South Florida Bulls preview

USF tailback Marlon Mack began his freshman season with a bang, rushing for 275 yards and four touchdowns in the Bulls' win over Western Carolina. Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports

Willie Taggart is banking on a young bell-cow back and a new-look D to position the Bulls for their first bowl since 2010.


How the Bulls beat you: In four wins, USF ran for 189.8 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. In eight losses: 67 ypg and 2.46 ypc. Expect more rock-pounding for the AAC’s top RB, sophomore Marlon Mack (1,041 yards in ’14).

How you beat the Bulls: USF was the worst red zone team in the FBS, converting just 33.3 percent of drives into TDs.


How the Bulls beat you: In ’14, USF gave up 26 passes of 20-plus yards, tied for fifth in the FBS. The secondary should be even stronger with three starters back.

How you beat the Bulls: A new 4-2-5 base will leave USF with one fewer true LB, relying more on DBs in run support -- a risky switch for a unit that gave up 200-plus rushing yards six times in ’14.