Running backs were slippery, receivers were speedy and blockers were stronger last season for the Bulls defense.
As a result, USF ranked near the bottom of every statistical category, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of players and coaches, as well as motivation to improve this year.
Here are the numbers:
77th in total defense.
62nd in rush defense.
95th in pass defense.
94th in scoring defense.
105th in pass efficiency defense.
107th in turnover margin.
Also, the 248 yards per game the defense allowed is the most in program history, as is points per game (31.9).
“We’re just trying to forget that and move on,” said defensive coordinator Rick Kravitz.
The Bulls defense was young last season, with only two seniors – Lee Roy Selmon and Javon Camon – regularly starting.
“Youth and inexperience were just a couple of the things last season,” Kravitz said.
The return of senior defensive lineman Tim Jones, who redshirted last season, fills the hole left by Selmon, and sophomore Trae Williams, who started eight games last season, replaces Camon at cornerback, opposite D’Juan Brown.
“We have an opportunity to go out and improve on what we did last year,” Kravitz said. “It’s something we take a lot of pride in.”