floyd on fumbled snaps: 'I have to get that fixed'
More notes as I stop between flights in Charlotte on way home ...
CINCINNATI -- USF was able to recover five of its school-record seven fumbles in Friday's 27-10 loss at Cincinnati, but the disruption of at least three fumbled snaps, in addition to three early fumbles by running backs, kept the Bulls offense from building any kind of rhythm.
"It's something I need to work on. It's only hurting the team every time I fumble a snap," said redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Floyd, who didn't have any turnovers until a fumble on a sack in the final two minutes. "It's something me and (center Austin) Reiter will really work on ... in the offseason, I'm sure that will be one of the things we hit really hard. That's just me, and I have to get better. I have to get that fixed."
Floyd said the cold -- 38 degrees at kickoff -- "certainly didn't help," and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said the weather created conditions in which Floyd has little experience in his playing career.
"I think the snaps were a little bit still the young quarterback, but the ball is slick in the cold weather, which we're not as experienced in as much as we should be," Fitch said.
USF coach Skip Holtz said the "two biggest obstacles we faced" were the number of fumbles and adverse field position, starting too many drives inside the Bulls' 20 or even deeper, with drives off punts starting at the 5, 7 and 9-yard lines.
INITIAL REVIEW: Asked to evaluate Floyd's performance in his first career start, Fitch said he had a "decent" game and "a mixed bag" -- on one hand, the Bulls were able to get eight third-down conversions, but there were other missed opportunities for big plays.
"There were three or four plays I wished he'd made, whether it be a little inaccuracy or missing a read or two," Fitch said."There's promise there. I like his courage. I like his poise. We've got to get better production ouf of him."
DEFENSE TIRING: USF's defense held Cincinnati in check early, limiting them to 13 points until a 47-yard pass play set up a touchdown midway through the third quarter. And while defensive coordinator Chris Cosh said he was pleased at how USF's second-string linebackers played in six or seven series of work off the bench, senior Sam Barrington said there were still limits to how long the defense could limit the Bearcats.
"You have such a thing as a defensive stamina in a game," he said. "It's going to come to a point where things happen a little more faster to us once you go so many plays. You've got to be resilient."
CHANGING AGAIN: USF's offensive line used its eighth different starting five in 11 games this season, with junior Lawrence Martin getting his first career start at left tackle when senior Mark Popek was again limited by a lingering ankle injury. USF has used 10 different starting linemen this season, including six players who have made their first career starts.