Yeah yeah I'm late, but I was sick so give me a break.
This is a bounce back game. Bounce back games are good because they usually include lesser opponents (which Syracuse is one of) but they are also bad because it means the program is bouncing back from a loss.
Barring a slight miracle, USF is out of the national title picture. I know that isn't fair but life isn't fair. However there is much to play for including a BCS bowl berth and a top 10, possibly top 5 finish to the season along with a school record for victories.
Last year USF climbed to No. 2 and followed it with three consecutive losses before getting back on track against...Syracuse.
That team loss three in a row because they were mentally and emotionally exhausted. They were also physically banged up and limited in what they could do. This year's team was beginning to show those same traits but the schedule makers were nice enough to give the Bulls a 16-day break to recover and recharge and prepare for the second half of the season.
If the Bulls do what they should against the Orange at high noon that 16-day rest could feel like an extended rest before they have the final stretch run of difficult, but winnable games.
So enjoy homecoming and enjoy what should be a fun day in Tampa with the Bulls winning by day and the Rays taking the AL in St. Petersburg by midnight!
When USF Has the Ball: Let's get back to the basics and run this thing. I'd love to see 35 carries for the running backs to show that this team will not shy away from the physical game and the loss against Pittsburgh wasn't as bad as it seemed. Obviously the offense runs through Matt Grothe, but last year Mike Ford had a huge game against the Orange and the team rushed for 346 yards. A rushing day of over 250 yards would be very nice.
When Syracuse Has the Ball: Quarterback Cameron Dantley had some success against the USF defense because he was mobile enough to escape the rush and catch his receivers breaking off of patterns. But he did throw two interceptions due to the pass rush and he will be under fire all day because of the Orange's inferior offensive line. Don't be surprised if Dantley makes some plays but he will make mistakes and USF will capitalize.
He Said It: ""They could be 2-0 (in the Big East), and we all know that. They had West Virginia on the 5-yard line, my goodness. In the Big East, everybody's good. There's so much parity in the Big East, it's unbelievable. You've got to be on, play every snap, play for 60 minutes." -- Jim Leavitt on Syracuse
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