An unlikely three year opponent is on deck to play the Crimson Tide Saturday; the USF Bulls
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Sutton Smith
Alabama’s first road game of the 2023 season isn’t against an SEC team nor a non-conference Power Five team. The Crimson Tide will take an abnormal road trip to Tampa, Florida to take on the University of South Florida Bulls Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls don’t have a stadium on campus, rather they play at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Although they’re not a Power Five team, Alabama shouldn’t look past the Bulls especially after coming off a loss last week against Texas.
“These guys (USF) have made tremendous improvement in their team and the quality of their players,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said.
Last season, The Bulls finished 1-11 with their lone win against Howard University in week two. The Bulls played an impressive schedule for a Group of five team matching up against teams like Florida, Louisville, Cincinnati, Tulane, Houston and UCF.
This season, they hope to finish stronger after losing 10 games in a row last year. Under new head coach Alex Golesh, The Bulls look to have a different style offense and play more physically on defense.
Golesh piloted one of the top offenses in the country at The University of Tennessee in 2022. Golesh’s offense unleashed against the Crimson Tide scoring five passing and two rushing touchdowns. Golesh looks to play a similar style and hopefully expose the Alabama defense like last year.
“Our kids know we’re playing a really good football team in Alabama,” Golesh said. “Our guys are aware of who we’re playing and who’s favored to win. All of our games are a challenge.”
Obviously, the Bulls don’t have the same caliber of player Tennessee has yet they certainly have playmakers.
Through two games, the Bulls are 1-1 with a win over Florida A&M last week and a week one loss on the road against Western Kentucky.
Bulls quarterback Byrum Brown leads the offensive passing and rushing attack. The quarterback has completed just over fifty percent of his passes for 363 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Brown also leads the team with 42 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns.
In the past, dual-threat quarterbacks have given the Crimson Tide issues; Brown could be a big problem with his legs Saturday.
The offensive line has struggled protecting Brown this season. Brown has been sacked 11 times through two games, a stat that has Alabama defensive lineman and linebackers salivating. Alabama had zero sacks last week against Texas and would love to flip the script this week and stay in the backfield.
Defensively, the Bulls are led by linebacker DJ Gordon IV. Through two games, Gordon has 12 total tackles and one pass deflection. The Bulls defense has forced four fumbles, recovering two, while intercepting three passes.
Although it’s a very lopsided matchup, the Bulls look to shock the College Football world and hand the Crimson Tide back-to-back losses.
Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT airing on CBS.