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Bulls remember Taggart from '98 W. Ky. loss



Not many things can make USF feel like its football program has been around a long time, but Saturday will bring a milestone of sorts as Western Kentucky's Willie Taggart becomes the first opponent to face the Bulls as a player and head coach.


Taggart has a small place in USF history, as he helped WKU become the first visiting team to win in Raymond James Stadium, rallying the Hilltoppers from a 17-0 deficit in 1998 to beat the Bulls 31-24, rushing for 206 yards and three touchdowns as an option quarterback.

"All I can remember is him. He was phenomenal," said USF tight ends coach Larry Scott, who was an offensive lineman for the Bulls in that game. "He basically took the team on his shoulders and took them to victory. All I remember is he was a really good football player."

Bulls graduate assistant Glenn Davis, a USF defensive back who faced Taggart in 1997 and 1998, got an interception off him in the Bulls' 31-3 loss during their first season.

Taggart, a Bradenton Manatee graduate, will spend plenty of time in the Tampa area beyond his team's trip this weekend -- the first-year coach has recruited the area extensively, signing 15 freshmen from Florida in February. That includes brothers Xavius and Bar'ee Boyd, true freshmen from Lakewood who have played this fall at linebacker, getting four and two tackles, respectively.

FAST STARTS: The Hilltoppers have lost their first three games by a combined score of 150-59, but they actually took early leads against Kentucky and Indiana, with a 59-yard touchdown run against the Wildcats and a 91-yard touchdown drive against the Hoosiers. WKU has lost 23 straight games going back to 2008, but they're making some progress -- in 13 previous games against BCS conference opponents going back to 2002, they never scored more than 14 points, but have scored 28 and 21 in their last two losses.

STILL WAITING: Receiver Dontavia Bogan has yet to practice since injuring his right ankle against Florida 11 days ago, and he watched Wednesday's practice with a boot on his foot, but coach Skip Holtz said he won't rule him out for Saturday until testing the foot today. Receiver Sterling Griffin, out since dislocating his ankle this summer, is expected to return for USF's game against Syracuse on Oct. 9.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 8:43pm]


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