Sunday, December 17, 2017
Colleges

College football preview: USF at Connecticut, noon Saturday, Bright House Sports Network, 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

USF at UConn, noon, Bright House Sports Network, 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

The Bulls (1-4), hoping to improve to 2-0 in conference play for the second time ever, likely will be missing two prominent offensive cogs. The status of QB Steven Bench (knee) and top rusher Marcus Shaw (leg), both of whom were injured in the first half of last week's win against Cincinnati, remains unclear. With a bye week looming, coach Willie Taggart may be inclined to sit both, assuring their return for the Oct. 26 game against Louisville. The Bulls, 18th in Division I-A with 12 caused turnovers, seek a defensive TD for the third consecutive game. UConn (0-4), which hasn't played since coach Paul Pasqualoni's dismissal Sept. 30, is making its debut in the American Athletic Conference. UConn is 123rd in Division I-A in rushing offense (45.8 yards per game) and 119th in total offense (272.5). Though this series is tied 5-5, the Bulls are 1-4 Rentschler Field, having not won there since 2000.

Watch out for …

A few offensive wrinkles from UConn. The Huskies make their debut under interim coach T.J. Weist, who likely will attempt to stretch the field more behind 6-foot-4 freshman QB Tim Boyle, making his first collegiate start. If UConn employs a spread look, DE Aaron Lynch and DT Luke Sager could line up with their hands out of the dirt in more of a linebacker position. With half a sack, Bulls senior DL Ryne Giddins (161/2 career sacks) moves into the school's all-time top five in that category. Former Alonso High star Tyree Clark is a Huskies backup cornerback. Bulls K Marvin Kloss has converted his past seven field-goal tries.

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

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