Notes: Bulls focused on Ball State, not polls
I'm late with this, but here are Tuesday night's practice notes from Times correspondent Ian Lanphier ...
TAMPA -- Three days after USF's historic win at Notre Dame allowed it to crack the Associated Press Top 25 poll, coach Skip Holtz said Tuesday that he remains focused on the team's larger goal of winning consistently all season.
The Bulls landed at No. 22 in the latest AP poll, while they sit just outside the coaches' poll rankings at No. 27, receiving 97 points.
"When you look at it, the one I'm concerned with is the last (poll)," Holtz said. "I've always said that if we will continue to improve as a football team and look at the film and take care of what we can control, which is the way we're playing, then when you win, the bowls and the polls take care of themselves."
NO COMPLACENCY: Holtz said his team wants to improve from its mistakes when it faces Ball State, a team USF can't afford to take for granted following its 27-20 upset win over Indiana on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.
"They went in there and played extremely well," he said. "They went in and took it. They didn't go in and just play it safe. They went in and took it. I think they're going to come in here with the same battle cry we went into South Bend."
GAINING GROUND: Returning to game action for the first time in more than a year, junior running back Darrell Scott said it felt good to get past the initial jitters of playing.
"Just getting my feet wet, trying to get right, knock off the rust," Scott said Tuesday. "I was very happy with my performance, and, basically, the whole team needs to build off of this win. That's the main thing."
To do that, Scott, who had 12 carries for 33 yards, said the Bulls have to put the big win against Notre Dame in the rearview mirror and get ready for Ball State.
"We know they're going to come full force," he said. "They want to be the team that beat the team that beat Notre Dame, so we've got a target on our back now, so we've got to come prepared."