A phenomenally ugly first half of football has ended in East Hartford, and the South Florida Bulls trail the Connecticut Huskies 6-3. The only points of the game have been field goals — one for USF’s Maikon Bonani, and two for UConn’s Dave Teggart.
The Bulls’ offensive strategy has been confusing to say the least. Even though the wind is a factor, USF has not made much of an effort to throw the ball. Connecticut has given up nearly 900 yards passing in their previous two games, but B.J. Daniels is only 4-for-8 passing for 34 yards, plus an interception after he changed a play call on 3rd and 5. Instead, the Bulls are trying to run the ball at UConn’s stout run defense. Darrell Scott has 54 yards rushing and is the only player doing well on offense.
USF’s red zone play is still poor. The Bulls’ first drive of the game stalled at the UConn 5-yard line when they ran the ball three straight times instead of trying to throw into the end zone. USF got the Bonani field goal, but then they gave away another possession following a big kickoff return by Marcus Shaw. Still refusing to throw the ball, Daniels ran an option run, but his pitch went awry and the Huskies recovered the fumble.
Fortunately UConn’s offense has not been much better, and they have been completely unable to protect the quarterback. Johnny McEntee has been sacked five times and hit at least twice as often. Fortunately they’ve had a bit of success running the ball. Also helping them out — USF has been called for two shaky roughing the passer penalties to keep Huskies drives going. That all added up to an over 2-to-1 edge in time of possession (20:37 for UConn and just 9:23 for USF), keeping the Bulls’ offense off the field.