USF's bowl ticket sales reach 5,000
MIAMI -- With two days remaining until the Miami Beach Bowl, USF confirmed Saturday the school has reached 5,000 ticket sales for the contest, meaning the school has sold more than 68 percent of the 7,400 it was allotted.
Though specific records aren't kept for sales of allotted bowl tickets, officials were confident in saying it's a program record.
"Big time, big time, big time," Coach Willie Taggart said Saturday afternoon, following the Bulls' non-padded workout at a sprawling park in Miami Beach.
"I just watched this season at the away games, I was shocked at some of the crowds we had at the away games; that was impressive to me. But again, it let me know they're there. ... They just want a little hope, they want something to believe in, and it's great that our guys are giving 'em something really to believe in now."
For all practical intents, Saturday's workout was the last career college practice for USF's seniors, excluding a brief walk-through Sunday at Marlins Park. The Bulls appear healthy entering Monday's 2:30 p.m. contest against No. 25 Western Kentucky (10-2).
"You look back on it, five years flies," fifth-year senior LG Thor Jozwiak said. "But you know what, what a way to go out. ... I wouldn't want to end it any other way. It's emotional, but it's on the positive side of emotion."
BETHEL ON BOARD: Heralded junior college OT Glen Bethel, a 2015 signee who didn't enroll due to academic issues, is expected to be eligible for spring drills, a team source confirmed.
A three-star recruit, Bethel, a rangy 300-pounder from Miami, helped Arizona Western College average more than 240 rushing yards a game in 2014. His expected arrival couldn't be more timely for a USF line that loses three seniors who have started every game this season. Three other offensive linemen from the Class of '15 are redshirting.
"Oh man, I know the guys in that room, so I have 100-percent faith in them, man," Jozwiak said. "We've got good players in that room. Me, Brynjar (Gudmundsson) and Mak (Djulbegovic) are leaving, but the guys behind us are pretty good too."
ODDS AND ENDS: Taggart reported via Twitter the Bulls posted a collective team GPA of 2.82 this past fall, with 50 players exceeding 3.0. ... USF will be the home team Monday. ... A decision is expected to arrive Sunday on whether the Marlins Park retractable roof will stay open. Monday's forecast calls for a 50-percent chance of morning showers.
AUDIBLE I: "I'll tell you now, we're gonna have ourselves a good football team. Before it's all said and done, this football team's gonna be pretty good." -- Taggart immediately following the Bulls' 35-17 loss at Maryland on Sept. 19. (Check out the 1:20 mark of this video)
AUDIBLE II: "You guys don't remember. I think I told you, after the Maryland game, that we were gonna have a good football team. ... I want you guys to go back and watch that interview." -- Taggart to reporters following Saturday's practice