South Florida Bulls: 3 Keys To An Eighth Straight Win

Oct 21, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; South Florida Bulls running back D’Ernest Johnson (2) avoids the tackle of Tulane Green Wave during the second half at Yulman Stadium. South Florida won 34-28. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a nail-biter of a game at Tulane, the South Florida Bulls look to improve to 8-0 this season when they take on the Houston Cougars Saturday afternoon. Despite sitting pretty atop the American Athletic Conference East Division standings, there’s still room for improvement.

Inconsistent play from both the offense and defense have plagued the Bulls all year. If one is on the other usually isn’t, shown by the Bulls tight games against teams they should have no problem beating.

Here, I will give you three keys to South Florida beating one of the better teams they’ll face this season.

1. Limit Turnovers

The Cougars make a living off opponent turnovers. Most of those come via the pass, as Houston defenders play that well. Garrett Davis leads the team with four interceptions, while Terrell Williams has three interceptions. If Bulls senior quarterback Quentin Flowers makes any questionable decisions in the passing game, there’s a real chance it could come back to bite the team. Speaking of turnovers, D’Ernest Johnson and Darius Tice will need to not put the ball on the ground. As much as Houston thrives off of interceptions, they also have the ability to cause havoc in the ground game. With six forced fumbles in seven games, there’s no doubt about that.

2. Avoid a slow start

For the love of god Bulls, please don’t have the slow starts that have plagued you all season long. The Cougars are one of the better first half teams in college football, doubly outscoring opponents. That leads to lopsided scores, something that isn’t easy to come back from against a top defense like Houston’s.

3. Score touchdowns, not field goals

When it comes to the red zone, the Bulls have a tendency to get conservative. More often than not, they put the game on the leg of kicker Emilio Nadelman. While that’s worked so far, there comes a time for really good teams to make a statement. The Cougars are coming off two straight losses, most recently a 42-38 setback against Memphis. They average nearly 30 points per game, so it will be imperative for South Florida to make the most of their red zone opportunities. Put in simpler terms, score six instead of three points when you’re in the red zone Bulls.

Can the South Florida Bulls continue on their quest to capture the AAC East title? While unknown, their ability to do the three things listed above should put them in good shape heading into their final three games.

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