Sterlin Gilbert says Bulls fans haven't seen whole offense
Those who have been critical of new Bulls offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert's system may wish to reserve judgment until they've seen it in its entirety.
According to Gilbert, they haven't.
"There's still some of the offense that's going in," he said.
During his weekly chat with reporters following Wednesday's practice, Gilbert said his scheme includes swing passes to Bulls running backs, who have one combined catch so far. He also suggested QB Quinton Flowers will steadily progress because the quarterbacks in his system all have improved over time.
"You're not seeing everything right now just because you're still fairly early with everything," Gilbert said. "So there's stuff that's still coming to be implemented and installed that we're gonna be able to utilize, especially with conference games and stuff coming up."
Flowers has averaged 267.5 total yards in his first two contests, a noticeable dropoff from this time last season (318.5). Run-pass options, and a mobile pocket, both seem less prevalent in Gilbert's high-tempo scheme, but Flowers said Wednesday he feels the offense suits his skill set.
He also said he's not frustrated.
"My mom and dad built a strong man," he said. "At the end of the day, like I always say, you've got to have faith in God, you've got to continue being yourself and don't let nobody change you. And that's what I've been doing. ... So I just come out here every day, have fun and try to put a smile on somebody's face."
WILKINS ON PACE: With two interceptions this season, redshirt junior CB Mazzi Wilkins is on pace for his personal goal of 12 picks. Yes, he's serious.
"How I look at it, we're in college, quarterbacks are gonna take chances," the former three-star prospect from Plant High said. "It's just up to me to capitalize."
Slowed by hamstring injuries in the spring, Wilkins emerged as arguably the team's biggest surprise in preseason camp. Before it started, defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary said the staff told Wilkins they had "question marks as far as what kind of player he was gonna be."
But his August performance was so convincing, coaches slid all-conference CB Deatrick Nichols inside to nickel to help fortify the Bulls' run stoppage.
"He looked all of us as coaches in the eye and said, 'I'm gonna show you,'" Jean-Mary said Wednesday. "And from the first day he got out here, he came and battled and...he always took the challenge of taking whoever our top receiver was on offense."
CRISP START IS CRITICAL: If Gilbert does reveal some new dimensions of his offense Saturday, he'll likely do it right out of the gate. USF has failed to score first in each of its last three regular season games, lowlighted by the two sluggish starts this season.
"What you do is, we're just preaching attack," he said. "Come out and start fast...because we don't get to pick where we get the ball in the first series and all that stuff. So wherever we're at, we need to come out, we need to execute and just get some momentum about us."
ODDS AND ENDS: Wilkins said his full name is Mazzi Ydris Wilkins, with Mazzi pronounced like jazzy. "My parents are always different," he said. "They didn't want to name me anything I guess, normal, if that's what you want to call it." ... For those wondering, yes, Saturday's 10:30 a.m. kickoff will be the earliest in USF history. ... USF has won seven of its last eight true road games.
AUDIBLE: "When (UConn) put the veteran quarterback (Bryant Shirreffs) in, you could see it kind of added a spark to 'em, and you could see that the team really believed in him. You could see the offensive line and the receivers kind of had a different bounce to 'em, so you could tell that's somebody that they trust in as their leader." -- Jean-Mary on what he observed while reviewing the film of the Huskies' come-from-behind, 27-20 win against Holy Cross