WATCH OUT FOR...
A win for the Bulls would lock up a bowl berth beyond any doubt, while a loss would assure them of a losing conference record for the first time since joining the Big East in 2005.
USF vs. Rutgers, noon, Ch. 28, 970-AM
The Bulls (6-3, 1-3 Big East) are back after a 16-day layoff, hoping to end a two-game skid that has all but mathematically taken them out of contention for a Big East title once thought to be theirs to lose. The time off should help USF's lingering injuries at running back — sophomore Mike Ford (26 at left) should be available after missing the Cincinnati game — and offensive line, where coach Jim Leavitt said starters Marc Dile (78 at left) and Zach Hermann should not have played against the Bearcats because of injuries. Rutgers (4-5, 3-2), which has beaten USF by a combined five points in the last two years, has a newfound offensive balance, as QB Mike Teel has thrown for nine touchdowns in his last two games after throwing three in the first seven games. WR Kenny Britt is a deep threat against a USF secondary that has struggled giving up big plays and has starter Jerome Murphy nursing a knee injury. Greg Auman, Times staff writer