USF Football held its annual media day at the Sun Dome on Wednesday ahead of the 2016 season.

And the Bulls are expecting a lot on the field.

"If we don't win the (American Athletic) conference, we will have failed," said junior linebacker, and Northeast alum, Auggie Sanchez.

USF is coming off an 8-5 season in 2015 with record-breaking performances on offense from junior quarteback Quinton Flowers and junior running back Marlon Mack. And Mack is closing in on some personal history; he is 309 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns away from becoming the program's all-time leader in both categories.

"I don't look at those things," said the two-time conference rushing leader, Mack. "There is no pressure for me, or this team. I love football, and that is all I worry about doing is playing football."

"We have known about this potentional since Marlon Mack stepped onto our campus as a freshman," said 4th year head coach Willie Taggart."He is a special player for us."

Mack is one of the core figures in Taggart's reshaping of this USF program that has expectations for the first time since 2010 when the Bulls went into Notre Dame with then-head coach Skip Holtz and beat the Irish, 23-20, in the opening weekend of the season.

Now, the Bulls are picked to win the AAC East Division, and are returning 93% of its offense from a season ago. And this USF Gulf Coast offense averaged 542 yards and 47 points per game over the final four games of 2015.

A far cry from past seasons under Taggart that led to records of 3-9 and 2-10, respectively in 2013 and 2014.

"We know what is it like to be on the losing side, and now the winning side," said senior DB Nate Godwin - who went to Freedom High School in Tampa. "I feel a sense of responsbility to winning where I am from and seeing other guys come here (from Tampa) to win at USF."

These young Bulls are leading the charge in a season of never-ending possibilities.  And now, Mission: Win the AAC, is no longer "Mission: Impossible", it's "Mission Probable" up on Folwer Avenue.


"We have guys who are part of our foundation," said Taggart. "They have helped to build up this program and now we get to see how far they can take it in 2016."

First game is at Raymond James Stadium on September 3 vs Towson.