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USF coach Strong already under fire after humiliating opener

Florida Football Insiders

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

If Friday night’s opener against Big Ten perennial contender Wisconsin was supposed to indicate that USF had turned the chapter from a dismal finish to 2018, then coach Charlie Strong is in real trouble.

That’s because not only did the Bulls not snap out of it in front of a good home crowd on a national television stage, but they looked ill-prepared and every bit the team that lost their final six games a year ago.

Yes, for all the talk that the new 2019 version of the Bulls, in Strong’s third season, would throw haymakers with the Badgers, it turns out that USF was knocked out in the figurative first round of this game.

By the time Wisconsin was done pummeling USF, the Bulls had suffered their worst loss in program history and left Strong standing at a podium around midnight trying to explain things.

Especially, he looked blankly, trying to explain how his team could be beaten 49 – 0 after pointing to their opening battle for the last six weeks:

Wisconsin and their Heisman Trophy candidate running back, Jonathan Taylor, were as advertised. He was in the end zone before you could spell “Bucky Badger” to make it 7-0 early. However, it’s what didn’t happen after that for the Bulls, with a veteran quarterback in Blake Barnett, that has to dismay Green and Gold fans on Saturday morning.

USF punted on each of their first two possessions, but then Barnett was hit as he threw under pressure deep in his own territory and when Badgers lineman Matt Henningsen caught the ball in mid-air and ran it in, it was a stunning 14 – 0 start.

Still, USF could have been in the game, but under new offensive coordinator and former Gator quarterback great Kerwin Bell, they mustered absolutely nothing the rest of the first half and fell further behind.

The final tally sheet for USF’s six first-half possessions: punt, punt, interception touchdown, punt, interception and punt.

Yikes.

When Taylor caught a 12-yard pass from quarterback Jack Coan and scampered in the end zone with just :02 remaining, it was now 28-0 and essentially game over.

Sadly, USF showed nothing out of the locker room, punted on their first two possessions and then fumbled on their third. That’s when, Raymond James Stadium emptied out except for the Wisconsin fans that had made the trip South.

Clearly the honeymoon is over after Strong showed up with Willie Taggart’s players, including great QB Quinton Flowers and had a 10-win season winning a bowl game in 2017.

And, even with all of his struggles at Texas, he never lost a game 49 – 0.

Yes, Wisconsin is talented and came to play, but no USF obviously wasn’t ready and that’s on Strong and his staff.

So there will be plenty of outcry coming off of Labor Day weekend about Strong and his job status. They will play at Georgia Tech next Saturday, which has a new coach and was blown out by Clemson to start the season. And, the Bulls defeated the Jackets in a wild 49-38 game a year ago.

So, if the Bulls are not better, or at least competitive with the Yellow Jackets, it may be a foregone conclusion before USF ever begins American Conference play, that this will be Strong’s final year.

And, anyone that wants to argue with that, should put in the tape and watch how poorly his recruits and his coaches performed Friday night, when they had everything pointing to a huge game at home for months.

USF Bulls

Report- Alabama will hire Charlie Strong as consultant

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former USF coach Charlie Strong has decided on a new role for the upcoming 2020 season, and it won’t be in Gainesville.

ESPN college football insider Chris Low reported Tuesday morning that Strong has agreed to join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama as a defensive “consultant” for this season

As we wrote last week, Strong had visited Saban and the Tide about the possible position on his staff, while considering a similar opportunity to join either Dan Mullen’s Gators staff or a couple of others in a consulting role. None of this will affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart.

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USF Bulls

Former USF coach Strong to be consultant for Alabama?

Florida Football Insiders

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

And intriguing item popped up Friday morning involving former USF head coach Charlie Strong and him visiting Nick Saban the Alabama football program.

According to Alabama Insider and radio host, Aaron Suttles, Strong, who was dismissed last December after his third season with the Bulls, was in Tuscaloosa Thursday meeting with Saban and his staff:

Strong had also been reportedly talking with the University of Florida about a possible consultant role, which likely would not affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart

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