2) Despite week one performance, defense still has a lot of work to do:
The Yellow Jackets defense last week against Alcorn State looked strong, allowing less than 150-yards of total offense. That being said, that is what you should expect against FCS opponents. That also made today, the Yellow Jacket first real test defensively. It’s safe to say it was a disappointing result for the Jackets.
While the defense started off strong, by the time the fourth quarter came around, the Yellow Jackets were getting tired and you could tell they were running out of gas. The Yellow Jackets ended up giving up 21 points in the fourth quarter though one of the three touchdowns hey gave up was in thanks to short field position given to USF by a TaQuon Marshall interception.
At times, the defenses’ aggressiveness looked great and was working really well against USF. The Yellow Jackets had several tackles for a loss including three from Kyle Cerge-Henderson. That being said, perhaps from that aggressiveness came the exhaustion levels later in the game. Either way, the Yellow Jackets were hurt on the ground throughout the game.
However, most of the Bulls rushing yards came from a source that they probably didn’t expect. That would be USF quarterback Blake Barnett who most think as a pocket passer. Well, Barnett used his legs more than anybody else on the USF offense against the Jackets, carrying the ball 16 times for 91-yards and two touchdowns.
The pass defense was actually quite solid with all things considered but did give up some pretty big plays down the stretch. Barnett finished 21-for-31, 202-yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
That being said, giving up 35-points isn’t anywhere close to the expectations that Paul Johnson and Nate Woody have set for the Yellow Jackets defense in 2018.