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St. Petersburg Bowl preview: South Florida Bulls vs. Memphis Tigers

ST. Petersburg Bowl

USF vs. Memphis, 4:30 p.m, ESPN2, 970-AM, 1040-AM

Notable: Inaugural bowls against Conference USA opponents have suited USF well. The Bulls' only victory among their three bowls came in the first Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., against East Carolina two years ago. The Bulls (7-5) are 111/2-point favorites and haven't lost to a non-BCS conference opponent since Memphis in 2004. USF has scored 20 or fewer points in its past five games, four of them losses. And it hasn't had a 100-yard rusher all season. Memphis (6-6) hasn't allowed one since two Southern Miss players did so in the Tigers' 36-30 win on Oct. 25.

What to watch for …

Much of the attention on Memphis has focused on running back Curtis Steele (1,175 yards, seven touchdowns). But it also has a pair of big, experienced receivers in 6-foot-8 junior Carlos Singleton and 6-4 junior Duke Calhoun. Memphis hasn't seen a defense as tough as USF's nor a pass-rusher as dangerous as George Selvie. So the Bulls should be able to get to Arkelon Hall, who isn't much of a scrambler. USF quarterback Matt Grothe needs just 77 yards to become the second Big East player with 10,000 in total offense. He likely will surpass West Virginia's Pat White for the conference record early next season.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

St. Petersburg Bowl preview: South Florida Bulls vs. Memphis Tigers 12/19/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 19, 2008 9:54pm]
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