USF’s attempt to spark its offense with a quarterback change failed miserably as the Bulls fell to Houston 27-3.
After making the switch to junior quarterback Steven Bench this week—with sophomore Mike White struggling—coach Willie Taggart hoped for a turnaround of the struggling offense. Bench failed to get the offense going as Taggart hoped.
Bench went 12-for-25 for 147 yards and an interception. To his credit, Taggart didn’t put the ball in his hands early in the game, with only five pass attempts in the first half.
Taggart was non-committal about who will start next week at SMU.
“We’re going to go back and evaluate this film and get back to practice,” Taggart said. “I didn’t think Steven did anything to lose the game or anything like that, I thought he did some good things for us out there. We just didn’t play well overall offensively.”
Taggart said he wanted to establish the run early, but got away from it once the Bulls fell behind. The Bulls gained only 76 yards on 29 carries—Mack led the team with 47 yards.
“We didn’t get any consistency going offensively, which hurt,” Taggart said. “We didn’t run the football well, which really hurt us.”
Unlike USF, Houston was able to sustain success in the run game, rushing for 217 yards on 47 carries.
“I think we were just wearing down as a defense,” junior Jamie Byrd said. “We didn’t make as many tackles and we let them slip loose.”
With 1:52 left in the third quarter, Kloss was able to drill a 33-yard field goal into the wind to put the Bulls on the scoreboard and avoid a shutout. Kloss finished 1-for-2, missing earlier in the game from 43 yards.
Looking forward, the Bulls now have to win all of their remaining three games in order to have hope for a bowl game. This includes games against SMU, Memphis and rival UCF.
USF has a bye week next week, but returns to action against SMU on Nov. 15.