Taggart's concern: USF, not UM
Here are Times correspondent Jeff Odom's notes from Tuesday's USF football practice:
TAMPA -- Despite being dealt the difficult task of facing No. 16 Miami in less than two weeks, USF is keeping the focus solely on itself during the bye week to get everyone on the right page.
“To be honest, there’s not a concern about Miami, it’s about USF,” Bulls coach Willie Taggart said Tuesday.
“It’s about us getting better and seeing how good we can be. It’s never about our opponent, it’s always about us. If we play like we’re capable of playing, we can play with anyone in the country.”
POSITIVE ATTITUDE: Taggart said he wants all of his players to have an upbeat mindset and not dwell on the past three games. On Tuesday, he pointed out two encouraging signs of improvement -- USF’s defense, ranked 23rd in the nation; and the performance of senior HB Marcus Shaw, sixth nationally in total rushing yards (392).
“We do have some good things going on in our program and we can’t not look at those things because we’re 0-3,” Taggart said. "We have to build on those things."
SAFFOLD PRAISED: Junior DB Torrel Saffold impressed Taggart with the way he played against Florida Atlantic on Saturday. A junior college transfer, Saffold finished with two tackles after coming into the game when starter JaQuez Jenkins left with an undisclosed injury.
"He played hard, he gave great effort and he made some plays," Taggart said. "Even if he's not doing things right, he's still going 100 mph to where it makes it right sometimes. He gets in position to make plays and that's what we're asking for."