USF Coaches: On Being No. 2 In BCS Rankings

USF coaches comment on being No. 2 in the initial Bowl Championship Series Rankings released on Sunday afternoon. It is the first ever BCS ranking in a season of firsts for the Bulls, but more importantly it places USF as a major player

Coach Leavitt

On being No. 2 in BCS Poll

 "Those things are great. It is something I just can't control. We are just going to keep banging it out and practice hard and try to get ready for the next game and hopefully play well against the next opponent we have. The guys worked out hard tonight. We know it is a very difficult challenge for us and we'll just do the best we can. " 


On getting caught up in the BCS Ranking 

 " It's not hard for me because I'm so overwhelmed with just trying to do the little things right and the practices and the pace we go always, so it's not difficult for me. For the players, I can't talk for them. I don't know what goes through their mind. Today I was thinking so much about what we had to do at practice tonight that I really didn't have time to think much of anything else. " 


Quick turnaround to play Rutgers

 "We have had to deal with a lot of different things. We have played on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights, early games and late games.  The bigger challenge is getting ready for Rutgers. They are an awfully good football team. They are tremendous, in their own right that is going to be the biggest challenge for us. " 


On taking on another good running back and getting the defense ready

 "Ray [Rice]   is a very good running back. He is tremendous. He can bounce outside, inside, he is strong and they have awfully good blocking. It is going to be a really tough challenge for us. We know that.  We know we are going to have to play extremely well to slow them down at all. You're not going to stop him, he is too good, but hopefully we can corral him a little bit. " 


Importance of Sunday's practice

 "It was important because we are playing on Thursday. We  went ahead and looked at the film of the last game and got started looking at Rutgers a little bit and did some work tonight. We got some kicking in, those kinds of things. I think it was important. I thought we did a good job and I think we are doing the right things right now.


On possibly going early Wednesday

 " No, we'll do our normal schedule. We'll do our walk-throughs and our meetings on Wednesday, then we'll fly out. We'll practice tomorrow and Tuesday and that's about it. " 


On losing one day of normal game week

 "I don't know if you lose or gain or anything. Both teams are kind of in the same situation. You practice as many days as you can and get as prepared as you can. We're not going to do as much fundamental work and full pads and all of that kind of stuff as we normally do. I think our guys will be ready and I know they'll be ready. I think it is going to be a heck of a football game. It is a great matchup. " 


Is it fun yet?

 "I dream about having another day in my life to live, to be honest with you. The fact that I'm able to be out here on this practice field, sincerely, means a lot to me. I get pretty excited about that. I don't get ahead of myself too much. " 



Carl Franks, Running Backs Coach & Recruiting Coordinator 


On Being No. 2 in the BCS

 " I think the BCS is something the USF family, the South Florida family, everybody should be proud of. When you get those kinds of accolades, that kind of recognition, and publicity, the big thing is to treat it like a bottle of poison. It's not going to hurt you unless you swallow it. So just want to stay away from it and concentrate on what we've been concentrating on before. Stay in focus and take one game at a time, one practice at a time. Everything will work out fine ." 


On enjoying that poison

 "We can enjoy that poison at the end of the year. The players can enjoy it at the end of the year. Fans can enjoy whatever they want right now. " 



Wally Burnham, Associate Head Coach & Defensive Coordinator


 On keeping kids on an even keel

 "We just have to stay focused on the game at hand. If we get the kids on the same page we are on, and give the effort, everything works out. Most of the time the best team wins. " 


On being No. 2

 " I'm proud of the kids. It is something they never dreamed would happen when they came here. That is great for these kids and our program and the University, the whole ball of wax. I'm so proud for them. It's our job to keep them focused. " 


Did you dream of it?

 " You always dream of it as a coach. That's what you work for. You never know what is going to happen. You just try to get to that point. That's why you are always striving and working and grinding and spending all of the hours that you spend doing this job. " 




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