USF (2-0) should ignore any calendars, which might remind the Bulls they're 0-8 on Thursday night games on ESPN, a run highlighted by a 2007 loss to Rutgers (2-0) when the Bulls were No. 2 in the nation. Another interesting stat: Rutgers is actually the only Big East team Skip Holtz has beaten at home in his first two seasons at USF; his Bulls are 1-6 in conference games at Raymond James Stadium.
Watch out for …
USF's defensive line may be the key to the key Big East opener, with Rutgers potentially without two offensive line starters due to injury. DE Ryne Giddins, kept quiet last week at Nevada, has to be disruptive outside, and USF's interior line has to be stronger against the run than it was against Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson. The Bulls' turnaround in Reno coincided with making stops on third down after a rough start in that area.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer