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Bulls getting kick out of spoiling home fans

Quarterback Marquel Blackwell jogged along the railing slapping hands with fans, and one youngster asked if she could have his shoe. Wide receiver Hugh Smith walked around the sidelinearea cradling his almost 1-year-old niece, Alia, and sporting an ear-to-ear smile.

Ah, South Florida football: Another week, another blowout home victory, another love fest on the Raymond James Stadium turf afterward.

As always, a few dozen Bulls lingered on the field for several minutes after USF's 48-17 win Saturday over Western Illinois. They frolicked with fans leaning over the railing and accepted congratulations from friends and family.

It was USF's fifth straight win, all at home, and 12th straight overall at home. The Bulls have outscored their past five opponents by an average of 46-17, and they have 353 points this season, 49 shy of the team record established in 1998.

USF (7-3) can finish 7-0 at home Nov. 24 against Utah State.

"We're trying to keep that streak alive," wide receiver DeAndrew Rubin said of the home winning streak, which is tied for seventh longest in the nation. "We've been talking about it."

THE WINNER IS : With just one game to go, there are multiple players vying to lead the Bulls in rushing and receiving yards.

Receiving yards: Huey Whittaker 535, Rubin 475, Chris Iskra 461, Smith 458. The team record is 537 by Clif Dell in 1998.

Rushing yards: Quinton Callum 348, Vince Brewer 307, Clenton Crossley 307. Crossley missed Saturday's game with a sprained ankle.

TIME OFF: Blackwell aggravated the turf toe injury he suffered Nov. 3 against Houston, and it will keep him out of practice this week. With two weeks until the next game, that being the last of the season, expect Blackwell to play against Utah State. He has the offseason to heal.

MORE AGGRAVATION: Defensive end Chris Daley aggravated an ankle sprain in the first half and did not return. Gingerly walking off the field after the game, Daley said the ankle was "pretty sore."

SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES: Sophomore Cedric Battles made his first career start in Daley's place. Starting on the opposite end was sophomore Shurron Pierson, Battles' teammate at Wildwood High. Pierson had two sacks, giving him seven this season, 1{ behind team leader Daley.

_ PETE YOUNG

Up next:USF NOTEBOOK

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