Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Leavitt says USF Bulls not taking Northern Illinois lightly despite MAC's bowl woes

TORONTO — The Mid-American Conference's bowl losing streak is at 13 consecutive games, including three this season, but USF coach Jim Leavitt said his team won't take Northern Illinois lightly when the Bulls meet the Huskies today in the International Bowl.

"I look at Northern Illinois and I know how good they are," Leavitt said Friday. "You've got two very good football teams that are going to play (today). They took apart Purdue and they had Wisconsin beat."

If the Huskies knock off USF, it would be historic for their conference. In the past 30 years, MAC teams have just one bowl win in eight tries against a school from a BCS conference — Bowling Green beat the Big Ten's Northwestern in the 2003 Motor City Bowl.

Since adopting its current lineup in 2005, the Big East is 7-0 in bowl games against non-BCS teams, including a 3-0 mark in Toronto.

NO SUSPENSIONS: Leavitt said he does not expect to have any players suspended from any part of today's game. USF had three players suspended from the first half of last year's bowl game in St. Petersburg for a violation of team rules.

"Everybody made curfew. Everything was right," said Leavitt, who let players stay out until 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve.

NEW BULLS FANS: USF sold only about 1,000 tickets out of the 10,000 allotted to the team by the bowl, but the Bulls have put some of the rest to good use. USF donated 920 tickets to the Toronto Children's Breakfast Club, with another 80 tickets given to the Crime Stoppers community program.

Northern Illinois also sold about 1,000 tickets, so today's attendance should be significantly down from last year's announced crowd of 40,184 to see Connecticut beat Buffalo.

RECORD WATCH: Junior RB Mike Ford needs two rushing touchdowns to match Andre Hall's USF career record of 24. … Junior WR Carlton Mitchell, already USF's career receiving yards leader, needs 50 receiving yards to break Hugh Smith's season record of 661 yards. … Junior Dontavia Bogan needs 25 yards on kickoff returns to break his season record of 770, set last season. … Senior CB Jerome Murphy should become the first Bull to play 52 career games.

Leavitt says USF Bulls not taking Northern Illinois lightly despite MAC's bowl woes 01/01/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 1, 2010 11:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.
  2. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  3. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  4. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.