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Before facing South Florida Bulls, Memphis football players get time to explore

ST. PETERSBURG — Memphis coach Tommy West didn't impose a curfew on his players Tuesday night, and his lights-out time for Wednesday wasn't anything severe — 1 a.m.

"If you don't put a curfew on them, sometimes they'll come in earlier than if you do," said West, preparing to face USF in Saturday's St. Petersburg Bowl.

"I've found through the years that curfew is something that's really just kind of a nuisance. They come back. And as soon as you go to bed, they're going back out. I was in college one time, too, and still can remember, 'Are they gone yet?' "

West didn't have a curfew for last season's New Orleans Bowl but said that had nothing to do with a 44-27 loss to Florida Atlantic.

"What hurt us was we weren't very good on defense," West said as his team practiced at Northeast High. "That hurt us a lot more than the beer we drank during the week."

Looking up: One of the focuses this week for USF has been finding a way to slow Memphis WR Carlos Singleton, a 6-foot-8 junior who has 50 catches and five touchdowns.

"He's really good," Bulls coach Jim Leavitt said. "He runs well. He plays the ball well, and it's hard to match him up because we don't have a lot of 6-foot-8 (defensive) backs.

"There's nothing we can really do about that."

The Bulls' tallest defensive back is 6-4 senior S Carlton Williams.

Lineman in: USF offensive coordinator Greg Gregory said sophomore OL Jake Sims, who broke a finger on his right hand during practice Dec. 11, will be available.

Times correspondent Joe Rienzi contributed to this report.

fast facts

USF vs. Memphis

When/where: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

TV: ESPN2

Tickets: ticketmaster.com or gousfbulls.com

Before facing South Florida Bulls, Memphis football players get time to explore 12/17/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 19, 2008 9:36am]
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