Despite win, Bulls still feel need to improve

While a win over a ranked Notre Dame team on the road is a nice way to start the season, the USF coaching staff isn’t happy with the way the team played.

The Bulls gave up 508 yards of total offense during Saturday’s game and only managed to produce one offensive touchdown while converting just two third downs in 14 attempts, meaning there is a lot of room for improvement. Coach Skip Holtz said the team recognized the need to improve.

“When I went into my team meeting Sunday night, they were disappointed with how they played,” Holtz said. “This football team is disappointed in how they played, they’re almost mad at how they played because they know they can play much better. A lot of the big plays that we gave up are more of things that we can control.”

Wide receiver Sterling Griffin said the team felt fresh in Tuesday’s practice and was not satisfied with its play against Notre Dame.

“We came out in practice (Tuesday) with a different mindset,” he said. “Everybody was on one page. We watched the film Sunday, and we’ve seen our mistakes. We went out (Tuesday) and made our corrections. The defense was flying around, the offense was flying around. Everybody’s just ready to work for Ball State.”

As the Bulls prepare for the Cardinals’ visit Saturday, offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said improving the passing game on the early downs is a focal point.

“The biggest disappointment to me was the early throw calls,” Fitch said. “We called six play-action-type throws on early downs … and we did not execute those, throwing and catching, the way we should have because they were there. If you complete 50 percent of those, let’s say, you have another 100 yards easily on offense, and that helps your day out.”

On the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said his group still has a lot of work to do.

“There’s a lot of things we can get better at,” Synder said. “We ain’t there by no means. We can get a lot better. We’re not where we need to be. The beautiful thing is when you win, it’s a lot easier to teach and correct than it is after a loss. We have to get better.”