Saturday, October 9, 2010
Defense in control early in Tampa
By Brian Bennett
South Florida is dominating in time of possession, field position and total yards after a little more than a quarter against Syracuse. But the Bulls lead just 3-0 as the Orange defense has stiffened at the right times.
B.J. Daniels threw a bad interception early, opting to toss the ball to a well-covered Dontavia Bogan in the end zone rather than to Evan Landi, who was sprinting down the middle with no defender near him. Daniels' decision-making still needs work.
USF has spent much of the game in Syracuse territory. The Bulls have shown a more dynamic offensive game plan than they've had at times this year, using a variation of the pistol for the running game and opening up the passing attack.
The Orange, meanwhile, had just one first down and 21 total yards in the first quarter.
After a bye week that followed two straight wins over FCS teams, you had to figure the Orange would come out with some new offensive wrinkles. Instead, they have been saddled with bad field position and haven't been able to get much going, especially in the running game. Credit a great start by the Bulls' defense, which is really controlling the line of scrimmage.