I mentioned that I had some questions for Ken and the guys over at Voodoo Five when I linked to their part of it. Here is the questions I had for him about this USF team.
1: From an outside observer it seems that B.J. Daniels is a bigger, stronger, more athletic Matt Grothe. He can make many of the same plays, but he makes a lot of the same mistakes. Is that a fair assessment?
I think that is more than a fair assessment. B.J. has all the tools required to be a great quarterback, it's just unfortunate that he has regressed this season under the new regime. Over the last couple of games Coach Fitch has started running more plays suited to B.J. like the zone read and more bubble screens, but Coach Holtz has told us time and time again that he is basically a true freshman understanding and reading this offense. Hopefully by this time next season he will have a firm grasp on the offense.
2: The defense this year seems pretty stout and very sound fundamentally. Have you been surprised by their performance this season or was something along these lines expected.
I honestly did not think that the defense was going to be this good. We lost 3 starting defensive lineman, 2 starting linebackers, and 2 defensive backs to graduation, and 5 of them are on NFL rosters right now. DC Mark Snyder deserves a lot of credit to get these guys ready this year, but there have been a lot of guys who have stepped up this season. Up front, Craig Marshall and David Bedford have done a tremendous job replacing Jason Pierre-Paul and George Selvie at DE, but most expected them to do pretty well this season. Some real surprises this season have been LB Dede Lattimore, Safety Mistral Raymond, and Jon LeJiste who have been able to continue the defensive legacy for USF.
3: What is the confidence interval with Skip Holtz in the fan base? Six games in and there is still quite a lot of Levitt in this team. Was a more drastic culture change wanted, or needed in your opinion?
It was definitely needed after the Joel Miller situation. I don't think any program needs to go through what USF did this offseason, and I think Skip was the perfect choice when it came down to it. He is a huge salesman for the program, and when he was hired, went on more radio programs in the first week than Leavitt did in his 13 years as HC. I think most fans knew that this year would be a rebuilding one, and most are willing to take a few lumps as Skip recruits the type of players he wants. At most, I saw this team as an 8-4 team, and I would not be surprised if we finish the year below .500 for the first time in 6 seasons, and I'm ok with that, as long as there are signs of improvement as the season continues.