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So far, AAC has upper hand on Big 12 in football

 
Published Sept. 20, 2016

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"I think that's exactly how you get yourself beat, trying to be like someone else. We're gonna go out and be the Bulls and try to be better at what we do."

USF coach Willie Taggart, when asked if he'd use his quarterback, Quinton Flowers, to simulate what Louisville's Lamar Jackson did (356 total yards) in the Cardinals' 63-20 drubbing of FSU

Numbers of the day

137 Yards needed by junior tailback Marlon Mack to replace Andre Hall (2,731) as USF's all-time rushing leader.

4 National rank — in terms of punt-return yardage — of USF junior D'Ernest Johnson (20.8 yards per attempt). Johnson scored on an 83-yard return in Saturday's 45-20 win at Syracuse.

Rush on tickets for USF-FSU

More than 56,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's showdown between No. 13 FSU and USF at Raymond James Stadium, assuring the Bulls of one their 10 largest home audiences in program history. The record is 69,383, when FSU last visited in 2012.

USF said student-ticket sales are at 9,500 and climbing, making for the largest student section in at least four years. More than 4,000 requests have been made by students — who receive tickets as part of their fees — since noon Monday.

"It's gonna be fun. I hear it's gonna be packed," Bulls coach Willie Taggart said Tuesday. "I'm sure it's gonna be loud. I'm sure I'm gonna see a lot of green and gold in RayJay, and we'll be excited for each and every one of them being nice and loud. Set your alarm clocks … We don't need anyone getting in late."

Big-timing the Big 12

If the opening quarter of the 2016 season is any sign, the aspirations of many are woefully misguided.

Perhaps it should be the Big 12 institutions beseeching their way into the American Athletic Conference, not the other way around.

Yeah, we get it, money's the driving force in expansion, but it certainly hasn't driven the Big 12 to dominance — or even respectability — on the Division I-A landscape at this point.

So far, the American boasts the fourth-best winning percentage (.724) of the nation's 10 D-I conferences. The league's 21-8 overall record includes a 6-7 mark against Power Five programs, and a 2-1 mark against the Big 12.

Speaking of the Big 12, it's 15-11 (.577) at this point, with four Power Five triumphs including in-conference games. Outside its conference, the Big 12 is 3-6 against Power Five foes.

Four more AAC-Power Five matchups are slated this weekend: TCU at SMU, East Carolina at Virginia Tech, Syracuse at UConn, and some little tilt at Raymond James Stadium.