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George Selvie and other South Florida Bulls seniors seek to beat Cincinnati Bearcats at last

Defensive end George Selvie and his fellow Bulls have lost three straight to Cincinnati; no team has defeated USF four years in a row. The teams meet Thursday at Raymond James Stadium.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times (2008)

Defensive end George Selvie and his fellow Bulls have lost three straight to Cincinnati; no team has defeated USF four years in a row. The teams meet Thursday at Raymond James Stadium.

TAMPA — Senior DE George Selvie has helped USF to some of its finest moments in the school's football history.

On Thursday, he can add another chapter, and also avoid becoming an infamous part of the Bulls' record book: No opponent has beaten the Bulls four years in a row.

"It is kind of personal," Selvie said Monday. "I know we've beaten Cincinnati, but I've never had a chance to actually beat Cincinnati myself. This is my senior year, and I want to go out with a win. It's a real big game for me, and I want to win this one."

Only four seniors have played in all three losses to No. 8 Cincinnati — Selvie, CB Jerome Murphy, LB Chris Robinson and DT Aaron Harris. The No. 21 Bulls will face the same challenge next month when they try to break a three-game losing streak to Rutgers.

"Our emotions are going to be so high. We're going to play with a lot of enthusiasm," Selvie said.

The last time Cincinnati came to Tampa, Selvie had one of his best games in the past two years. He had seven total tackles and four for losses, both matching his personal high in any game since USF's 6-0 start in 2007. Selvie also forced a fumble and blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter to keep USF's comeback hopes alive.

One player has experience beating the Bearcats — senior WR Jessie Hester, expected to play after being limited by ankle and hamstring injuries in the first five games, played as a freshman in USF's 31-16 win against Cincinnati in 2005.

FAMILIAR FACE: Defensive coordinator Joe Tresey, who had the same role at Cincinnati the past two seasons, isn't the only coach in Thursday's game with a history with the opponent. Bearcats tight ends coach Lorenzo Guess was hired this summer after working in the spring at USF as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Guess was never with the Bulls during a season, but coach Jim Leavitt said any insights into an opponent's tendencies can be helpful.

"He's been around us. He knows us. He knows our players," Leavitt said. "Is it an advantage for them? Sure. I wouldn't say it's to (the same advantage as Tresey's familiarity) but he knows our practices, how we work, my demeanor, our coaching staff. I'm sure he talked to their team about us and all that stuff. Any information is valuable."

THIS AND THAT: The women's soccer team is 3-2-2 in Big East play with four league games left, matching the most conference wins the Bulls have had in four previous seasons. All four games are on the road, but three opponents — Syracuse, Cincinnati and Louisville — are a combined 4-15-2 in conference play. … Men's soccer, ranked as high as No. 3 nationally, is also 3-2-2 in the league after opening 5-1-1 in Big East play last season. The Bulls haven't allowed more than one goal in a match this year, but have just eight goals in those seven conference games. … USF basketball hosts a "Bulls Frenzy" event from 8-10 p.m. Friday in the Sun Dome to usher in the first practice of the season.

George Selvie and other South Florida Bulls seniors seek to beat Cincinnati Bearcats at last 10/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 7:36pm]
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