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Joey Knight’s takeaways from USF-South Carolina State

At least one unit still has some serious shortcomings entering conference play.
Relentless pressure caused this first-half fumble; No. 20 Bentlee Sanders knocking it free with No. 4 Greg Reaves ready to pounce. USF recovered, then scored a touchdown just a few plays later against visiting South Carolina State.
Relentless pressure caused this first-half fumble; No. 20 Bentlee Sanders knocking it free with No. 4 Greg Reaves ready to pounce. USF recovered, then scored a touchdown just a few plays later against visiting South Carolina State. [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]
Published Sep. 15, 2019
Updated Sep. 15, 2019

Though it mostly stifled South Carolina State by forcing eight turnovers, we still don’t know how stout (or spotty) USF’s defense is. Since a 49-0 opening-night loss to Wisconsin, the unit has surrendered 30 total points, albeit to a Division I-AA foe and a Power Five team (Georgia Tech) that lost to The Citadel on Saturday. SCSU totaled 378 yards Saturday and finished 11-for-23 on third down.

RELATED: Jordan McCloud helps USF snap eight-game skid

Desperately needed victory aside, anyone who doesn’t believe the Bulls have serious offensive line issues is simply in denial. Fortunately for USF, Jordan McCloud’s mobility (12 carries, 56 yards, two TDs) was able to partially compensate for what has become the team’s most glaring liability.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Want to tune out UCF’s battle cries? Got to beat the Knights first

Before McCloud trotted out for the game’s opening snap, senior Blake Barnett was announced as the starter on the Raymond James Stadium video board, and was listed as the starter on the pregame depth chart distributed in the press box. So why the willful subterfuge on the starting QB? We can see the coaches wanting to keep things shrouded for, say, South Carolina. But South Carolina State?