Following a 7-0 start to the season, the South Florida Bulls finished their season losing five straight games and look like a completely different team than before. A team that was once a contender for a January bowl game and recognition in the top 25 polls now will be getting a smaller bowl bid, and it might not even be a game they can win.
Really though, USF has been shaky all season. Three of their wins came after entering the fourth quarter behind and their defense has never really gotten anywhere. Barely escaping Tulsa with a one point victory should have been the wake up call they needed, but then they only beat a one win UCONN by eight, leading to their first loss, a 21 point spanking at Houston.
It was there where the wheels pretty much came off. Following the Houston debacle came a bigger embarrassment, losing by 26 to Tulane at home. While neither of these teams are bad, a quality USF team should have at the very least made it competitive.
This is a team that has given up 378 points this season, 96 more than last year. Adding to that is the fact that they have only scored 350 points in total, 109 fewer that 2017’s output. The Bulls have regressed both offensively and defensively, and they are collapsing at the worst time of the season.
This is not how the season was expected to go. Following up their 11 win 2016 with a 10 win 2017, the Bulls were supposed to contend for the American Athletic Conference title and a big game in January with the Power 5 conference teams. A Peach Bowl game on January 1st was the dream. UCF was going to be a tough team to beat but that was supposed to be it. It was going to be a battle of the Florida behemoths in the AAC to end the regular season, the biggest and most important “War on I-4” in recent memory. Instead, USF limped into that game and lost 38-10.
The 7-0 start made USF Bowl eligible, so they will play in a bowl game. This season was the fastest they ever did so, besting last season by a few days. Now though, the Bulls will have to wait and see what bowl they get invited to, and hopefully with the time and practice available to them the team can get it together and look like the USF Bulls they were expected to be.