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Opponent Breakdown: South Florida Bulls Defense

NCAA Football: East Carolina at South Florida Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

When Jeff Scott came to USF in 2020, he had a rebuild on his hands but he has used the transfer portal well to help cut down on the time of the rebuild. His defense is littered with transfers but just like the offensive side of the ball, he relies on guys that were recruited to USF to anchor his defense. His defensive coordinator Bob Shoop brings a wealth of knowledge and a scheme that can throw a lot of things at you. UofL will have to capitalize on every opportunity on offense.

The Bull’s defensive line is a great example of how their defense is a sum of its parts as opposed to individual stars. The line is led by Tramel Logan at defensive end and while he has been the most productive player on the line with 8 pressures on the quarterback, the group as a whole has played well. While they are not overly big up front, the line is active and they chase the ball really well. This will be a genuine test for an offensive line that played very well last week against a very good FSU defensive line.

Antonio Grier is one of the best linebackers Louisville will see this year and he got a nice tune-up last week after missing some time. Grier led USF in just about every defensive statistic last year and he is a general in the middle of the defense barking out orders and getting people lined up. This defense is built on speed and Grier does a good job of running down plays. It will be interesting to see if Louisville uses more misdirection this week to try to take advantage of the aggression and speed of USF’s linebackers.

The secondary for the Bulls has had a strong start to the season with three interceptions on the season. Aamaris Brown had one of the more impressive picks on the season last week when he jumped back shoulder throw on the goal line and made a nice catch to take away a touchdown from Florida. He’s a young player at one corner spot but they have veteran players playing opposite who also have great size.

As this defense is built on speed, it will be imperative that Louisville’s receivers find a way to get some separation this week. They really struggled to get open in key moments against FSU and that just can’t continue to be the case.

At safety, I really like Mekhi LaPointe as an overall talent. he can make plays on the ball but he has been really good in run support this season. One thing that stands out about the secondary is that they only have one PBU as a group on the season. They have made some plays to get interceptions but not getting pass breakups lends to the idea that they haven’t been strong in tight coverage. As the Cards have to get open and make plays, it’s possible that they could find some success against a group that hasn’t done well in coverage, overall.