TAMPA — On the day Lee Roy Selmon was buried in his native Oklahoma, USF paid tribute to the Pro Football Hall of Famer, whose presence could be seen all over Raymond James Stadium.
The Bulls distributed 40,000 decals bearing Selmon's name and the No. 63 he wore for the Bucs, and Selmon's number was painted on the field on both sides at midfield, as it will be for the Bucs' season opener today vs. the Lions. Selmon, who had worked at USF since 1993 and was the Bulls' athletic director from 2001 to 2004, died Sept. 4 in Tampa, two days after suffering a stroke.
Selmon's picture graced the cover of USF's game-day program, and USF's mascot, Rocky the Bull, waved a No. 63 flag before the team left the tunnel. USF's marching band, the Herd of Thunder, formed the initials "LRS" on the field before the game as a moment of silence was observed.
USF athletic director Doug Woolard, who spoke at Selmon's memorial service Friday in Lutz, did not arrive at the stadium until just before halftime, as he and USF president Judy Genshaft were in Oklahoma as part of Selmon's funeral.
New starters: USF opened with three receivers who didn't start against Notre Dame — redshirt freshman Deonte Welch, who doesn't have a catch, and Hillsborough High grads Terrence Mitchell and Lindsey Lamar. Mitchell caught a screen pass on the opening play, while Lamar had a catch on the next play. Mitchell earned his first start, and Lamar made his seventh.
Red-zone woes: The Bulls had no trouble scoring Saturday but struggled in the red zone for the second week in a row. After settling for field goals three times against Notre Dame, the Bulls settled for Maikon Bonani field goals of 31 and 24 yards for a 13-0 lead before Demetris Murray's 2-yard scoring run in the second quarter. Bonani had his own problems, with a 34-yard kick blocked and a miss wide from 41 yards. Still, he has six field goals in USF's first two victories.
THIS AND THAT: USF went to its backups, but RB Marcus Shaw, facing third and 1, spun out of enough tackles that he was dropped for a 22-yard loss. Skip Holtz brought his starting offense back in on the next drive, resulting in a touchdown. … Ball State went 10-for-14 on third downs in last week's win against Indiana. The Cardinals were held to 3-for-16 on third downs against the Bulls. … USF committed three penalties for 38 yards.