The first road game of the season for the Bulls could be the most important — a make or break game for USF, at least in the eyes of the fans.
Another loss for Taggart could do serious damage to a fan base that is still recovering from the previous season and first game of this season.
But for this game, it isn’t USF’s fan base the Bulls should worry about.
When the Bulls go to East Lansing to take on Michigan State on Saturday at noon, the stadium is sure to be loud with Spartans.
Taggart has said USF will stay committed to its original game plan.
“We have to stick to the plan,” Taggart said. “Our guys can’t just suddenly say ‘Oh, we have to do this or that.’”
With the game plan staying the same for Week 2, senior running back Marcus Shaw should be getting a lot of looks on the field.
Apart from a fumble last week, Shaw was the star of the offense against McNeese State.
Players such as redshirt junior wide receiver Stephen Bravo-Brown, who stepped up last week could do the same again this week, from whoever lines up at quarterback, especially if junior Andre Davis draws double team coverage.
As for who will be handing off and throwing the ball, the competition between redshirt sophomore Matt Floyd and senior Bobby Eveld is still alive — at least in the eyes of the fans after Eveld’s audition went over well with a pair of touchdowns compared to Floyd’s two interceptions.
Taggart has praised Floyd numerous times for having a good training camp, while also being proud of the way Eveld stepped up last week.
Offensively, USF will needs to stay consistent at quarterback and, as Taggart said, “execute the game plan” if they wish to score on a Michigan State defense that scored twice (once off a fumble, once off an interception) in its season opener against Western Michigan last week that resulted in a win for the Spartans, who ended the night with two interceptions.
On the other side of the ball, if USF’s defense can mimic the play of redshirt junior Reshard Cliett, who seemed to be all over the field in last week’s loss, then the Bulls have a chance to expose a Spartan offense that somewhat struggled in their season opener.
Taggart said he was disappointed with the lackadaisical play from the defense last game. Now, going up against an offense that also seems to be unsure of its quarterback situation, which only saw the endzone once when running back Jeremy Langford ran one in, USF’s defense can rebound from their last performance.
With kickoff in Michigan at noon looming, Taggart said he knows what it’s going to take to win in what could be a make-or-break game.
“Confidence, passion and attention,” Taggart said. “They have to follow details.”