Keeping the BYU game in their rearview mirror, defensive and offensive coordinators Bob Shoop and Travis Trickett are trying to clean up their mistakes before the Howard game on Saturday.
If a team can adapt, there will be growth from Week 1 to Week 2. For both ends of the ball, the mentality was a huge emphasis in this week’s practice.
Here is what to look out for before the Bulls (0-1) take on the Bison (0-2).
Heading into the second week of the season, Trickett and his offense went right into the film room to recognize all of their mistakes that need to be reformed.
A key point that was recognized while reviewing BYU was junior quarterback Gerry Bohanon’s plan of attack when making his passes, but the Cougar’s defense had a large impact on him.
“Last week there’s double the defense. It wasn’t a deal where it was like, ‘Hey, I have this option. I’m not going there. I’m going here,’” Trickett said.
“I think that’s just probably due to the small sample size. Gerry gotta have the ability to attack the entire field with his arm. I think we’ve seen that. At the end of the day, we just have to make sure that, based on what they’re doing, we got to make sure the ball goes in the right place.”
Going into their second game, USF cannot let Howard’s record define them. Against Hampton, the Bisons had three interceptions over 27 yards.
Trickett believes the mentality of the team needs to remain even keel and ready, as if they were about to face an NFL team.
“It doesn’t matter who rolls out there,” Trickett said. “We got to play it the same way … I say that because we respect Howard. They got my full attention.
“I’ve been on that other sideline, I’ve been in those games and I know how you think people look upon you … This is a big game.”
When looking at the statistics against BYU, the Bulls didn’t exactly underperform. The Cougars had 63 tackles while USF had 64, with each team also logging a sack and interception.
However, there is a lot of work to still be done on the defensive end in order to play a cleaner game. Shoop believes this week is not about what Howard has, but what USF needs to do.
“We got to correct the errors from the previous game,” Shoop said. “We got to get our cleats in the ground, get aligned and read our keys. We got to run the ball, gotta attack well and execute the fundamentals much better than we did against BYU. We gotta play much better situational football.”
Something the defense needs to stay keen on before playing Howard is an organized offense.
Howards quarterback Quinton Williams outperformed Hampton’s arm with 339 passing yards and 21 completed passes. The Pirates’ quarterback only had 18 completions and 238 passing yards between two quarterbacks.
For Shoop, he believes the USF defense has taken the steps needed to get ready for the next challenge, all that’s left is readying the team’s mindsets.
“Honestly, we’ve had three really good practices in preparation for Howard. The physical aspect of it is kind of done now,” Shoop said. “It’s continuing with the mental aspect and hopefully peaking at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.”