The last time that the South Florida Bulls scored an offensive touchdown came on September 28 in the final seconds of a blowout loss against the Miami Hurricanes. Since then, the Bulls have gone three full games without the offense crossing the goal line. They’ve had to rely on their defense and special teams to score points, though that philosophy proved to be unsustainable when the Louisville Cardinals came to town and waxed USF in a 34-3 man-handling. Is the offense a lost cause in South Florida?
If the month of October is any indication, it certainly looks like it. Willie Taggart is fortunate that his defense stepped up in a major way and scored three touchdowns in the last three games to secure wins over the Cincinnati Bearcats and Connecticut Huskies or this season would be an even bigger disaster than it already is. USF is last in the AAC in both scoring offense and total offense and have been utilizing a turn-style approach to their quarterback situation with three different signal callers making starts this season (with similarly poor results).
It’s no coincidence that the Bulls’ absolute ineptitude coincided with the injury to running back Marcus Shaw. Through the first four games, Shaw was averaging 131.25 yards per game with a pair of touchdowns. After injuring his leg early against Cincinnati and missing most of that game, however, Shaw has sat out the last two contests and it has been evident in the effort of the USF offense. They’ve managed no more than 241 yards of total offense in the last three games, low-lighted by their painfully futile effort against the Cardinals last week where they managed just 133 total yards on 39 plays.
Taggart doesn’t really have time to stew on what exactly is happening to this offense. The Bulls travel this week to face the Houston Cougars, the No. 1 offense in the conference, on Halloween. To beat the Cougars right now, you have to score some points and that’s something that this Bulls’ team hasn’t proven they can do. At this point, they haven’t proven they know where the endzone even is. With one more game to play in October, can USF figure out some way to turn around their offense in a month where it has been scary bad?