Notre Dame shows USF it has a way to go

by Gary Shelton on September 20, 2020

in general

Sunday, 2 a.m.

If there were any misconceptions after the USF Bulls' opening-week victory, well, welcome to reality.

New USF coach Jeff Scott has a ton of work to do.

The Bulls were drop-kicked in their second game, losing 52-0 to seventh-ranked Notre Dame. If there was any thoughts of an upset -- like the one USF pulled over Notre Dame in 2011 -- they were quickly erased.

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The Irish scored on their first four possessions, and on five of their first six, to coast to the victory. Notre Dame rushed for 241 yards -- averaging 6.2 yards per carry -- in their win.

USF played four quarterbacks, but the highest rated one was starter Jordan McCould at 22.6 percent.

“They’ve got a playoff-caliber team (Notre Dame) and they really dominated the game from the beginning to the end," Scott said. "Sometimes you just gotta tip your hat when you face a great opponent. From our side, it’s obviously very disappointing, really from the first drive all the way through the game. We’ve got a hurt locker room. Our guys were excited about getting an opportunity to go play and obviously we did not play well.

"Notre Dame played very well, so my message to the team is, ‘Hey, we aren’t gonna make any excuses. You can sit here and write up plenty of excuses if you wanted to, but that’s not who we are and that’s not what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna take ownership.’ The ownership starts with me as the head coach. Anytime we don’t play well, I didn’t do my job. This will be an opportunity for myself and the coaches to go back and watch the video and find ways where we could’ve played better.

" It’s disappointing. I really believed our guys were locked in and focused. Everything that I saw this week in practice, really the 48 hours leading up to the game, the guys were really locked in, but it didn’t translate. We weren’t ready whenever the ball got kicked off, so that’s something for us to learn from.”

USF now travels to FAU for a game Saturday night.

“For us, we’ve got a 24-hour rule, just like after a victory," Scott said. "You spend 24 hours on that game and then you move on. For us, it will be a lot of things to coach off of and a lot of things to learn from… The biggest thing is can we learn from the mistakes that we made today and then can we move on. I think that’s the sign. We’re on a journey and there’s gonna be adversity, there’s gonna be difficult times…

"Now, it’s all about how we respond to this and I really challenged the team. This is an opportunity for us to see what our maturity is, our leadership, and all those things. I personally believe that our guys will respond the right way and that we can look back at this down the road as a pivotal moment when we were able to learn and become a closer team and become a better team.”

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