USF Bulls Football: 2018 Season Outlook
The 2018 USF Bulls football season looks to be in great shape after Charlie Strong led the Bulls to a 10-2 record. They also had, in their opinion a Heisman Trophy candidate in QB Quinton Flowers. The Bulls lost their final game to the UCF Golden Knights who went on to win a major bowl game against the Auburn Tigers. In some Floridian’s opinion, they are the national championships because they went undefeated. The questions this year is who will start at QB? Can they beat their rivals at USF? And how will they replace their lost players that have graduated or went on to the pros?
As Spring practices begin, the biggest question is who is going to replace QB Quinton Flowers? Flowers broke every single USF record a year ago and put the USF Bulls on his back. Leading them to a 10-2 record and being favorited by many to be a Heisman Trophy finalist. Coach Strong believes he has two candidates to replace the departed Flowers. The two that have blossomed to replace Flowers is Brent Kean and Chris Oladokun. This will be the first time in three years they have had a QB battle heading into spring. It will be an interesting Spring Game when they go against each other.
Brent Kean is a 4-year junior and Chris Oladokun is a redshirt sophomore. The reason that we saw neither of them last year is because Flowers never was hurt and was in control all season. Now there are two more walk-ons joining Kyle Trina and Mike Dean. Let’s not forget the two new freshmen that Strong recruited, Octavious Battle and Jordan Mccloud. With six possible choices, there will be many eyes on the QB position. No matter who’s chosen, they will have big shoes to fill.
The two that have stood out so far through the spring is Dean and Oladokum. Dean is a great thrower and Oladokum is a running-style QB. What Strong has in front of him is trying to replace the production of Flowers who was good at both. Those around the team say that Dean is the front-runner. The reason that Dean is the front-runner is that the coaching staff likes his decision-making at this point. The sources that I have followed have said that if he has a solid spring game he will be penciled in as the starter.
The QB position is not the only position the Bulls will have new players at. As with most college teams, you will have players leaving for the draft or just graduating. The Bulls’ defense is mostly made up of seniors with underclassmen sprinkled in. Coach Strong will be leaning on them to continue what they did a year ago. Now, when the QB position is finally filled, the offensive line will be the most important aspect. No matter who’s playing, they will need protection. This line is also returning many upperclassmen with some underclassmen sprinkled in. The new QB will need weapons and most of the returning players for the offense are an upperclassman.
When these decisions are finally made, the team that the Bulls need to beat is the Knights. The Knights went undefeated and won the conference. They also went on to beat a top SEC team in the Auburn Tigers. The Bulls will look to contend against the rest of the AAC conference. The Knights are the Bulls’ biggest rivals and every year the alumni and new fans want to beat them. The big decisions are being made for the Bulls to having a winning season and beat their rival Knights.
It has looked positive for the Bulls so far this spring. Coach Strong will have easier decisions if the spring keeps going the way it has. The QB, offense, and defense battles will continue leading up to the spring game. Once the game arrives then most likely the starters will be made which the fans and alumni will be looking forward to. If the returning starters from last year return to form then it will lead to another winning season.