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Joey Knight’s takeaways from USF-Connecticut

The Bulls played a penalty-free first half Saturday.

Though it’s tough gauging USF’s offensive progress against such a feeble opponent, there’s no question the Bulls played a cleaner game than normal Saturday. The American Athletic Conference’s third-most penalized team entering the weekend, USF had an infraction-free first half and was flagged a season-low five times for 59 yards.

Related: RELATED: USF delivers best effort of season, tramples UConn

Though he had no catches Saturday, fifth-year senior tight end Mitch Wilcox remained a critical cog up front, helping the run game collect 313 yards. “Mitch blocked very well today,” quarterback Jordan McCloud said. “We were actually talking at the end of the game, how he said he felt like a ping-pong ball in there, he was just getting hit around with the O-line being real physical today.”

Related: RELATED: A Bulls bright spot? That would be Bryce Miller

To offset UConn’s speed packages, USF went heavy with a nickel alignment, meaning less of sturdy middle linebacker Patrick Macon and more of outside 'backers Dwayne Boyles and Antonio “Yo-Yo” Grier. The two combined for 15 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss, including a sack apiece.