TAMPA — USF is one of 11 Division I-A teams yet to record an interception.
Though the Bulls were credited with six pass breakups Thursday against Rutgers, with 5-foot-11 CB George Baker getting four, two opportunities to take the ball away slipped through their fingers.
"That's the thing we've got to do — we've got to get some turnovers," defensive coordinator Chris Cosh said. "We've got to catch the ball when we have a chance for an interception."
Baker and S Jon Lejiste each dropped a would-be interception against the Scarlet Knights.
"That's definitely something we're emphasizing," Baker said. "We've been working on turnovers in practice, attacking the ball in the air. … That's the main key to basically getting the win: winning the turnover battle."
CB Kayvon Webster called the lack of picks the "topic of discussion" and S JaQuez Jenkins saying he has "been itching" to get one.
SEARCH FOR BALANCE: After abandoning the running game late against Rutgers, USF coaches stressed a need to take pressure off of QB B.J. Daniels.
"You certainly want to have parts of your offense where you take that pressure off your quarterback," offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said. "As that game unfolded, pretty much every play required him to make a play or make a quick decision — and that's hard."
USF ran 10 times in the second half, twice in the fourth quarter.
Joe Polito, Times correspondent
UF: Joyer in key role
GAINESVILLE — Florida FB Hunter Joyer has had two carries and one catch this season, but offensive coordinator Brent Pease said his value can't be measured by statistics. Pease said Joyer (Wesley Chapel/Tampa Catholic) improved his blocking and developed physicality in what is often "a thankless job." But he's also a threat outside of just blocking.
"He brings a threat that he can catch some passes for us," Pease said. "Occasionally he's going to have the ball in his hands. And he never complains about what the situation is. … I guess I'd kind of relate it to like Mike Alstott when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That type of guy that just works like that and never complains."
BIG TV RATINGS: There was a lot of talk about why ESPN College GameDay broadcast from Knoxville Saturday instead of from Michigan State-Notre Dame, but it seems network officials made the right call. UF-UT was the most-watched college game of the weekend, drawing 5.076 million viewers.
Antonya English, Times staff writer
FSU: Watkins awaits
TALLAHASSEE — Clemson WR Sammy Watkins became a big name in the ACC last year.
He had seven catches and two touchdowns against Florida State the week after 10 catches and two TDs against then-defending national champion Auburn. Saturday the Fort Myers native is in his home state to face the No. 4 Seminoles. FSU's cornerbacks say they are ready for the challenge.
"I get the text messages," CB Nick Waisome said. " 'Hey, it's Sammy Watkins, hey, Clemson.' … I want to go in there and him have zero receptions. That's just how I go about it."
UM: Run a concern
CORAL GABLES — Miami has the 102nd-best run defense in the country. Georgia Tech's rushing offense ranks third.
After allowing 288 rushing yards at Kansas State and 233 to Bethune-Cookman, coach Al Golden still keeps the faith.
"I hope we're better," Golden said. "We're going to be tested. This is the best. They're the best at what they do in the country."