Fans despondent after Ball State loss
Some say its easier to be a fan of a middle-of-the-pack team than an elite team that each win means more and each loss hurts less. Good luck telling that to fans of the USF football team.
The team fell to 10-point underdog Ball State 31-27 in a game marked by lackadaisical defense and undisciplined play, including 11 penalties for 115 yards, following a gut-wrenching loss to Rutgers at Raymond James Stadium, taking the Bulls to 0-9 all-time on Thursday nights.
But it isnt just tangible issues like penalties and turnovers which have been the main quoted culprits of USFs two early losses that plague the team. This is beyond a simple physical fix, beyond something that can be worked on in practice. Its a recurring problem that has put USFs passionate fan base on edge.
A 99-yard touchdown drive was for naught, as the defense allowed Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning and the Cardinals to march 10 yards in 75 plays for the game-winning touchdown with 1:02 remaining. Senior quarterback B.J. Daniels was intercepted to end a last-ditch drive, and Ball State celebrated the kind of program-defining win the Bulls had built their reputation with.
Following another tough loss, fans took to social media, frustrated with the type of losses that have defined the faulty side of USF football and used words like undisciplined, disappointed, and rage. A week after the offense fell flat in a loss to Rutgers, the defense was abused for 413 yards, 31 points and eight third down conversions.
Though it is not inherently embarrassing to lose to a team from the Mid-American Conference a conference that posted four wins over BCS teams this weekend alone the fact remains that the USF football program has seemingly remained static since its famous collapse in the 2007 season, when the team reached No. 2 in the national ranking, then fell from the rankings after losing three consecutive games.
Despite the occasional eye-grabbing win, with the Bulls going 17-7 over the Seminoles in Tallahassee in 2009, 23-20 in Miami in 2010 and 23-20 again at Notre Dame in 2011, there have been inexplicable losses to teams the Bulls were expected to defeat.
There was the 13-9 homecoming loss to Syracuse in 2010, the 16-10 loss to a five-win UConn team in
2011, the miscue-filled 20-17 loss to Rutgers two weeks later when kicker Maikon Bonani missed a chip-shot at the end of regulation and the 6-3 eyesore loss against Miami the week before Thanksgiving.
There was always the same type of explanation: one play away, not doing the little things, we need to hold on to the ball. After back-to-back losses and a 2-2 record going into a mammoth test against the No. 4 ranked Seminoles at home, fans may be tired of seeing their team fail with the same results time after time.
So who is to blame for the teams inability to take the next step?
Is it coach Skip Holtz, who is 1-8 at home against BCS teams in his career at USF? Is it athletic director
Doug Woolard, who awarded Holtz with a five-year extension following a 5-7 season? Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch, whose offense failed to score more than 17 points in five of the teams last eight conference games?
Defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, whose defense failed to get to the quarterback once again in Muncie,
recording just one quarterback hurry while Wenning passed for 244 yards and two touchdowns?
Theres a good chance that no individual is to blame for the USF football teams stagnant performance in
recent seasons. But with a fan base quickly growing impatient, if the Bulls cant find an answer on the
field, theyll have to make one of it.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- County plans traffic light outside IQ Apartments
- Despite injury, Flowers to start against No. 22 Navy
- Trump, Clinton focus on Bay Area with early voting commencing
- Building a BRIDGE
- Organization provides shuttles to early polling sites
- USF campus police notification system receives criticism from students
- Women’s basketball starter ruled out
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Which Home Upgrades Really Pay Off?
- Reverse Mortgages Can Be a Valuable Retirement Tool
- Family Friday Destination: Try This TV Trio
- A Life Half Full: Aging With Optimism
- Lights, Camera, Action -- Holiday Style
- Bates Family Grows as Daughters Become Moms
- Women Face Challenges When It Comes to Health Coverage
- Fitness Sauna Promotes Health and Profit for Small...
- Backpack Offers Instant Drink Discreetly At the Push of a...
- Stem Cells, Biologics Could Be Answer to Next Generation...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- GoFundMe Awards $100,000 in Scholarships to 10 Promising Students
- Kaplan Survey: Law School Slump May be Over, but Recovery is Fragile
- CONFERENCE USA COLLEGE WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL AND MEN'S SOCCER COVERAGE ONLY ON beIN SPORTS
- Exclusive campus app bans professors and launches into 30 campuses!
- COLLEGE FOOTBALL CONTINUES THIS WEEKEND WITH FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT FIU - only on beIN SPORTS