TAMPA — After admiring Randy Moss for years, it's not a coincidence that USF receiver Randall St. Felix's wears Moss' No. 84.
"I feel like he's the best receiver to ever touch a football," St. Felix said.
It's obviously too early and too unfair to compare St. Felix to his idol, but the redshirt freshman is making a big impact on the Bulls already.
His 143 receiving yards in the opener against Elon were the most ever by a USF player making his debut. He followed that with six catches for 120 yards in last week's comeback win over Illinois. His 286 yards lead the Bulls and rank fourth in the conference heading into Saturday's AAC opener against East Carolina.
St. Felix is only part of a top-20 passing attack; Tyre McCants had 104 yards against Georgia Tech, Darnell Salomon caught the game winner against the Illini, and Mitchell Wilcox has developed into one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the country.
"I feel like we're clicking more," St. Felix said. "We're starting to get in synch."
Two other USF thoughts:
Quarterback Blake Barnett has obviously starred, ranking among the nation's top 15 passers and leaders in total offense. But remember this: the grad transfer has only been in this offense for three games. "He's still young in this thing, as well," offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert said.
The defense is at two extremes. On one end, the Bulls have 29 tackles for a loss — tied for No. 5 in the country. On the other, they've allowed 32 rushes of at least 10 yards; only UMass has allowed more. The key adjustment last week against Illinois was a focus on players staying in their gaps. "We simplified things in the second half and eliminated some of the movement, took out some of the thinking…" defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary said.