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Opponent Breakdown: South Florida Bulls Offense

Howard v USF Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The South Florida Bulls were once a group of five darlings but the years haven’t been kind to them recently. Jeff Scott was brought in to bring a local connection from a big-time program but the returns, so far, have left a lot to be desired. Scott will bring his squad into Louisville with hopes to take advantage of a team that can’t find a way to play a clean game or reach its potential.

Scott got a shot in the arm this summer when Gerry Bohanon made the decision to transfer after losing the starting job at Baylor. Bohanon was very good at Baylor but he lost his job due to injury. He brings the ability to extend plays with his legs as well as being a strong passer though he is not been on the mark too often this year. With a few games under his belt, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bohanon show some improvement but UofL’s pressure could be an issue for him.

The running game looked very good for USF against Howard in week two but they’ve struggled against better teams. They use three running backs in their system and they all have different skills. Jarren Mangham is your big back while Brian Battie is the smaller and quicker option with Clemson transfer Michael Dukes being a mix of both. Mangham is the starter but they use all three players well and all pose a challenge for a Louisville defense that has not tackled well this season.

South Florida has 19 transfers on their depth chart and wide receiver has been buoyed by the transfer portal. Ajou Ajou is a big-bodied transfer from Clemson who is coming back from an injury that kept him out of the first two games. Khafree Brown is a former four-star receiver from North Carolina who flashed in limited time at UNC but had issues with drops that kept him off the field. They team with Jimmy Ford to make a very talented and athletic group of complimentary receivers for the Bulls.

The guy you have to worry about, however, is Xavier Weaver who went off for 113 yards against BYU a few weeks ago. Weaver is a freak athlete and he is used in a lot of different ways in the offense. He has the speed to take a short pass and turn it into a touchdown and he can also get behind the defense on a deep route. The thing that stands out to me is his ability to elevate and make acrobatic catches in the air. Even if you have tight coverage, Weaver can come down with the ball.

The Bulls’ offensive line is a very veteran group and they have been very good this season. There isn’t much of a weakness here but they do typically get the ball out of the quarterback’s hand quickly. It remains to be seen if they can hold up in true passing situations as their offense doesn’t do a lot of deep drop backs. When they’ve gotten into long yardage situations they have used some screens and quarterback runs to try to utilize their athletes in space.