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USF at a glance

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Coach: Jim Leavitt, right

Staff: Wally Burnham (associate head coach/defensive coordinator/ linebackers); Mike Canales (pass game coordinator/receivers); Troy Douglas (defensive backs); Carl Franks (running backs/recruiting coordinator); Greg Gregory (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks); John Hendrick (defensive line); Kevin Patrick (defensive ends); Larry Scott (tight ends); Mike Simmonds (offensive line)

Conference: Big East

Conference titles: None

National titles: None

Radio: 970-AM

Web site: Gousfbulls.com

2008 Schedule

SaturdayTenn.-Martin 7

Sept. 6 at UCF 7

Sept. 12 Kansas 8

Sept. 20 at FIU TBA

Sept. 27 at N.C. State TBA

Oct. 2 Pittsburgh7:30

Oct. 18 SyracuseTBA

Oct. 25 at LouisvilleTBA

Oct. 30 Cincinnati7:30

Nov 15 RutgersTBA

Nov. 23 UConn8

Dec. 6 at West Virginia TBA

CAN'T-MISS GAMES

Sept. 12 vs. Kansas: Like last year's Auburn game, an early chance to establish the Bulls on a national level. Jayhawks QB Todd Reesing could exploit USF's unproven cornerbacks, so the challenge is for George Selvie and the pass rush to test Kansas' first-year starters at offensive tackle. It's a Friday night, so expect a huge crowd and national audience on ESPN2.

Oct. 2 vs. Pittsburgh: The Big East opener also gets the weeknight treatment, with a Thursday night kickoff on ESPN, just five days after a game at N.C. State. Here, the challenge is containing Pitt sophomore LeSean McCoy, who was held to 57 yards but scored three touchdowns in last year's 48-37 USF win. This game establishes the top challenger to West Virginia for the Big East crown.

Dec. 6 at West Virginia: Could be a Big East championship game, and the Bulls have beaten the Mountaineers two years in a row. Can West Virginia replace heavy losses on defense? Can first-year coach Bill Stewart fill the big void left by the loss of Rich Rodriguez? Can Noel Devine become the big-play threat that Steve Slaton has been the last two years? This one could be huge.

2007 (9-4)

Elon 28-13W

at Auburn26-23 (OT)W

North Carolina 37-10W

W. Virginia 21-13W

at Florida Atlantic 35-23W

Central Florida 64-12W

at Rutgers 27-30L

at Connecticut 15-22L

Cincinnati 33-38L

at Syracuse 41-10W

Louisville 55-17W

at Pittsburgh 48-37W

Sun Bowl

Oregon 21-56L

Area players

WR Ed Alcin (Chamberlain); DE Jarriett Buie (Armwood); P/K Delbert Alvarado (Robinson); LB Lucas Darr (Countryside); LS Darryl Dudding (Indian Rocks Christian); WR Colby Erskin (Seminole); OL Jason Fox (Durant); C Jake Griffin (Armwood); OG Zach Hermann (East Lake); OG Joe Herzhauser (Lakewood); OG Chaz Hine (Newsome); OG Matt Huners (Palm Harbor University HS); LB Tyrone McKenzie (Riverview); RB Joel Miller (Wharton); WR Carlton Mitchell (Gaither); P Ilia Petrov (Tampa Bay Tech); OT Mark Popek (Plant City); TE Trent Pupello (Jefferson); LB Armando Sanchez (Northeast); OT Danny Tolley (Wesley Chapel); LS Mike Walsh (Plant); LB LaDre Watkins (Wharton); CB Theo Wilson (Dunedin); Jerrell Young (Gibbs)

Raymond James stadium

Tickets: Individual home game tickets are available for $10, $25 and $30 plus fees, through Ticketmaster or by calling toll-free 1-800-462-8557 (1-800-GoBulls). Season tickets start at $147, with a family pack of two adult and two child season tickets $300.

Parking: Most of the parking is south of the stadium, south of Tampa Bay Boulevard between Himes Boulevard and Dale Mabry Highway, or north just before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. There are also lots east of Himes and across Dale Mabry at Legends Field.

Directions: From the north — take Interstate 75 south to I-275 and turn off at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Go west to the stadium, turning into parking lots A or 3. From the south — take I-275 north to the N Dale Mabry exit (41-B). Go north on Dale Mabry Highway to the parking lots as above.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

USFBULLS

MUST-WATCH STATS

Grothe's interceptions: For all his playmaking, for as far as he has taken USF in two years as starter, Matt Grothe is already the school's career interceptions leader with 28. The challenge is limiting his mistakes without reining in the creativity that makes him a dual-threat passer.

The rest of the pass rush: Defensive end George Selvie was a consensus All-American last year. With offenses focusing on containing him, someone else has to step up as a sack specialist. Is it senior Jarriett Buie? Or super-strong Sampson Genus?

Turnover margin: USF forced 42 takeaways last season, and its success generally hinged on how often they turned the ball over themselves. Eight turnovers against Cincinnati, five against Oregon. Cutting down on mistakes — but forcing three a game — is a must for USF.

USF at a glance 08/27/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 12:19pm]

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