The South Florida Bulls ended their 2012 season by scoring no more than 13 points while being outscored by a combined total of 36-100 in each of their final four games. Turning the offense around and getting back on track is near the top of the list of priorities for new head coach Willie Taggart, and he seems pleased with the progress he has been seeing from his new team this spring.
“It was really impressive to see offensively that we were making plays consistently,” Taggart said earlier this week to South Florida Athletics.
Considering the Bulls are looking to replace the team’s top three rushers and the B.J. Daniels era has finally wrapped up, the offense is turning a new page in 2013 with a new coaching staff in place. Now is the time to write a new script.
South Florida’s offense has, at times, been painful to watch over the past couple of years. Last year, the Bulls had a turnover margin of -20 with 29 total turnovers lost. No team had a lower turnover margin last season — not even Colorado (-19).
Unfortunately for South Florida, ball protection has not exactly been a strength of Taggart’s previous program at Western Kentucky. The Hiltoppers lost 24 turnovers last season and 23 in 2011. The good news is Taggart’s teams have created many more turnovers on defense, allowing Western Kentucky to end last season with a turnover margin of -2 and -3 in 2011.
If he can find a way to get the defense to help stop the bleeding of a struggling offense, things could turn around quickly at South Florida in the re-branding American Athletic Conference.
This week, though, the focus has been on the offense at South Florida, and Taggart has sung the praises of a good work ethic being put in by his Bulls offense.
“They’re getting better,” Taggart said this week about his offense. “You can see they’re starting to understand our offense a little better and that’s why we’re executing a little better,” he said.
South Florida does not have terribly far to go to make a run in the conference this season with Syracuse and Pittsburgh leaving the conference. Louisville is still the top team in the conference for 2013 before moving on to the ACC in 2014.
If the Bulls can find a way to hold on to the football in 2013, they could once again be a team nobody will want to play in the conference.