USF Goes Head First Into a Hurricane

USF faces Miami for an match-up of instate foes, and will also be the begining of the first real non-conference rivalry for the Bulls when they face the Miami Hurricanes at Raymond James Stadium this Saturday.

If nothing else we can say that USF football has given us a few exciting moments in 2009. From the historic victory over Florida State to the tremendous gutsy effort from B.J. Daniels against West Virginia, it's been a season with quite a few highlights and lowlights sprinkled in.

But this week starts the first real non-conference rivalry USF is trying to attain. While FSU gave the Bulls a non-consecutive home and home series (Seminoles will play in Tampa before the world ends in 2012) and Florida has allowed USF to grace The Swamp for a one-shot deal next season, Miami was the only school to give USF an actual series of games.

This is the second game is a six-year deal with five consecutive seasons and three games in Tampa (the first Bulls-Canes game was in Miami back in 2005 I believe). Both schools decided to put this together in hopes of developing a nice post-Thanksgiving traditional and generating a rare late-season sellout opportunity.

Miami did return over 3,000 tickets last month so I don't expect a huge contingent of Hurricane fans, but there will be more than enough so it's important to get there early, get loud and stay loud.

The Game: Miami at South Florida
The Time: 3:30 p.m.
The TV: ABC Regional/ESPN National
The Radio: WFLA-970
The Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
Tickets: Nearly Sold Out

Weather Update: Cold front coming through! High in the mid-60s lows in the upper 40s! Football weather baby!

USF Football vs. The "U": USF has a "U" on the side of its helmet but Miami is the "U". Why do they get to be the "U"? Five national titles in 26 years and four other NC title game appearances is a good start. Even though the ‘Canes have come on a few lean years there's no denying their history and how much of an impression it would make on recruits in this state if USF was able to pull off a victory Saturday.

Jim Leavitt vs. Randy Shannon: There are a lot of little similarities between Saturday's head coaches. They are both safe in their positions but embattled at the same time because they are dealing with crazy expectations from their respective fan bases. Don't believe that this is just another game to these two coaches, both gentlemen need this victory. In Randy Shannon's case it would give the Hurricanes a 3-0 record in the state this season. For Jim Leavitt it was be a boom from a recruiting standpoint and give USF a solid argument for being the state's current No. 2 program with only one loss against state teams in about a dozen games and Florida yet to come.

B.J. Daniels vs. Sean Spence: The Hurricanes will have a spy on Daniels and his name is Sean Spence, the 2008 ACC Rookie of the Year. Spence, who was one of the infamous "Magnificent Seven" at Miami Northwestern, flirted with the Bulls during his recruitment but eventually chose the ‘Canes to the shock of no one. It's a curious matchup as Daniels hasn't really had to deal with one player with comparable athleticism completely focused on his movements. It's going to be a battle and like all battles both sides should win some and lose some. Daniels just needs to win more battles than he loses.

Coachspeak: ""We've only been Division I-A, what, eight years? We haven't been around a long time. I really thought, if there was a way we could play one of those schools and try to build a game, then I thought it would really help our program as we continue to try to build this. Miami agreed to play us for this stretch, and hopefully it will continue after that.." – USF head coach Jim Leavitt.

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