Wisconsin Football will travel to Tampa to take on the South Florida Bulls tomorrow. Here’s how the two teams match up in this week’s tale of the tape.
In this week’s tale of the tape for Wisconsin football’s matchup with South Florida, we’ll compare the coaching staffs, the quarterbacks, offense, defense, and special teams of both teams.
In week one, both teams will be looking to start the season the right way with a win. Both teams will also be looking to rebound after disappointing seasons last year. Wisconsin had high expectations last year, starting in the top 5 in the preseason poll, but eventually finished with an 8-5 record. South Florida started the season hot with a 7-0 record, before stumbling and losing the last six games of the season.
Let’s take a look at how the two teams match up before tomorrow night’s ball game. First up, the coaching.
Paul Chryst begins his 5th season with Wisconson football. In his time here, he has compiled an impressive 42-12 record, including a 4-0 record in bowl games. Chryst is joined by offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph and defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard.
Chryst and Rudolph have continued to build onto Wisconsin’s reputation of being a run-heavy team, but have also made the Badgers more of a passing threat in recent years as well. Leonhard has picked up where Dave Aranda and Justin Wilcox left off, leading one of the top defenses in the country.
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Together, this coaching staff put together one of the best recruiting classes in Wisconsin football history last season, grabbing 5-star offensive lineman Logan Brown and the highly touted quarterback Graham Mertz.
South Florida is led by head coach Charlie Strong. Strong was a hot name in the coaching carousel in 2013 during his time with Louisville, so much so that he got the head coaching job at Texas after Mack Brown retired. Things didn’t necessarily work out in Austin for Strong, where he left after the 2016 season and took the South Florida job.
In his first season at the helm of South Florida, he led the Bulls to a 10-2 record, including a win in the Birmingham Bowl over Texas Tech. Last season wasn’t quite as successful. They finished the season 7-6 and just 3-5 in the conference but still managed to make the Gasparilla Bowl, where they lost to Marshall.
Strong made a change at the offensive coordinator position this season, replacing Sterlin Gilbert with Kerwin Bell, who was most recently the head coach at Division II Valdosta State and led them to a 14-0 record and the NCAA Division II Championship. At defensive coordinator, the Bulls have Bian Jean-Mary, who was with Strong at Texas and Louisville.