Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Bulls seek "a niche" when facing FSU Seminoles

Quarterback E.J. Manuel is the starting point for what USF coach Skip Holtz calls “video game-type numbers” by the Florida State offense.

Getty Images

Quarterback E.J. Manuel is the starting point for what USF coach Skip Holtz calls “video game-type numbers” by the Florida State offense.

TAMPA — Against a Florida State offense that is putting up what USF coach Skip Holtz called "video game-type numbers" the Bulls need to make the most of their own offensive possessions Saturday against a team ranking second nationally in total defense.

"I think the bottom line is you're going to have to score some points," he said. "I don't think this one's going to be about trying to go 3 yards in a cloud of dust and just control the ball because you're going to end up punting the ball quite a bit. Their leading tackler is a defensive end, which gives you a little bit of insight that you don't get past the front four very often."

Clemson put up 37 points on FSU, getting creative with play action and trick plays. USF offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said the Bulls would have to adapt quickly to move the ball.

"You've got to find a niche," he said. "Hopefully, with the variety of ways we can run the ball, we can find something that kind of clicks. We've studied the Clemson game pretty hard. We've got to find the thing that's in a groove that night and try to exploit them."

STARTERS RETURN: CB George Baker, the only defensive back who has started all four games, said he's looking forward to having a healthier secondary. Usual starters CB Kayvon Webster and safeties JaQuez Jenkins and Mark Joyce saw their play greatly limited against Ball State while recovering from lingering injuries.

"JaQuez was back running around good today and Kayvon Webster, he was running around good, so it's good to know that we're going to have those guys back," Baker said.

USF will need all the help it can get to slow QB E.J. Manuel, who has eight TD passes and one interception.

Joe Polito, Times correspondent

FSU: Kicker shakes it off

TALLAHASSEE — Dustin Hopkins left Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday night in disbelief.

Before his two first-half misses against Clemson, it had been two years since he had shanked multiple kicks in a game.

"I've had bad games before and I've been in this spot where, you have a bad game, you bounce back," said Hopkins, who is 3-for-5 on field goals this season, and 66-for-87 career.

SAD TRIP: RB Devonta Freeman was back at practice after a brief trip home to Miami. Last week, the sophomore's brother, Anthony Darling, was shot and killed in South Florida in an apparent altercation. Freeman was on FSU's sideline Saturday.

Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel

UM: Unfamiliar rival

CORAL GABLES — In a scheduling quirk, Miami and North Carolina State, ACC rivals who face off Saturday, have not met since 2008.

"It's my first time playing N.C. State," said Miami CB Brandon McGee — and he's a senior.

According to player participation charts from that '08 meeting, only two players on the field that day will likely play: Miami WR Davon Johnson and N.C. State LB Sterling Lucas.

"We still prepare for every team the same way," McGee said. "It's going to be a big game."

Associated Press

UCF: RB Murray returning

ORLANDO — UCF coach George O'Leary said RB Latavius Murray will likely play Saturday against Missouri, but will not start. Murray, who entered the season as the starter, injured his shoulder in the opener against Akron and missed three games. O'Leary said Murray has practiced in a yellow jersey that indicates he is returning from injury.

Orlando Sentinel

Up next

Miami: vs. N.C. State, noon Saturday. TV: ESPNU

UCF: vs. Missouri, noon Saturday.

FSU at USF: 6 Saturday. TV: ESPN

Florida: vs. LSU, 3:30 Oct. 6. TV: Ch. 10

USF Bulls seek "a niche" when facing FSU Seminoles 09/25/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay


    1. Armwood (7-0)

    Up next: vs. Brandon

    Armwood quarterback Devin Black (7) shakes hands with Plant defensive back Keon King (26) after the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The Hawks beat the Panthers 27-7.
  2. Today he secures Bucs games; 30 years ago he played in them


    TAMPA —- Whenever the Bucs play a home game, Sankar Montoute is on hand to supervise more than 50 officers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on duty at Raymond James Stadium.

    Sankar Montoute, who oversees Homeland Security for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, was a replacement player for the Bucs during the 1987 strike. 
Montoute, who had a sack and interception in the same NFL game, oversees the 50-plus officers who work at Bucs games, most of whom have no idea he played. [Times files (1987)]
  3. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Looking back at what went wrong


    In his latest Cannon Fodder podcast, Greg Auman says Monday brought good news relating to Jameis Winston's shoulder injury.

    A frustrated Mike Evans sits on the bench during the second half of the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Arizona. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Goodell, union, players to meet on social issues and anthem


    NEW YORK — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, owners of each team, representatives of the players' union and players themselves will meet Tuesday to discuss ways to "move from protest to progress."

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a news conference in February at the Super Bowl Media Center in Houston. [Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS]
  5. Wins record in reach for Phil Hayford after nearly four decades of coaching


    ST. PETERSBURG — Phil Hayford always wanted to be a football coach.

    Keswick Christian football coach Phil Hayford in the huddle during practice at the school in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2017. Hayford is one win shy of tying the Pinellas County record for overall wins. Hayford, 70, has an overall record of 194-143, which includes 33 years at Shorecrest and two at Keswick.