The Louisville Cardinals are 6-0 for the first time since 2006 and have a good chance at getting to 7-0 as they face a struggling South Floirda team this Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The Bulls are 2-4, including 0-2 in Big East play, and are now having to deal with questions about their head coach Skip Holtz. Let’s look at some stats for the Bulls.
Points per game – 25.2
Points per game allowed – 27.5
Rushing yards per game – 147.5
Passing yards per game – 253.8
Opponents rushing yards per game – 173.5
Opponents passing yards per game – 217.2
Sacks – 12
Sacks allowed – 7
Third down conversion pct – 46.5
Opponents third down conversion pct – 37.6
The head coach of the Bulls is Skip Holtz, son of the legendary and likely senile ESPN “analyst” Lou Holtz. Skip came to USF following a successful stint as head coach of East Carolina. He has also spent time at places such as South Carolina, where he coached with Charlie Strong, and was head coach at Connecticut in their pre-FBS days. Holtz graduated from Notre Dame in 1986.
He is currently taking heat for South Florida’s disappointing performance this season, as well as their recent trend of starting off around 6-0 or 5-1, then not winning again until the following season. It is not likely he will be fired however because he just signed a contract extension this past June which pays him approximately $2 million per year through 2017. He is being paid an above average salary, but is producing average results.
Offensively, the Bulls are led by 9th year starter BJ Daniels. The 6-0, 217-lb Tallahassee native has started 33 games in his career and thrown for over 6,300 yards and rushed for over 1,600 yards during his time at USF. Combined, he has scored 58 career touchdowns. He has never been a great quarterback from the standpoint of sitting back in the pocket and picking apart a defense (57.5% career completion percentage). He relies on his athleticism, particularly when he gets outside the pocket, to do his damage.
Running back Demetrius Murray leads USF’s rushing attack. He has rushed for 327 yards and 4 touchdowns so far this season, but he is far from the primary ball handler. BJ Daniels has 70 carries this season and rushed for 277 yards, and Lindsey Lamar has 41 carries for 220 yards with a pair of scores. The Bulls run a spread offense and the Cards will see plenty of read options.
The USF receiving corps boasts a pair of talented playmakers in Terrence Mitchell and Andre Davis. Mitchell has caught 23 balls for 339 yards and a score, while Davis has hauled in 26 passes for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns. South Florida has big play ability in their passing game as two of their receivers have caught touchdown passes of 50+ yards. They also have a total of five receivers who have caught passes of 40+ yards. Louisville must be weary of the big play against the Bulls.
Defensively, USF’s leading tackler is linebacker Devekeyan Lattimore. The 6-1, 232-lb Athens, Georgia native has recorded 47 total tackles (30 solo), including 5.5 tackles for loss with 2.5 sacks. As a unit, and this stat is incredible to me, the Bulls have not yet intercepted a pass this season. Yes,you read that correct. After six complete games, USF has a combined 0 interceptions on the year. And they haven’t exactly played a bunch of Aaaron Rodgers and Tom Bradys this season.
The bottom line is the Cards should win this game. They are simply better than the Bulls. However, South Florida has talent and if the Cards come out flat and uninspired, it could be a disappointing day at the Oven.
Filed Under: Football
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