In little more than two weeks, South Carolina and South Florida will square off in the Birmingham Bowl.
The 10-2 Bulls come in with a high-powered offense and a host of experienced players defensively. In this five-part series, SEC Country will take a look at the 10 USF players to know heading into the Birmingham Bowl.
To start, we take a closer look at players Nos. 5 and 6 in Part 3:
6. Kofi Amichia – senior offensive tackle
Amichia was a first-team all-conference pick this season and brings two years of starting experience to the South Florida offensive line. He’s the anchor of the unit at left tackle, paving the way for a rushing attack that features Marlon Mack and Quinton Flowers.
Amichia, like the rest of the USF offensive line, excels in run blocking. But he’s no slouch in pass protection either. South Florida allowed the fewest sacks in the American Athletic Conference, which partially is due to the type of offense, but also a good player protecting Flowers’ blindside.
5. D’Ernest Johnson – junior running back
Johnson isn’t the primary back at South Florida. He’s Mack’s backup. But he brings explosive ability in his own right and has one skill that has given South Carolina fits this season: He is dynamic in the punt return game.
Johnson ranks No. 10 nationally with 12.4 yards per punt return and he has returned a punt for a touchdown this season. South Carolina has struggled on special teams and Johnson will be a test.
The speedy running back also averages 5.2 yards per carry and scored 8 touchdowns on the ground in 2016.