Defensive end George Selvie didn't have a tackle after the first quarter Saturday, but he didn't really need one, having set the tone for USF's defense with three tackles for loss on Syracuse's first two drives.
"It was no question that from the get-go ... we weren't ready for what he had," Orange coach Greg Robinson said. "I'm not sure that if Willie Roaf was over there on that first play, what he would have done on it. That kid got off perfect and turned that corner and looked like a big-time guy to me."
A big-time guy who now has 30.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 short of the NCAA record. He extended his school record to 14.5 sacks and watched much of the game from the sideline, his knee "banged up" but fine for next week's game.
"I came out there while we always should, pumped up and ready to play," Selvie said. "I just came out hungry. Everybody did. It was a great game for us, everybody running around and having fun out there."
FLAG DAY: USF drew 16 penalties for 144 yards - four more flags and 28 more yards than any team has had in a Big East game this season.
An offensive pass interference call negated a touchdown, and the offensive line was flagged six times, plus two that were declined.
MORE INJURIES: No position has had more injuries than the offensive line - left tackle Marc Dile was helped off the field twice, and center Jake Griffin returned as a guard after an early injury.
Senior Nick Capogna handled snaps most of the game, and left guard Ryan Schmidt shifted to left tackle after Dile's injury. The severity of the injuries is unknown.
Defensive tackle Aaron Harris missed three quarters and had his left ankle in a boot after the game, but defensive line coach Dan McCarney said he'll play against Louisville.
TRIPLE DUTY: Sophomore Delbert Alvarado typically fills two roles as USF's place-kicker and punter, but Saturday he added kickoffs after Justin Teachey was sidelined by an unspecified injury.
Alvarado hit his first two field goals, giving him six in a row, but his third was blocked. He averaged 45.8 yards on four punts.
NOT MUCH BETTER: After Marcus Edwards muffed a fourth-quarter punt in last week's loss to Cincinnati, USF had sophomore Jerome Murphy deep on Syracuse's first punt.
Murphy signaled for a fair catch and fielded the ball on his 5-yard line, then tried to take off. Officials said they had blown the whistle before he ran, so USF avoided being pinned even deeper.
Edwards was back for the last three punts, taking a fair catch on each. Murphy got his first career interception in the fourth quarter.
THIS AND THAT: Bucs rookie Tanard Jackson, a Syracuse graduate, watched from the sideline during Tampa Bay's bye week. ... Former Orange and Dolphins running back Larry Csonka had his No.39 jersey retired at halftime. ... Syracuse remains the only Big East school yet to beat USF. The Bulls are 3-0 against the Orange, with a combined score of 95-20.
Greg Auman can be reached at email@example.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/usf.