USF junior RB Darrell Scott mentioned before the season that he had not fumbled in his collegiate career, but it has been a reversal of fortune lately, with Scott losing the ball in each of the Bulls' past two losses.
Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said Scott isn't doing anything fundamentally wrong or being sloppy carrying the ball, and he said that was encouraging, but Scott understands the importance of making sure it doesn't become a perpetual problem.
"That's one thing I can correct in my game," Scott said. "I've been working on it, so it shouldn't happen again."
Scott's fumble against the Huskies came with the Bulls backed up deep in their territory, and it was returned for what proved to be the winning touchdown. Immediately after the game, Scott took the gaffe hard, even saying it was his fault the team lost, but he was in a much better mood this week and vowed he'd moved on past the mistake.
"I recover real quick," said Scott, who leads the Bulls in rushing yards (482) and touchdown runs (five). "You can't let that hold you back, because then you start doubting yourself, and with doubts you're fidgety at the line and hesitate and it just messes up your game. So you've got to just wash it."
Red zone defense key
Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said one of the biggest keys for his squad against Cincinnati is to play good red-zone defense, which has been tough for teams to do this season against the Bearcats.
Behind QB Zach Collaros, Cincinnati has converted 70 percent of its trips into the red zone for touchdowns (21 of 30), while scoring on 26 of 30 possessions overall.
"They do a really good job of hitting the open spots," Snyder said. "(Collaros is) very smart. He knows exactly where the windows are, and the ball is out before the receiver even makes his break. His feet (also) create problems down there in the red zone, as we've seen (Bulls QB B.J. Daniels) do. You can stop it all over the place, and all of the sudden there goes B.J. and he's in the end zone. Collaros can do the same thing."
The Bulls did a good job against Connecticut, limiting the Huskies to field goals on their three trips into the red zone. USF ranks second in the Big East in red-zone defense, allowing only a 50 percent success rate (10 of 20) for touchdowns.
USF coach Skip Holtz said WR/PR Terrence Mitchell, who has been out since suffering a concussion against UTEP, has been working out "symptom-free" but trainers would like to see more progress and Mitchell likely won't play this week.