Navy Football: USF Scouting Report

Navy Football takes on the South Florida Bulls this Saturday. USF has been historically bad the last few seasons, winning just eight games in the last four seasons. This includes winning just four games in the last three years. But 2023 brings a new head coach in former Tennessee Offensive Coordinator Alex Golesh and a 2-2 record through four games. Here’s what to make of this new look USF team heading into this weekend.


Alex Golesh made waves through college football last year when coordinated a Tennessee offense that caught the eye of the college football world. The high paced spread offense helped snap a 15 game losing streak to rival Alabama and led the Vols to an Orange Bowl victory.

This year’s USF team is running that same offense, just with group of 5 personnel. You’ll see them use a lot of tempo and speed in space. They like to use wide alignments running with a lot of 10 and 11 personnel. This forces the defense to cover the entire field. You’ll also see this team run a lot of RPOs and quick passes to open up the run game game and shots down field.

Lastly, starting QB Byrum Brown is an exciting athlete to watch. He’s got some work to do as a passer, but he has the ability to improvise when the play breaks down. The offensive line may allow some pressure, but Brown has the ability to take off and run, making something out of a busted play.

Navy is likely going to have to spy Brown a lot of the game. They’re also going to need to showcase speed in the secondary. The biggest key for Navy is going to be tackling. Missed tackles have hurt this defense this season. USF is going to spread the ball sideline to sideline and run a lot of plays. If Navy can make every tackle they’ll stall out USF drives and give their offense a chance.


This USF defense struggle a year ago. They were one of the worst in the country and bottom three nationally in rush defense. Golesh brought in long time DC Todd Orlando to rebuild this unit.

Aside from the irony of hiring a coach named after your rival school’s hometown, Orlando has done a great job improving the defense from a year ago. The Bulls returned a lot of experience from last year’s team and have used that to become one of the better run defenses this year.

You can see on film that stopping the run is a point of emphasis for this unit and they are going to be ecstatic to get a chance to match up against a triple option team. The defensive front is very physical and does a great job of getting into the backfield and blowing up plays.

In the back seven, the Bulls like to play a lot of zone coverage and play their linebackers close to the line of scrimmage to help stop the run. This team has show some susceptibility against the pass and especially RPOs and PA passes as they can overcommit to stopping the run at times. This unit also loves to use pre-snap motion to disguise coverages and blitzes.

Navy is going to have to throw the ball some and hit some big plays on PA passes. USF will likely sell out to stop the run. There will be some busted plays for the Mids, but if they can find ways to convert on third downs and stay on the field, they’ll hit some big plays in the run game. If they can execute well through the air they’ll be able to move the ball on this defense.

Overall Takeaways

This is going to be a really good test for Navy. USF matches up well against the Midshipmen. Navy will have to execute out of their comfort zone. Coming off of a bye week I expect to see some creativity and wrinkles on Saturday and their going to need it to beat a much improved South Florida team.

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