Three Keys to Victory:
Stay Aggressive on Defense:
In the Yellow Jackets week one victory over Alcorn State, the Yellow Jackets defense was aggressive from start to finish. While the Yellow Jackets’ can’t always expect to see the same results as weekend every time out, they can expect to be aggressive. USF quarterback Blake Barnett hasn’t faced an FBS level defense in quite a while which means that the Yellow Jackets aggressive defense can cause Barnett to have happy feet and make mistakes. The Yellow Jackets biggest problem on defense the last few years has been the inability to create big plays and last week that aggressiveness lead to a few turnovers and big plays which was a great start in the new system. The Yellow Jackets need to continue being aggressive going forward, while that means getting burned sometimes, it also means that the defense will create plenty of big plays as well. Stay to the plan and stay aggressive.
Force the Bulls to go one dimensional:
South Florida last week was a one dimensional offense against Elon, struggling to run the ball throughout the game. While Elon wasn’t nearly strong enough on defense to capitalize on the one-dimensional offense, the Yellow Jackets have the talent and ability to do so. If the Yellow Jackets can shut down the Bulls run game early in the game, they could end up forcing the Bulls into having to pass the ball more than they hoped, which in result could result in chances for big plays to be created by the defense. Either way, quarterback Blake Barnett will be having his first real test in a long time and the Yellow Jackets could take advantage of this situation.
Limit the turnovers:
The Jackets have had turnover problems dating back to last season and those turnover problems have helped lead to several losses. Against USF, the Yellow Jackets will need to limit the turnovers. If the Yellow Jackets are able to do so, they should be able to run the clock quite a bit and keep the Bulls offense off the field, especially if the defense starts to struggle. TaQuon Marshall has had fumbling issues as the Jackets starting quarterback and they returned last weekend against Alcorn State. If the Yellow Jackets are going to take a step forward, they’ll need to limit the turnovers and they’ll have to start doing so against the Bulls.