Gameday greetings: Cool and windy in Indiana
Good morning from Indiana -- strange to be able to say that to USF football fans for the second year in a row, but I can, having seen the Bulls in South Bend last year and now with a 4:30 kickoff in Muncie to face Ball State. I'll challenge you -- and please, no Googling -- to guess the last time USF football traveled to the same state two years in a row for nonconference road games like these.
I flew into Indianapolis to find it rainy and cold last night -- both could be true today during the game, as the hourly projections at Weather.com don't have the temps reaching so much as 60 degrees. They have winds at 25 miles per hour at kickoff and a 40 percent chance of rain, so this might not feel like September for USF's players.
Last time the Bulls played in the same state for nonconference road games two years in a row? You might think it was North Carolina, where the Bulls played at N.C. State in 2008, but the game at North Carolina was in 2006. USF played its first bowl game in Charlotte in 2005, losing to N.C. State, so the judges might accept that one on a good day.
But to find the Bulls scheduling nonconference road games in the same state two years in a row, you have to go back to 2000-01 (when all games were nonconference games) and the Bulls went to Middle Tennessee State and Memphis. USF made repeat trips in 1999-2000 (Western Kentucky and Kentucky) and in 1998-99 (Liberty and James Madison) and in 1997-98 (Citadel and Charleston Southern). USF's never won both games in such a two-year stretch. ...
If you missed yesterday's small updates via Twitter, USF won't have receiver Chris Dunkley, who's out with a knee injury and didn't travel but could be back next week, and it looks like corner Chris Bivins could be the sixth true freshman to play this season.