TAMPA — USF announced that Saturday's game against No. 4 Florida State is a sellout, but the Bulls have taken the unprecedented step of opening a block of 500 standing-room-only seats in the south end zone plaza of Raymond James Stadium.
Those tickets, which are not attached to any seats, cost $50 and go on sale at 9 a.m. today through Ticketmaster.com. Up to this point, tickets had only been available to the public as part of a season ticket plan.
FSU's first trip to play USF in Tampa will be the Bulls' fourth-ever sellout, following 2007 games against West Virginia and UCF and a 2009 game against Miami.
HONORED: USF TE Evan Landi is one of 147 semifinalists — and one of two from the Big East — for the Campbell Trophy, which goes to the best scholar-athlete in college football.
BRACING: USF's defense is preparing for an FSU offense putting up gaudy numbers in its 4-0 start — averaging 56 points and 574 yards — but that's nothing new for Bulls defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, who held the same role at Kansas State last year.
"You kind of saw those numbers every week," Cosh said of his Big 12 days. "You look at the numbers, and they're a little more skewed to the running game. They've got two running backs averaging almost 10 yards a carry, so they've got the big-play threat with those guys you usually see just in your passing game. They've got it in both areas."
FSU: Sharp practice
TALLAHASSEE — Coach Jimbo Fisher praised FSU's final workout for its first road game of the season.
"I liked what I saw,'' he said. "Our eyes were sharp; bodies were ready. They're learning to focus. They're learning to lock in. That's important, especially when you're going on the road."
db out: Freshman DB Colin Blake will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury that will require surgery.
Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel
UM: Rising linebacker
CORAL GABLES — Redshirt freshman LB Eddie Johnson has quickly turned into Miami's breakout player of the year, his 24 tackles second on the team and his practice intensity unmatched.
DE Shayon Green, who has 28 tackles, grinned when asked about the player he sees on weekdays.
"You have to slow him down and tell him it is practice," Green said.
Johnson, the ACC linebacker of the week, had a fourth-down hit on Georgia Tech QB Tevin Washington during overtime Saturday, a defining moment for the defense.
But the soft-spoken Johnson quickly dismissed talk of his big hit, shifting focus to the N.C. State game Saturday.
Johnson wasn't on the first two depth charts of preseason camp before cracking the list Aug. 20 as a co-starter. When the games started in September, he moved past Thurston Armbrister and assumed a prime role in a beat-up linebacker corps.
With Ramon Buchanan out for the season and Denzel Perryman missing for a second straight week, Johnson's production became even more essential.
"Every opportunity that we've given him on special teams or on defense, he has fulfilled that role and, with that, he has received more opportunities," coach Al Golden said. "He's playing as hard as anybody on our defense right now. He's finishing at a level that is tremendous. He's knocking piles back; he's not getting a lot of mental errors."
South Florida Sun Sentinel