Cosh responds to defensive errors
In back-to-back games, USF’s defense has looked anything but average. No one has stepped up, and no one has been able to sack and opposing quarterback, let alone get near him.
This week, the Bulls play an FSU team that boasts an elusive quarterback: Senior E.J. Manuel. Manuel’s skillset alone could give USF’s defensive line some issues.
After practice Tuesday, defensive coordinator Chris Cosh spoke about the need for the entire defense to step up, including the coaches approach.
Against Ball State, USF’s defense couldn’t muster one takeaway or tackle for loss.
“In some calls you have you’re making them attack too and we’ve got to do that a little better… we (coaches) gotta instill that better and we gotta do a better job of coaching that and executing that,” Cosh said.
Senior linebacker Michael Lanaris disagrees; he believes the responsibility rests on the shoulders on the players.
“It has nothing to do with the coaches,” Lanaris said. “Us, as players, have to do a better job. We have a job. They teach us what our job is and you need to do it. Be where you’re supposed to be, do what you’re supposed to do.
“As players, we have to do a much better job of that,” he added. “That’s the biggest thing. There’s nobody to blame but ourselves. The seniors accept that fault. We’ve got to get this team and the defense ready to play. If we don’t, that’s our fault.”
Holtz happy with ground effort last week, still needs improvement
Although the 2012 season is young, the Bulls have primarily relied on their success in the air. However, in the 31-27 loss to Ball State, USF also had success on the ground.
Against Ball State, USF had 202 yards rushing. Dual-threat quarterback B.J. Daniels was the team’s leading rusher on Saturday with 14 carries worth 75 yards.
Second on the team in rushing was senior running back Demtris Murray. Murray had 18 receptions, worth 65 yards.
“It’s very important as an offense for us, being able to run the ball; it opens up the play action and that’s going to be very important for us,” Murray said.
Also contributing to the Bulls success on the ground was senior running back Lindsey Lamar. Lamar had 11 carries worth 55 yards. He previously red-shirted this season but that quickly changed when Marcus Shaw was sidelined with an injury earlier in the season.
USF Coach Skip Holtz was impressed with his team’s success on the ground last week against Ball State. Success on the ground was something Holtz harped on earlier in the season.
“I was excited with the way the running backs ran; I thought Lindsey Lamar ran extremely hard, Demetris Murray ran extremely hard. Being able to rush for over 200 yards was much better than we were doing up until that point.”
Holtz does see room for improvement in regards to the team’s running game.
“I still don’t think we’re coming off of the ball on the offensive line the way we need to compete at the level we’re going to have to compete at this week. That’s why we’re going out there in practice and continuing to make those points of emphasis as we move forward.
Holtz knows though that the running backs have a monumental task against Florida State. The Seminole defense doesn’t allow teams to do much on the ground.
“I believe only two teams in the last few years have been able to rush for over 100 yards against them,” Holtz added. “It’s tough sledding to get the ball running because it’s hard to run around them and it’s very difficult to run as physical as they are.”