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USF’s Charlie Strong: Changes coming in wake of latest home loss

The beleaguered Bulls coach also said he doesn’t feel like he’s coaching for his job this weekend.
USF coach Charlie Strong shakes with the SMU coaching staff after Saturday's 48-21 loss to the Mustangs at Raymond James Stadium. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
USF coach Charlie Strong shakes with the SMU coaching staff after Saturday's 48-21 loss to the Mustangs at Raymond James Stadium. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Sep. 30, 2019

TAMPA ― With his team’s season ―and possibly his job ― hanging in the balance, third-year USF coach Charlie Strong on Monday indicated personnel and scheme shake-ups are likely when the Bulls travel to Connecticut this weekend.

“We can blame our problems on anything, but what we’ve got to do is just take a look at ourselves,” said Strong, whose team (1-3, 0-1 American Athletic Conference) has dropped its last nine games against Division I-A opposition.

“I just had a (staff) meeting and I said to our coaches that we’ve got to do something different. We’ve got to do something different to get our guys back on track.”

MORE BULLS: Charlie Strong stands by offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell

As for his own future, Strong said he doesn’t feel like he’s coaching for his job this weekend when the Bulls meet the Huskies (1-3, 0-1), who have lost 19 in a row against I-A foes.

“I don’t ever feel like that,” he said. “I mean, every week you coach for your job, but I don’t worry about that. My main focus right now is to get our team going.”

Strong didn’t specify the imminent changes, but suggested some lineup alterations, possibly on both sides. USF currently ranks 122nd nationally in total offense (304.8 ypg), 123rd in rushing offense (97.5 ypg) and 103rd in run defense (188.8 ypg).

The Bulls also are allowing five sacks a game, which ranks last nationally. The 10 sacks it surrendered in Saturday’s 48-21 loss to SMU tied the program’s single-game record, though only one reserve offensive lineman ― tackle Jarrett Hopple ― logged action.

That could change this weekend in East Hartford.

“We’ve got to get it right just scheme-wise. There’s some things we can do better on defense and offense,” Strong said.

“And then just personnel-wise ... there’s some guys that are sitting there that haven’t played, and we’ve got to give them an opportunity to play.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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