USF vs. Western Carolina, 7, 1010-AM, 98.7-FM
A year after losing to a Division I-AA foe (McNeese State) in its season opener, USF faces a similarly moribund program. The I-AA Catamounts, who never have defeated a I-A team, have dropped their past 21 road games and will be missing five suspended starters. Bulls QB Mike White seeks his first victory in his sixth career start. Senior WR Andre Davis should extend his school-record streak of 30 consecutive games with at least one catch. For the first time in five seasons as a coach, Willie Taggart will be an overseer, allowing coordinators Chuck Bresnahan (defense) and Paul Wulff (offense) to call the plays.
Watch out for … The Bulls' new 3-4 defense, implemented to put more athletes (i.e. linebackers) on the field to more effectively defend spread offenses. … A handful of Bulls freshmen — modestly estimated at a half-dozen — likely will relinquish their redshirts. … Catamounts junior dual-threat QB Troy Mitchell passed for 1,614 yards and ran for 565 last season, but his primary 2013 target, Karnorris Benson (51 catches), is among the suspended players. … Aesthetically, USF is expected to debut glossy golden helmets.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer