In this installment of Friends with Bennies, we exchange Q’s and A’s with Voodoo Five, SB Nation’s South Florida site. Enjoy!
South Florida should hate us, you've suffered some tough losses at our hands. We don't get it. Why don't you hate us?
We're lovers, not haters. Actually that's not true... it's just that we have so many other tough losses to deal with! Granted, we did name our blog after a UConn game, but don't feel too honored. I mean you've only come back from a 7-0 deficit to basically end our baseball season with an 8-7 win only once, but it's not like you've ever made a goal line stand to end what was a dream season to that point or anything and OH GOD YOU KNOW WHAT? FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU AND YOUR SHITTY HELMETS!!
I guess we've just got so many painful losses in team history that there's enough ennui to go around. But seriously... die in a fire you laptop stealing, APR failing, Nate Miles life ruining cheaters. Notice I go off the field because IT'S NOT FAIR YOU ALWAYS WIN YOU CARPETBAGGING YANKEE PIGS.
Not that we're bitter or anything...
What was the fan base's initial reaction when new coach Taggart was hired and the feeling about him now?
At first I think most people got on Coach T's Bus, and I think they're still there. We knew with our budget and crappy conference situation (hey, at least we have that in common!!) there was no way we were getting a name coach. Our budget is hosed, our stadium deal sucks, and we still have to pay Skip $500,000 A YEAR FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS TO NOT COACH HERE BECAUSE WE GAVE HIM AN EXTENSION 6 MONTHS BEFORE WE FIRED HIM. Jesus H Christ how the hell do I continue to write about this team?
Taggart had some success at Western Kentucky where it's just about impossible to win, so if he can get results there we figure he can get them anywhere. Plus he was a local prep star just south of here himself, and is familiar with the recruiting turf in the state.
So we're excited about the future, and think Taggart gives us an opportunity to improve on Skip Holtz. Then again a monkey that can point to the larger amount of stars in a recruiting guide and jump up and down while pointing to the corresponding name probably could do a better job than Skip.
Is your biggest problem recruiting against multiple powerhouse teams in-state?
Our biggest problem was hiring Skip Holtz. There's high school football talent growing down here basically on trees like oranges, so basically even after UF and FSU (not as much Miami as we can actually compete with them for kids in our area) get theirs, there's still a ton of guys you can win a lot of games with around here. But as you'll see on Saturday, the lack of talent on this football team is astonishing for a team in the state of Florida. No team in this area of the country at this level of conference should ever, ever be this under talented.
What were the biggest factors in the win against Cincinnati?
Five turnovers forced, one turnover conceded. Very simple, if we protect the ball (which backup-starting-then-backup-again-now-starting-again QB Bobby Eveld did a great job of in relief against Cinci) our defense is improving and can make some plays. Our offense has been so anemic however that they've put the D in impossible positions most of the season. Losing our best player in running back Marcus Shaw (who is listed as questionable for Saturday) would be devastating. He's been just about the only brightspot before last week, and losing him is a major factor in our ability to compete this week. We'll go with a committee led by Mike Pierre if he can't play, but none of the guys that will get carries has ever really been tested in college football before.
Conversely, what led to all those horrid defeats beforehand?
A defense that looked absolutely lost at times, and straight up quit against McNeese State (at least you didn't lose to Towson by 32). An offense that could be downright painful to watch, and an offensive line that couldn't stop your Grandmother on her Lark from turning the corner. It was awful to see, and we honestly looked like a team that belonged in D2 for long stretches. We knew Miami would roll us, and Michigan State's defense is exceptional, but the losses to McNeese and FAU were so awful it was like having your eyes stretched open A Clockwork Orange style just to witness it.
We certainly played better last week, and hopefully some more trust and understanding is building between the players and coaches. The motivation was good this week, and even though we still don't have nearly enough talent, I think this team will play harder and for each other than they would have in previous games before Cinci. I've picked USF to lose by big numbers multiple times this season... but with all your issues like a new QB and coach, I think we can actually steal this one.
Then again, I've seen enough USF-UConn games across all sports that I'm certainly not wagering on it.