To wrap up this quick five areas of concern for the 2018 football team, I will end it with my issues with the play calling and thoughts overall about our offensive coordinator, Sterlin Gilbert.
First thing, the running the ball up the middle joke that has become a social media joke for USF fans is not the entire story. Yes, there are plenty of reports that show the USF run game did not fall off last year, but it did seem that the much joked about HB dive was called a ton of times last year. I especially recall the Houston game and that monster named Ed Oliver in the middle and yet, we continued to call plays right up the middle. It’s an issue and I think we will probably see it again in 2018 despite the jokes we all like to make.
The other issue I have with his play calling is the lack of calling plays for the tight ends in the passing game (and running backs in general). Mitchell Wilcox, Kano Dillon, and D’Ernest Johnson all had career lows in catching the ball last year and that is on Sterlin Gilbert designing plays that can get the tight end and running backs involved in the passing game. It felt as if Gilbert forgot he could call plays for those two position in the passing game and it was so frustrating to watch. I can again see this being an issue this year and with a new quarterback, that could be an issue.
This one is simple, I just have no faith that Gilbert can consistently call an offense that works with the type of talent we have on this roster. Yes, the offense continued to produce last year despite the inconsistent play calling, but how much of that was the players making things happen? How many times did Flowers save the day with his arm and his legs? Well, he is gone and the new quarterback probably won’t be able to escape and make plays happen. Throw in the bad play calling and well, there could be a lot of headaches.