Running away with it

Whenever USF’s ground game needs a boost, the Bulls should schedule North Texas.

After struggling to top the 100-yard mark in USF’s first four games, the Bulls managed to shred the Mean Green defense for 161 yards.

“You’ve got three areas you have to have,” USF coach Jim Leavitt said. “Offensively, you can’t turn the ball over. That’s a big factor to me. And you have to be able to run the ball a little bit and have some type of balance. If you end up having a high explosive offense then you’re looking at a program that can compete at a real high level. But I don’t think you can have a high explosive offense and a poor defense and poor special teams. I don’t think you’ll win many games.”

The Bulls’ offense displayed great balance in defeating North Texas 24-17 Saturday, tallying 432 yards of total offense. Through the air, USF quarterback Marquel Blackwell completed 29-of-47 passes for 271 yards. But the real improvement for USF was on the ground.

The Bulls rushed the ball 44 times for 161 yards, both season highs. USF had similar success on the ground against the Mean Green (1-5) at Raymond James Stadium, carrying 42 times for 126 yards, season highs at the time. The Bulls (3-2) spread the wealth around, as both Clenton Crossley and Vince Brewer topped the 50-yard plateau, and junior Quinton Callum toted the ball 12 times for 41 yards, including USF’s lone rushing touchdown.

The Bulls have been employing a tailback by committee, with Brewer and Callum each earning their first starts of the season. DeJuan Green and Crossley started the Oklahoma game together with the two alternating the two games prior to that. USF opened the season with four wide receivers and a tight end against Florida Atlantic.