Most teams worry that after beating a few easy teams in non-league play that there will be a let-down once they get into their tough conference schedule.
Not in the American Athletic Conference.
This week SMU again faces a weak league opponent in the South Florida, which will actually be a tougher opponent than UConn. South Florida is only 2-7 this season but a road game can be tough against any opponent, so SMU still needs to come into the game focused on Saturday. And the Bulls found a way to upset Cincinnati so there's that.
1. QB Mike White- White is a true freshman and will be making his third career start against the Mustangs this weekend. In his starting debut against Houston, White completed 26 of 41 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns, leading South Florida fans to call him ‘Tampa's Great White Hope.' White regressed last week against Memphis, going 16-for-28 for 198 yards and four interceptions. White is still learning the ins and outs of the college game, but his performance against Houston proved he is more than capable of having a big game against SMU this weekend.
2. WR Andre Davis- The only legitimate target that White has to throw to is Davis, the 6-foot-1 junior from Tampa. Davis has caught 36 balls this season (more than twice the second-leading receiver on the team) for 521 yards (almost three times as many as the second-leading receiver) and two touchdowns (tied for the team lead). This offense is not very good, but expect White to look for Davis whenever the going gets tough.
3. LB DeDe Lattimore- Lattimore is the leading tackler on the weak Bulls defense with 69 on the season. He also has two sacks and five tackles for loss but considering the SMU offensive line contained Yawin Smallwood last week, they shouldn't have any problem with Lattimore. The redshirt senior does have a tendency to create turnovers- he has one interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries this season.
4. S Mark Joyce- Those of you who watch the game on ESPN3 on Saturday will see this senior running all around the field all game. He has 53 tackles this season (not great on any other team but for the Bulls it is their second-highest mark), 3.5 of which were for a loss and a forced fumble. He leads the team with two interceptions this season and two pass breakups. He is no NFL prospect, but this is one of the guys that SMU will have to be wary of, especially in his final home game as a senior.
5. RB Marcus Shaw- Shaw is the Bulls' leading rusher and like with Davis, it is not even close. Shaw's 115 rushing attempts are almost three times as much as the next back and his 643 yards rushing is more than every other runner on the team combined. He only has two touchdowns this season because the South Florida offense has had trouble just getting into the red zone. Shaw will get a lot of work against SMU and if he finds his hole he has the breakaway speed to cause problems for the Mustangs.
5 South Florida Players To Watch
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