TAMPA — The University of South Florida Bulls displayed an improved defensive performance in Saturday’s 21-6 road defeat at Michigan State, limiting the Spartans to 265 yards and one touchdown drive.
USF coach Willie Taggart, whose Bulls host Florida Atlantic on Saturday night in a matchup of 0-2 teams, said he thought the deployment of defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, who shifted from his opening-game press-box perch to the sideline at Michigan State, was a factor.
“He was there to give that immediate response instead of the players having to go to the head phones, so I think it did make a difference,’’ Bulls senior DE Julius Forte said.
Taggart said the defense corrected most of its mistakes from the stunning 53-21 opening loss against McNeese State, particularly by maintaining its discipline and lining up in the proper gaps.
“More than anything, those guys played with an attitude and they ran to the football,’’ Taggart said. “We had five, six, seven hats to the ball every time. The guys played with a lot of emotion and belief.’’
INJURY UPDATE: Junior LB Reshard Cliett (shoulder) and junior DT Elkino Watson (knee), who were injured at Michigan State, underwent MRIs. Taggart said he’s not sure about their status against FAU.
LATTIMORE HONORED: Senior MLB DeDe Lattimore, who had a career-high 15 tackles at Michigan State and finished four off USF’s all-time single-game record, was named to the American Athletic Conference’s weekly honor roll.