USF coaches: Don't expect sequel from Syracuse 'D'
As much as they'd love to stage an offensive clinic similar to the one Louisville held last week in the Carrier Dome, USF's coaches aren't presuming they'll replicate the Cardinals' 845-yard effort against the Orange.
While the Bulls may possess a style and personnel similar to Louisville's, they're not expecting a similar Syracuse defensive meltdown this weekend.
"I wouldn't be fooled by last week's game," Coach Willie Taggart said.
Before a national TV audience, Cards QB Lamar Jackson essentially hurdled and heaved his way into the nation's consciousness, totaling 610 yards in Louisville's 62-28 romp. But a notable chunk of that yardage can be attributed to Orange defenders biting on play-action and finding themselves woefully out of position.
"There are things they're trying to do with their defense and with their looks, and sometimes they got out of position, but they'll get it corrected," said Bulls co-offensive coordinator T.J. Weist, who expects the Orange to operate primarily in a cover-two scheme.
"They're good coaches, I know that. ... They'll learn from it. We're not expecting really the same thing."
TAKING THE THIRD: Somewhat lost amid the Bulls' smorgasbord of dazzling offensive statistics has been their efficiency on third down.
Two lopsided victories into the season, it's among the nation's best.
USF (2-0) heads to Syracuse tied for 15th nationally with a 54.8-percent conversion rate. The Bulls finished 11-of-19 on third down in last week's 48-17 rout of Northern Illinois. Weist said it stands to reason.
"We focus on it more on Tuesdays and Wednesdays," Weist said after Wednesday's full-pads workout.
"A lot of teams go one day of third downs, we go right away with it. We spend really almost every practice focusing on third down, so it's a little more emphasis for us. So when those situations come up (the players) kind of know the plays before we call them."
ODDS AND ENDS: Defensive coordinator Raymond Woodie said DT Bruce Hector (ankle) and S Khalid McGee (ankle) are "doing the necessary things" to be ready for Saturday's game, but couldn't say for certain if either will be available. ... Taggart said redshirt freshman RT Billy Atterbury, who made his first career start against NIU, still hasn't solidified his first-team status but played well against the Huskies. "He did a good job of taking advantage of an opportunity that was presented to him," Taggart said. ... QB Asiantii Woulard (foot fracture) is out of his walking boot and suited up Wednesday.
AUDIBLE: He is like the guy (Jackson) we played last week," Syracuse coach Dino Babers on Bulls QB Quinton Flowers