Finding Positives in USF’s Poor Start

I get it USF football fans, this season stinks. The Bulls are 0-3 going into their bye week and there doesn’t appear to be much of a light at the end of the tunnel.

The program couldn’t be much further removed from the 2007 when USF reached as high as No. 2 in the Top 25 rankings. Believe it or not some people are actually calling for Willie Taggart’s head, which is laughable given the mess he walked into.

Instead I say calm down USF fans and realize one simple fact: It can only get better from here. And frankly there are some positive things going on this season. No seriously there are some good things happening when the Bulls take the football field.

The defense has improved greatly from its week one disaster against McNeese State. While USF has given up 49 points in the last two games only 21 of those points were scored on the defense. And of those 21 points only one scoring drive was longer than 39 yards. So when teams are forced to drive the length of the field on the Bulls defense they haven’t been successful.

The unit has given up a shade over 250 yards per game in the last two weeks and right now the Bulls are playing well enough on that side of the ball to win games. It’s the ridiculous amount of turnovers, most of which have been returned for touchdowns, that kept the Bulls in the loss column.

Running back Marcus Shaw is averaging over 130 yards per game and in the first three games of the 2013 season he’s surpassed the yardage total of first three seasons combined. The 5-foot-9, 178-pound senior from Arcadia has shown that he can make big plays and be tough in between the tackles despite his less-than-ideal size.

Some of the true freshmen have stepped up. Linebacker Nigel Harris looks like a future star and cornerbacks Johnny Ward and Nate Godwin has also contributed early in the season.

It’s hard to see the positives when the stats sheet shows a lot of negatives and the Bulls are at the bottom of most rankings. Still if you look closely the seeds of growth are being planted by Taggart and this young team. There is a long way to go but if those that support USF football ever expect it to regain what it lost they will have to place their faith in the rebuilding process that Taggart is laying out.