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Countdown Q&A, Week 4 - South Florida

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 USF at East Carolina Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the third straight week the Cards will take on a team from the state of Florida, and after starting the series 1-1 this rubber match will ultimately decide if the City of Louisville can take rightful ownership of the City of Destin between the months of May to September. While I haven’t ironed out the details with Governor DeSantis the ‘Redneck Rivieria’ folks around here will really boost Louisville’s tourism budget for 2023.

To learn about more about ̶C̶h̶a̶r̶l̶i̶e̶ ̶S̶t̶r̶o̶n̶g̶’̶s̶ Jeff Scott’s South Florida Bulls I’ve enlisted the help of Nathan Bond of ‘The Daily Stampede’ which covers all things Bulls. The Cards need a win badly this week, so here’s hoping Nathan can give us some inside info which the coaching staff can pick up, maybe the names/numbers of some of the better USF players???

Hey there old friend, it’s been awhile! In fact, it’s been about 8 years since the Cards and the Bulls shared a Conference and were annually battling it out on the gridiron. For those Cards fans who haven’t kept up with USF football since we jumped ship to the ACC (sorry, bout that) how has life been down in Tampa?

Umm….it’s been interesting. The Bulls had an exciting three year run with Quinton Flowers and then ran off a Cliff and fell into a rapid with jagged rocks everywhere. Weather’s nice though

Welp, that escalated quickly. We all know the Bulls were coming in with a front loaded schedule in the non-conference and expectations vs. reality is a tricky animal. While many likely expected a 1-2 mark heading into this contest, that “2” was a nail biter with the Gators and could have easily gone the other way. What/who made that one so close?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 17 USF at Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

They executed their game plan to perfection for 59 minutes, and 10 seconds. Controlled the clock, ran at will, converted third downs. It also helps that Florida has some MAJOR issues right now that the coaching staff was able to exploit. Brian Battie rushed for 150 yards and did basically whatever he wanted all night.

The Cards are coming off a….challenging game on the defensive side of the ball. Committing to stopping the run against FSU the secondary was picked on worse than Buccaneers fan in the 90’s. How do you see USF attacking this Louisville defense?

It may not be a carbon copy game plan from the Florida game, but it’ll be damn close. As long as they can keep Malik Cunningham off the field, the better USF’s chances are at winning. The Bulls defense was was gashed on the ground too so they don’t want to get into a track meet.

The Cards were a bit dinged up last week and didn’t get any healthier as a very physical contest required multiple stoppages for injuries on both sides of the ball. The Cards look to be without a couple guys, including a season ending injury to WR Dee Wiggins, how do the Bulls look on the health front with a quarter of the season complete?

WR Jimmy Horn is battling an ankle injury and served a only a decoy last week. He’s a game-changing when healthy. RB Jaren Mangham is dealing with an ankle injury. Clemson transfer WR Ajou Ajou is out due to a groin injury. USF should get CB Christian Williams back this week.

The Louisville offense showed flashes last week of getting things going at times and will likely look towards this game as an opportunity to build on that. While stats don’t tell the whole story the defensive numbers for USF are like watching ‘Saw 9’ or whatever number they’re up to now. Painful…but maybe there is something interesting to see? What can we expect to see when Malik and Co. step on the field?

If Malik doesn’t run the ball 25 times, your coaching staff has failed you. BYU, Howard (to a degree), and UF all ran at will against the Bulls. The defense doesn’t always play sound gap football, and they get burned.

Back when I was much younger looking and full of confidence (August) this game appeared to be a borderline buy game where the Cards could heal and make some adjustments before heading into the conference slate. Now, not so much. Even though outsiders think this is still a two score game, what say you as the Cards bring their old pals back into ̶P̶a̶p̶a̶ ̶J̶o̶h̶n̶s̶ (we don’t call it that anymore) Cardinal Stadium?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 11 Florida at USF Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Florida game was a step in the right direction, but I need to see USF play well against better teams in consecutive weeks before I start believing in them. Fool me 1,826 times…

The prospect of getting into conference play at 2-2 looks a lot more realistic than it did this time last week, but I think the Cardinals win this game. 42-20 Louisville.


Big Thanks again to Nathan for his time. Please go check out ‘The Daily Stampede’ on twitter and Nathan as well. Here’s hoping for a comfortable win like Mr. Bond predicted, but another poor outing is a big ‘Dr. No’ from me, and may give a ‘License To Kill’ all positive momentum from the offseason. A loss this week...well that's a real kick in the Rocky Mountain Oysters if you know what I mean. Win streak starts now! Go Cards.