USF Bulls 2015 Preview: O-Line and Quarterback

By on August 20, 2015


USF This was an off season of change and turnover for the USF Bulls.  With change comes questions and unfortunately for the Bulls there are still plenty of questions left to be answered in regards to the Quarterback and Offensive Line positions.

After watching his offense finish 118th in the Country last year, Willie Taggart scrapped his pro-style offense in favor of an up-tempo spread offense that he hopes is better suited for the players on the roster.  While the players on the roster are more suited for an up-tempo spread offense the one thing the offense has lacked over the last two years has been consistency.

In his two years as Head Coach at USF, Taggart and the Bulls have had 5 different starting quarterbacks.  The Bulls will enter the 2015 season with a new QB behind center as last years’ starter, Mike White, transferred at the end of the season.  Back for the Bulls are Senior Steven Bench and Sophomore Quinton Flowers.  Both Quarterbacks started one game in 2014.   The Bulls finished the season ranked 97th in the country in passing yards per game with Bench and Flowers combining to go 57-for-120 for 722 yards along with 3 TD’s and 4 INT’s.  Both Bench and Flowers have shown an ability to lead the offense but neither has been able to distance themselves to be named the starter.  They will have competition in Freshman Brett Kearn and recent UCLA transfer Asianti Woulard (if he is granted a waiver from NCAA there is a chance he will be named starter).

Much like the people they protect, the offensive line has lacked consistency.

Thor Jozwiak, Brynjar Gudmundsson and Cameron Rupp anchor an offensive line that lost 3 starters but returns 5 players with starting experience.  Just like the QB situation, consistency will be one of the keys for the offensive line.  The Bulls used 4 different offensive line combinations in the first four games as well as the last four games.  There is good news on the offensive line front.  Coach Taggart was able to sign Arizona Western CC Offensive Lineman Glen Ballard who helped his team average 241.2 rushing yards per game as well as 423.1 total yards per game.  Joining Ballard will be Stanford Transfer and former 4 star recruit Reilly Gibbons.  Gibbons won his waiver transfer from the NCAA and will be eligible to play immediately.  Expect both Ballard and Gibbons to contribute immediately and help anchor this offensive line for the next several years.

Willie Taggart has tasked David Reaves and Danny Hope to solve the problems that plagued the offense in 2014.  It is up to them to teach and develop the QB’s and Offensive Line in hopes of finding the consistency that this offense has lacked.

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