USF won just one game in 2022, so the Bulls will want to see drastic improvement this season.
However, some of their losses were competitive. They lost to Florida by just three points, and they fell to three American Athletic Conference opponents by just one possession.
With new head coach Alex Golesh, what is USF capable of in 2023?
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USF Football’s AAC Title Odds
USF’s odds to win the AAC are +5000, via BetMGM.
USF Football’s Over/Under Win Total
USF’s win total Over/Under is 4.5, with Under 4.5 at -140 and Over 4.5 at +120.
USF Football’s Schedule
9/2 at Western Kentucky
9/9 vs Florida A&M
9/16 vs Alabama
9/23 vs Rice
9/30 at Navy
10/7 at UAB
10/14 vs FAU
10/21 at UConn
11/4 at Memphis
11/11 vs Temple
11/17 at UTSA
11/25 vs Charlotte
Bold indicates AAC contests.
Gerry Bohanon Among Potential Starting QBs For USF’s Offense
Former Baylor transfer Gerry Bohanon is returning at quarterback for USF. But he’s not necessarily guaranteed the starting role.
Bohanon led the team with 1,070 passing yards while throwing for six touchdowns and six interceptions with a 57% completion rate. He also ran for 386 yards and three touchdowns on 60 carries. But he only played seven games as he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.
Katravis Marsh threw for 827 yards, seven touchdowns, and two picks on a 51% completion rate in six games but also dealt with an injury. Byrum Brown, now a redshirt freshman, played in four games and completed 36 of 50 passes for 404 yards, five touchdowns, and one pick. USF also added former Coastal Carolina signal caller Bryce Archie to give the team plenty of options at quarterback.
Brian Battie, an all-conference second-team running back after rushing for 1,186 yards in 2022, went to Auburn this offseason. But USF added running backs like Nay’Quan Wright (Florida) and Dominic Gonnella (North Dakota State) via the transfer portal to address the position.
Wide receivers Xavier Weaver (718 yards and six touchdowns on 53 receptions in 2022) and Jimmy Horn Jr. (37 catches for 551 yards and three touchdowns last year) left for Colorado this offseason. Sean Atkins, who caught 19 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns last season, is back, however. USF also bolstered its pass-catching group by bringing in wide receivers Seth Jones (Baylor) and Naiem Simmons (Wagner) as well as tight end Teigan Martin (Liberty).
USF left tackle Donovan Jennings as well as right tackles Mike Lofton and Derrell Bailey Jr. are among the Bulls’ returning offensive linemen who started multiple games in 2022. USF allowed the third-fewest sacks in the AAC with 14 and was a top-four rushing offense in the league last year while averaging 197.9 yards per game on the ground. USF also picked up former Houston offensive lineman Derek Bowman and former Tennessee O-lineman R.J. Perry in the transfer portal.
D.J. Gordon IV Returning For USF’s Defense
USF will certainly be aiming to improve on defense. The Bulls ranked last in terms of scoring defense (41.2 points allowed per game) and total defense (516.8 yards per game allowed).
But they do bring back some experience, and new defensive coordinator Todd Orlando could help USF on that side of the ball. The Bulls return seven of their top 11 tacklers from last season.
Linebacker D.J. Gordon IV is the team’s returning leading tackler, as he tallied 66 tackles in 2022. He added 6.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles as well.
Timarcus “T-Mac” Simpson is back at safety for the Bulls. He totaled 44 tackles, one for loss, and two forced fumbles last year.
Aamaris Brown is also returning for USF’s secondary. The defensive back led the team with two interceptions and five pass breakups while chipping in 26 tackles.
Defensive ends D.J. Harris (Texas) and Lloyd Summerall (Florida) as well as cornerback Kendall Dennis (Oklahoma) are among USF’s newcomers on defense who previously played for other Division I programs.
USF Football Season Prediction
USF won’t take the AAC Championship but will win at least five games.
The Bulls will look like a new team in several significant ways. I think that will show in 2023.
Against non-conference teams, I think USF will be 2-2. The Bulls can beat Florida A&M at home and UConn on the road, but they might falter at Western Kentucky and against Alabama at home.
I could see the Bulls winning three AAC games as well. That’s after accounting for losses at Navy, UAB, Memphis, and UTSA as well as against FAU at home. But three of USF’s conference matchups at home against Rice, Temple, and Charlotte are winnable.
While that still wouldn’t result in a winning record, a five-win season for USF would be a sign of promise heading into the future.