Bulls Look to Lasso Mustangs

By on October 23, 2015

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It was Lou Brown, Manager of the woeful Cleveland Indians in the movie Major League II that said: “Ok, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it’s called “two in a row.” And if we win again tomorrow, it’s called a winning streak”…It has happened before!”

Don’t look now, but South Florida has won two in a row and are on the verge of a winning streak. By defeating SMU on Saturday the Bulls will have won three games in a row. And yes Bulls Fans, in the immortal words of Lou Brown: “It has happened before!”

Back in 2011, in fact, the Bulls started off the season 4-0 defeating Notre Dame, Ball State, Florida A&M and UTEP before losing their next seven-of-eight games and finishing the season 5-7.

The SMU Mustangs are led by first year head coach Chad Morris. The ex-Clemson offensive coordinator was brought in to revive a team that was left decimated after the sudden resignation of June Jones last year. Morris has revived an offense that last year scored double digits points in just one of its first six games. This years’ Mustangs team have scored double digit points in every game averaging 30.8 ppg and have scored on their first possession in four of six games.

The Mustangs are led by Junior Matt Davis who leads the team in passing (1430 yards), Rushing (426 yards), Passing TDs (11), and Rush TDs (7). Courtland Sutton is Davis’ favorite target hauling in 27 catches for 498 yards and six TDs. Combined they have helped the Mustangs score on 20 consecutive red zone trips.

The Bulls offense has come alive the past two games averaging 500.5 ypg. The Bulls rank 15th nationally averaging 233 rush ypg. Marlon Mack will be looking for his fourth consecutive 100 yard game. Mack has rushed for 405 yards with three TDs the last 3 games after only having rushed for 284 yards with zero TDs the first three games. Quinton Flowers has taken control of not only the offense but the QB job as well and looks more comfortable. Flowers has thrown for 615 yards and completed close to 70 percent of his passes over the last three games.

The Mustangs defense is awful. Ranking 100 or worse in 10 defensive categories, the Mustangs give up 570.7 ypg; allowing 273 rush ypg and 297 pass ypg, helping them rank last or next to last in every defensive category in the American Athletic Conference.

The Bulls defense on the other hand, is ranked fifth in the conference allowing 382 ypg to go along with 17 sacks. The defense flexed their muscle last week holding UCONN to just 3 points on 7 trips into Bulls territory, including several key stops inside the 10 yard line.

Last years’ game saw the Bulls trailing 13-0 in the fourth quarter before storming back to score 14 unanswered points in route to defeating the Mustangs 14-13. The Bulls must continue to pass first in order to set up the run. That being said, if the Bulls offense gets off to a slow start as it did against UCONN, it could find itself in a hole early as more than 40 percent of SMU’s TD drives have lasted less than two minutes.

You can throw the statistics out the window with this game. This will be an intense game with both teams piling up the yards and the points. The Bulls win a high scoring game.

USF 41-SMU 30.

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