Record: 3-2 (0-1 Big East)
South Florida has made a lot of progress in its first year under Skip Holtz and looks solid in many areas. Unfortunately, one of the places where that is not true is at the most important spot: quarterback.
Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder has fashioned a strong defense devoid of stars after five starters from last season ended up in the NFL. The Bulls are playing with discipline on that side of the ball, and there's been no dropoff on the defensive line despite the loss of George Selvie and Jason Pierre-Paul. The running game, all but abandoned under Jim Leavitt the past few years, has resurrected behind the tandem of Demetris Murray and Mo Plancher to the point that the Bulls now can line up in a power-I formation and get the job done.
But the passing game has not come along as well. Hindered early by injuries at receiver, now it needs quarterback B.J. Daniels to gain a better grasp of this offense. Daniels has thrown six interceptions in USF's losses to Florida and Syracuse, games the Bulls could have won if not for the mistakes. If Daniels improves his decision making, South Florida will be a handful for Big East opponents the rest of the way. If not, his team might not make a bowl game.
Offensive MVP: Dontavia Bogan, WR
Bogan basically missed two games after suffering an early ankle injury against Florida, but he still leads the team's receiving crew in catches, yards and touchdowns. The Bulls are simply a different team offensively when he's healthy and in the lineup.
Defensive MVP: Craig Marshall, DE
Holtz calls this a "no-name defense," but players are starting to emerge as known entities through their performance. Marshall has had a nice season in helping to replace the stars from last year at defensive end with his 22 tackles, four sacks and an interception. He and David Bedford have kept the end spot dangerous for the Bulls.