USF vs. No. 18 Louisville, noon, ESPN2, 98.7-FM, 1010-AM
The Bulls, 2-0 in conference play for the first time in a decade, seek their first victory against a ranked opponent in more than two years. Four starters — QB Steven Bench (knee), RB Marcus Shaw (hamstring), DE Tevin Mims (leg) and DT Elkino Watson (knee) — returned to practice this week, but coach Willie Taggart isn't saying whether they'll play. Louisville's national title hopes ended last week with a 38-35 loss to UCF, but a BCS bowl remains in play. Despite a vulnerable rushing defense (196 yards) against the Knights, Louisville (6-1, 2-1 American) remains first in the conference in total defense (260.4 yards a game). USF (2-4), meantime, is last in total offense (258.5).
Watch out for … Cardinals QB Teddy Bridgewater, widely projected as a first-round NFL draft pick in the spring. Bridgewater is the only quarterback in the nation with more than 200 passes (214) and two or fewer picks (two). Today, he tries to throw a TD pass for the 20th consecutive game. Thirteen Louisville starters are from Florida, including RG Kamran Joyer (Wesley Chapel) and LB George Durant (Boca Ciega). With 15 receiving yards, Bulls junior Andre Davis (1,077) will move into the school's career top 10. LB DeDe Lattimore needs six tackles to move into USF's career top five.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer