This Friday in a top 20 showdown (No.18) USF will face (No.5) West Virginia in front of a sold out Raymond James Stadium in the biggest game of the season. Here are all the game essentials of the Bulls vs. Mountaineers match-up. USFNation.com - Get it First, Get it Fast
USF Game Day
South Florida vs. West Virginia
Date: Friday, Sept. 29, 2007 Location: Tampa, Fla. Kickoff: 8 p.m. Eastern (Tampa) TV: ESPN2 Radio: WFLA 970 AM (Tampa) Stadium: Raymond James Stadium Capacity, 65,657, Surface: Natural
When the Bulls face the Tigers The two programs have a short
history, only playing twice. Last Season in the two programs only second
meeting, the Bulls upset the (No.7) Mountaineers 24-19 at Morgantown. The win
ended an eight game winning streak for the Mountaineers and avenged the 28-13
loss in the team's first meeting in 2005, where White and Slaton ran wild
combining for 263 rushing yards and four scores. In last years win the Bulls
lead by George Selvie held Slaton to 43 yards and the Mountaineers to 137 total
rushing yards, while Matt Grothe threw for 279 yards and two scores.
The Coaches USF: Jim Leavitt (11th season) -Has a career record of 71-43 at USF.
West Virginia: Rod Rodriguez (7th season) - Has a career record of
599-60-2 and is 54-24 at WVU
Last Season: USF Bulls 9-4 - WVU Mountaineers 11-2 This Season:
USF Bulls 3-0 - WVU Mountaineers 4-0
BIG EAST Conference
Bulls: Finished 4-3 in the conference in 2006 WVU
Finished 5-2 (T-2nd) in the conference in 2006
National Rankings South Florida: 18th AP/18th USA Today/ West Virginia: 5th AP/5th USA Today
Last Game Played West Virginia: The Mountaineers are
coming off a 48-7 win over East Carolina..
Last Game Played USF: The Bulls are coming off a 38-10 win over
North Carolina, and only allowed 157 total yards.
Looking back at UNC
The Bulls played a dominant defense that picked off four passes, the
second best single game total in USF history, (7) Houston 2002.
The 37 point output was the highest by the Bulls since they posted 37 at
North Carolina in 2006 ...
Matt Grothe guided the USF offense that scored 20 points in the first
half, while collecting 216 passing yards and 1 TD ... His first half yardage
output is the second highest single half passing total of his career. Grothe
did not play in the fourth quarter. The sophomore signal caller has not
thrown a pick in 127 pass attempts
Senior LB Ben Moffitt and junior LB Brouce Mompremier both collected
their first career interception
CB Trae Williams picked his first of the season. Williams led the team
and was among the national leaders with seven INTs
Sophomore DE George Selvie DE had three sacks and five tackles for loss
against the Tar Heels
True freshman RB Mike Ford scored his fifth TD of the season, fourth
rushing, to put USF up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
Senior WR Amarri Jackson reeled in his team high second TD catch of the
year to put USF up 14-0 in the first quarter
WR Taurus Johnson led the team with six receptions for 59 yards
Freshman RB Jamar Taylor scored his first career TD on a 1 yard
run in the fourth quarter
Junior RB Ben Williams scored his first rushing TD of the season and the
sixth of his career
LB Tyrone McKenzie led the team with 10 tackles, and has led the squad
in two of three games this season
Delbert Alvarado went 3-for-3 on FG attempts (23, 32, 40) after going
2-for-6 at Auburn
USF is 3-0 for just the third time in program history. The Bulls also
started 3-0 in 1998 and 20
It is only the fifth crowd of 37,000 or more in Bulls history
At the Helm -The Bulls have five 5 new position coaches for 2007. Greg
Gregory was elevated to offensive coordinator to replace Rod smith after
coaching the tight ends. Graduate Assistant Larry Scott was promoted to TE coach
and Graduate assistant Mike Simmonds replaces Greg Frey as offensive line coach. Mike Canales returns to the Bulls as Passing Game
Coordinator & Receivers coach, replacing Lawrence Dawsey. Former Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney was brought in as
Assistant Head Coach & Defensive Line coach.
George Selvie leads the country in sacks (8.5) and also leads the
country in tackles for loss (14.5) .
Jerome Murphy is seventh in yards per kick return (33.2)
Mike Ford is tied for 26th in scoring, which is ranked on a per game
Nate Allen is tied for ninth in the country with an average of 0.67
interceptions per game
USF Secondary is one of the best in the Nation
Currently, USF is ranked No. 14 in pass defense at 158.7 yards per game.
They have only allowed 250 passing yards combined to the last two opponents,
Auburn and North Carolina. Carolina was averaging 300-plus yards passing
before USF held them to 85 and intercepted four passes on Sept. 22
The secondary has accounted for five of the team's seven picks.
Sophomore FS Nate Allen has two INT, while senior cornerbacks Mike Jenkins
and Trae Williams each have one
SS Carlton Williams has 2.5 TFL, one sack and 16 tackles this season.
The secondary as a whole already has 18 pass breakups, led by Trae
Williams with six and Jenkins with five.
Closer look at the USF Players
Matt Grothe -made quite a name for himself last year en route to BIG EAST
Conference Freshman of the Year honors and looks for bigger and better things
this season. Grothe racked up 216 yards passing, the second highest single half
total of his career, against UNC ... He built upon his legacy as a gamer by
leading USF to a come-from-behind overtime win over Auburn. After being sacked
three times in the third quarter, Grothe went 6-8 for 75 passing yards, plus 25
rushing yards, and a TD pass in leading USF to the overtime winHe began the 2007 season with 239 yards, two TDs and no picks
against Elon. The gun slinger attempted 39 passes, a career high, and
completed 23. The Lakeland native threw for 2,576 yards on 202-317 passing
while connecting on 15 touchdowns. He also ran for 622 yards on 178 carries
and rumbled for nine TD's . For his efforts last year Grothe has been named to
the Manning and Maxwell Award watch lists.
Sophomore DE George Selvie -Selvie's leading the country in sacks (8.5)
and tackles for loss (14.5), despite having played only three games this season
when the majority of the country has played four. He was just named Walter Camp
National Player of the Week for his 3 sacks and 5 TFLs against North Carolina.
He also received a "helmet sticker" on ESPN's College Gameday Final late
Ben Moffitt -is the lone returnee out of USF's stellar trio of linebackers from
last season. He is currently third on the team with 23 tackles and 2.5 tackles
for loss. He collected a TFL and his first career interception, followed by a 41
yard return against UNC He began the 2007 campaign with 10 tackles, eight assisted, one
tackle for loss and one pass breakup. During the 2006 campaign, Moffitt
teamed up with Stephen Nicholas – now with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons – and
Patrick St. Louis, who is one of the Bulls' strength and conditioning coaches. Last year Moffitt led the team in tackles with 112 and was third in tackles
for a loss with 11 including four sacks ... During the summer Moffitt was named
to the Bronko Nagurski Award and Butkus watch lists.
True Freshmen Mike Ford -True-freshman Mike Ford is leading the USF
team in rushing yards with 170 (56.7 per game) and scoring (five TD, four
rushing). Had just 13 yards rushing against UNC, but broke the scoring open with
a five yard TD run in the first quarter. The Sarasota native ran for 74 yards,
including 59 in the first half, and 1 TD at Auburn the
Sarasota native and Florida high school football legend made the most
of his first collegiate action in the season opener against Elon. The
true-freshman scored three TDs, two rushing and one receiving . He had runs of
21 and 48 yards, which accounted for the large chunk of his 83 yards on six
carries. His receiving TD came from one yard out. His rushing TDs were
from 21 yards and 1 yard. ESPN college basketball commentator Dick Vitale,
who lives in Sarasota, put himself among the Ford backers after watching him in
person in high school and hearing about his production in the opener.
Senior defensive backs Trae Williams and Mike Jenkins -Are among the
best CB Tandem in the nation, and one of the potential strengths of this years
USF football team. One of the most experienced
DB combos in college football, the two combined for 60 career starts over their
careers. Combined they have 11 pass breakups and two INT this season.
Both posted impressive numbers in the season opener. Williams had
five tackles, one for a loss and a pass breakup. While Mike Jenkins had four
pass breakups, to tie a career high. Last season the two also teamed up for
eight interceptions, seven of which belonged to Williams, tying a single season
school record (with J.R. Reed). His seven picks also led the BIG EAST. The
duo has been sited as the best in the BIG EAST and the state of Florida by
several outlets, including ESPN.com expert Mark Sclabach.
Sophomore Nate Allen - This seasonNate Allen is putting himself all
over the box score with 2 INT, 20 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
and 1 tackle for loss. Allen was recently named BIG EAST Defensive Player of
the Week and Nagurski National Player of the Week after playing a part in three
turnovers against Auburn.
First time starters for 2007
Redshirt freshman OG Zach Hermann - Sophomore TE Ben Busbee Junior LB Brouce Mompremier Sophomore FS
Other redshirt rookies: WR Carlton Mitchell, WR
Ednir Alcin, DE Brandon Pequese, DE Joshua Smiley and LB Sabbath Joseph are
listed at the second spot at their respective positions.
There are five true freshmen listed as the top backups on the two-deep roster
OL Sampson Genus, OL Jeremiah Warren, RB Mike Ford, WR Dontavia Bogan
and LS Mike Walsh.
On the Shelf Senior center Nick Capogna -After missing several weeks Capogna is expected to
see action against West Virginia.
Sophomore OT Danny Tolley -after saying in camp that he was going to call it career, sophomore OT
Danny Tolley has decided to return to the team. Tolley has battled a severe
groin injury and a great deal of pain that accompanied the injury. Tolley
played in 11 games in 2006. On the subject, Coach Leavitt has said, "He is
showing great courage."
Junior OG Matt Huners -suffered an ACL tear during spring practice and will be out for a
large chunk of the season. It is possible that Huners will return this season.
Huners started 10 of 11 games at guard last season.
Sophomore WR Colby Erskin -who impressed by running the 40 yard dash in under
4.4 seconds, will likely be out for the entire 2007 season. Erskin torn an ACL
during preseason camp. Erskin worked as a running back last season, collecting
nine yards on six carries. He also had five catches for 73 yards. Erskin was
making noise at the receiving position and would have challenge for playing time
USF Honors Dorsey & Camon -The 2007 USF Bulls have two stickers, bearing the initials "JC" and "KD," for
former Bulls defensive back Javan Camon, who died after a collision in an indoor
football game in February, and Keeley Dorsey, the freshman running back who
collapsed and died during a team conditioning workout in January.
Up next for the Bulls -After the Big game with West Virginia, the
Bulls travel to FAU next Saturday on Oct 6th.