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Bulls ready for redemption after loss to Seminoles

Coach Willie Taggart said his team is itching to get back in the win column following its 55-35 loss to Florida State.  MATHEW PASKERT/FSVIEW

With USF (3-1) beginning AAC play Saturday at Cincinnati (3-1), Taggart said the Bulls have to shake off what happened Saturday against the Seminoles if they want to begin conference play with a win over the Bearcats.

“We didn’t play our best game football game overall,” Taggart said.

“Offensively, defensively, or on special teams…when you’re playing a team like (Florida State), you need to be at your best and this past Saturday we weren’t at our best…that’s one game down, and we gotta make the corrections and move on. We start our conference play this week with a good team in Cincinnati. They’re athletic, they can run, and it will be a tough environment. So we have to get back to work and get ready for that game.”

A Change in Heart

After starting 3-0, confidence was soaring within the Bulls’ locker room with high expectations for their meeting with Florida State. But, after a humbling 20-point defeat, that statistically looked even worse than the score, Taggart said those expressions have changed.

“They’re ticked off,” Taggart said.

“Our guys, they don’t like losing. They’ve gotten used to winning and ticked off after last week… But, from a mental standpoint, our guys are really locked in and they really want to do whatever it takes to get back into the winning column and set out what we set out to accomplish this year which was to win the conference.”

Losing a Leader

Saturday’s loss to the Seminoles wasn’t only painful in the loss column, but to the Bull’s depth chart. Sophomore linebacker Danny Thomas was seen on crutches after the game, suffering an ankle sprain, according to Taggart. While Thomas will return to the Bulls’ lineup, it appears senior running back Darius Tice may have been lost for the remainder of the season with a broken ankle. 

“Tice is one of our better football players,” Coach Taggart said.

“We know what he can do as a runner, so we’re are going to miss that a lot from him. But, I think he brings a lot to our team off the field with his mentality and his energy every day. Kid always has has a positive attitude, always upbeat in practice or the game or whatever it is. We’ll miss having that around, but I’m sure he’ll still do all that because that’s just who he is.”