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September 15, 2013

With a first and goal, the Bulls came up empty

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The Bulls were faced in a predicament Saturday night which epitomized their offensive woes to a tee.

Senior running back Marcus Shaw, seemingly the only offensive weapon for USF, was relied upon to get the Bulls a touchdown.

It was first and goal and giving it to Shaw was the best option the Bulls had. But when this didn't work, they attempted a rush with Shaw three more times until the Bulls were forced to turn the ball over without a score.

This unsuccessful drive perfectly embodies what the Bulls' downfall has been not only in this game, but the entire season. With Shaw as the only viable option to advance the ball, teams can send more defenders to stop the senior running back.

The drive itself prevented the Bulls from adding to their 10-7 lead and gave the FAU Owls the ball and momentum.

After this point in the second quarter, the Bulls would not score another point for the remainder of the game.

Even with a change at quarterback from Sr. Bobby Eveld to Soph. transfer Steven Bench, the Bulls were unable to kickstart their passing attack to create more than a single touchdown. Bench was 8 of 23 with a touchdown, a fumble and an interception.

Coach Willie Taggart believes that missing the opportunity of scoring with a first and goal was crucial in the defeat.

"It was huge. I thought it would be big for us, just to get in there," Taggart said.

Taggart believes that getting a score on that drive would have given the Bulls the momentum they needed to swing the game in their favor. Bench agreed with Taggart that the turnover on downs was a huge missed opportunity for the Bulls.

"It was of course a big deal, no doubt about it," Bench said.

While the Bulls ended up losing by a score of 28-10, a touchdown on that drive could have put the team in the driver's seat rather than scrambling to play catch up. This team plays poorly when they are catching up, and they need to score consistently on offense in order to start winning some games. To do this, Shaw can't be relied upon on nearly every play to carry the team.

The Bulls have a bye week this week, and will play the Miami Hurricanes in their next matchup which is two weeks from now.

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