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South Florida Bulls Statistical Leaders

More than a year has passed since the Bull's shock victory over UC last season. The Bulls are a much better team this year than they were a year ago. The growth has come mainly on the offensive side of the ball because Willie Taggart has finally find the kind of running back that the Bulls need for his offense to have some success.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Running Game

  1. Marlon Mack -- 133 attempts, 727 yards, 5.47 yards per carry, 8 touchdowns
  2. D'Ernest Johnson -- 30 attempts, 106 yards, 3.53 yards per carry
  3. Darius Tice -- 16 attempts, 38 yards, 2.38 yards per carry

Fun fact, it is entirely possible to have a great running back and a bad running game. That is the South Florida offense in a nutshell this year. Marlon Mack has been incredible to date and he is, for my money, the best running back that the American Athletic Conference has to offer. But he is just a freshman, so asking him to or expecting him to elevate the entire running game is a bit of fantasy. Next year and beyond he might be able to deliver on that, but for the moment Mack is the only back on the Bulls roster capable of overcoming the constraints inherent with playing an offensive style predicated on overpowering defenses at the point of attack with a bad offensive line, more on that line to come.

Passing Game

  1. Mike White -- 47.6 completion rate, 1,090 yards, 7.4 yards per attempt, 6 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 116.58 QB rating
  2. Steven Bench -- 40.5 completion rate, 172 yards, 4.6 yards per attempt, 1 interception, 74.18 QB rating
  3. Quinton Flowers -- 25 percent completion rate, 7 yards, 1.8 yards per attempt, 2 interceptions, -60.30 QB rating

Who could of thought that one could look wistfully upon the days of B.J. Daniels, but that is where things are right now. The long term hope is that Flowers lives up to his high three star billing over the next couple of seasons and they develop some stability at the position. For now it is the Mike White show.

  1. Rodney Adams -- 18 receptions, 248 yards, 1 touchdown
  2. Andre Davis -- 13 receptions, 322 yards, 4 touchdowns
  3. Deonte Welch -- 13 receptions, 154 yards

The passing game has gotten a huge lift from the return of Andre Davis, a long serving Bull and by far the most talented receiver of the bunch. He gives the Bulls a vertical threat which the offense has lacked. With Marlon Mack the play action game should work, but they were really hampered by a lack of vertical threats. With Davis back they have that deep threat, and Davis has shown it over the last two weeks with 12 catches, 278 yards and four scores. He is the threat for the passing game.

Offensive Line Stats

  • 130 rushing yards per game
  • 3.99 yards per carry
  • 6.29 tackles for loss allowed per game
  • 1.43 sacks allowed per game
  • 5% sack rate
  • 8% pressure percent

The style of offense that the Bulls play puts a lot of pressure on the offensive line to execute in the running game, which they have been passable at so far. That same style also helps them out, particularly when it comes to protecting the quarterback. When they pass the ball they prefer to do so off play action, and they like to keep at least one back/tight end into protect and Its not uncommon for them to keep 7 in protection. So their sack and pressure numbers are actually pretty solid, but I don't think this can be counted among the better lines the Bearcats will face the rest of the year.

Defensive Line Stats

  • 181 rushing yards allowed per game
  • 4.48 yards per carry allowed
  • 5.71 tackles for loss per game
  • 2.14 sacks per game
  • 6% sack rate
  • 7% pressure rate

The same thing happens to me each and every summer as I start looking at the teams on the Bearcats schedule. I look at the Bulls talent and I get worried that they are capable of unleashing hell. Then the games start and the Bulls never seem to fulfill their potential on the defensive line. This year is no different. They haven't been as bad against the run as the Bearcats have been, but they are hardly a brick wall.

Pressure Stats

  1. Elkino Watson -- 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
  2. Nigel Harris -- 6.0 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
  3. Derrick Calloway -- 4.0 tackles for loss, 3 sacks

Watson is definitely their best defensive lineman, and has been since for the last two years. But it is hard for a defensive tackle to accumulate big stats because of the nature of the position. It is more about absorbing blocks than defeating them, but Watson does a little bit of both and is at a high level. I also really like Calloway as an impact guy, but he is still just a young buck.

Pass Defense Stats

  1. Johnny Ward -- 2 interceptions, 1 pass breakup
  2. Chris Dunkley -- 5 pass breakups
  3. Auggie Sanchez -- 1 interception, 2 pass breakups

Dunkley is the one that jumps out to me from this group. He is a converted wide receiver playing defensive back for the first time at the college level. He has taken to the position exceptionally well and is one of their most active defenders this year. The problem for the Bulls is that they are not nearly active enough against the pass, but we will go more in depth about that in the advanced stats preview on thursday.