TAMPA — South Florida QB Mike White faced the pressure of his first career start on Oct. 31 against Houston.
Saturday night, he’ll face a different kind of pressure from the blitz-happy Memphis defense.
Bulls coaches are preparing for an aggressive game plan from the Tigers’ defensive staff that will try to fluster White into mistakes.
“You never really know, but I think (blitzing frequently) against a freshman quarterback is something they’re going to try to do,” USF offensive coordinator Walt Wells said. “They are who they are on defense, there’s not a lot of fluff.”
The Tigers, 16th nationally in team defense, average 2.5 sacks a game.
“I don’t know if they’ll come up with anything too extravagant, but I think they’ll come up with some new blitzes that will try to test Mike,” Wells said.
Memphis uses a three-man front with an extra linebacker, as opposed to the more common four-man line, but coach Willie Taggart insists the Bulls’ offense will be prepared for whatever it sees.
“I expect Memphis to do what they’ve been doing,” he said. “They’ll blitz, but it’s not like they’ll blitz you every play. I don’t think we’ll see as many (as against Louisville,) but you never know what folks are going to do to you. Mike got blitzed pretty good in the Houston game, but he got the ball out on time.”
USF will celebrate its Military Appreciation Game on Saturday by wearing special helmets. Their white helmets will feature the American flag within the “U” logo and an American flag pattern on the center stripe from the front of the helmet to the back.
“They are sweet,” Taggart said. “It’s big time. I think it’s a good contribution what we’re doing for our military and a great way to honor them by having it on our helmet. I think you can honor them even better by going out and playing well.”