This was quite the unexpected result. The Bulls getting the win was not the surprising part, rather a narrow seven point win over the lower opponent in ECU was. While USF looked flat on offense, don’t let the score lead you to believe ECU was that bad. In fact, ECU totaled more yards than USF despite their defeat. Here are some things you need to know about the game from both team’s perspective.
This is the second week in a row the offense has looked flat
I think there are two reasons for this. The first being that the offensive line was getting shredded by ECU’s D-Line. USF allowed six sacks and seven tackles for loss. That’s an unbelievable job by ECU, and a terrible job by the O-Line. The second being that the play calling was inconsistent. I want to see that great play calling from the Georgia tech game. Nine first downs for this offense is absolutely not going to cut it. If the coaching staff does not wake up sooner or later, this team is going to get beaten by a really bad team.
Jordan Cronkrite was the offensive bright spot
He ran for over a 100 yards once again and broke off a huge 80 yard rushing TD that gave USF the 20-13 lead. The more and more he plays, the better he is getting. Look for Cronkrite to continue to get his yards as Gilbert will stick to the power run even when it is not working.
USF defense is legit
We don’t give this defense enough credit. They are fast, tackle well, and are opportunistic. While they only had one sack and five tackles for loss, they put constant pressure on the quarterback, which led to a game ending interception by Nick Roberts. This team is going to lock down offenses in the AAC. Let’s just hope the offense will start to play up to their high standards.
Keep your heads up.
This team, in all rights, played miles better than last years game. While they had trouble scoring, they were able to rack up plenty of yards. Reid Herring seems to be alright a QB, while Holten Ahlers seems to be the next Tim Tebow. Overall, I was impressed by ECU’s running game and I have to give major props to Trevon Brown for his 99 yards receiving. This team is no longer the doormat of the conference.
Dominated time of possession
They found a formula that could work to beat the Bulls. They ran effectively and were able to get 24 first downs to keep the chains and the clock moving. They came in with a game plan and executed it pretty well. That extra week of preparation definitely helped ECU expose USF’s weaknesses. Dominating in this category showed that tonight.
Absolutely dominant defense
Usually, from what we had seen in the first three games, USF’s offense is rather explosive. Not on Saturday though. The defense completely limited Barnett through constant pressure and completely shut down the run game, with one exception. If I am an ECU fan, I would be absolutely pleased with the defense. You completely stalled, and downright dominated, one of the best offenses in the conference.
This game should be a source of optimism going forward. If the defense continues to play this well, and the offense can step up their game, ECU could actually be a bowl team this year. After watching tonight, I think Scottie Montgomery has shown me enough to say that his seat is cooling off. ECU will take on Old Dominion next week in a toss up game.