USF hopes to continue success under Strong

by Gary Shelton on August 10, 2017 · 0 comments

in College football, College Sports in Florida

Head Coach Charlie Strong in preseason practice./STEVEN MUNCIE

Head Coach Charlie Strong in preseason practice./STEVEN MUNCIE

Friday, 2 a.m.

It won't be difficult for USF coach Charlie Strong to be a success.

All he has to do is be better than the last guy.

This year.

Of course, those are awfully high expectations for Strong, the former University of Texas coach who is replacing the departed Willie Taggart. Taggart's final USF team was 11-2 and ranked 19th in the country a year ago. It was enough to get Taggart the University of Oregon job, which led to Strong replacing him.

Sports Illustrated has picked the Bulls to finish as the 17th best team in the country this season.

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Charlie Strong is in his first season with USF./STEVEN MUNCIE

Charlie Strong is in his first season with USF./STEVEN MUNCIE

Other outsiders expect USF to be good this year. The Sporting News ranks USF No. 22 this year. College Football News has the Bulls at No. 24. Athlon predicts that USF will win the AAC.

That's despite the losses of Marlon Mack and Rodney Adams. The defense, with Auggie Sanchez, should be better.

But quarterback Quenton Flowers returns for the Bulls, which forgives a lot of other deficiencies. A year ago, Flowers was the AAC Player of the Year with 24 passing touchdowns and 18 rushing.

He threw for 2,812 yards and rushed for 1,530.

The Bulls play a manageable schedule, but there are challenges. One is playing Illinois – with former Bucs' coach Lovie Smith on Sept. 15. The next week, the Bulls are home against Temple, a team that beat it a year go. The Bulls play Houston and Tulsa in November, then travel to UCF on Nov. 24.

So far, Strong has been popular among the USF faithful.

All he has to do to stay that way is win … a lot.

D'Eenest Johnson and Quinton Flowers take a knee during practice./STEVEN MUNCIE

D'Ernest Johnson and Quinton Flowers take a knee during practice./STEVEN MUNCIE

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