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Bulls poised for the upset?

The USF Bulls ( 1-0 )  make the 129 mile trip north up Interstate 75 to take on the #6 ranked Florida Gators (1-0)  in front of 90,000 screaming Gator fans at the “swamp”.  One of the loudest if not the loudest stadiums in the nation.  Oh by the way, this will be the second largest crowd ever to see the Bulls.   For years the Bulls were more than 129 miles away from Gainesville, they were light years away from Gainesville.  While the Gators were winning SEC Championships and sending many players over the years to the N.F.L. –USF was trying to put together a football program.  The Bulls didn’t even play their first game until September 6, 1997.  In fact they held their first team meeting under a shade tree because the school at that time had no proper facilities. How times have changed. They meet this Saturday for the first time on the football field.

Skip Holtz’s debut was a smashing success, his Bulls are coming off an impressive win over Stony Brook. ( Trivia question…  Can anyone give the location of Stony Brook  or even the school nickname? )   Son of Lou’s Bulls crushed Stony Brook 59-14 in Tampa, that is what your supposed to do to inferior teams. Sorry Gator fans.  USF racked up 563 total yards, Q.B. B.J. Daniels was 15 for 22 throwing for 264 yards and 2 T.D.’s but more importantly no interceptions. Daniels also threw to ten different receivers, spreading the ball around. Daniels ( Tallahassee native ) and the Bulls went into Doak Campbell Stadium last September and beat FSU by ten points. At the time the Seminoles were ranked #20 in the country and coming off an impressive win  against BYU at Provo, Utah.  That win by USF  at FSU last September was also Daniels’ first start as a Bull. ( Matt Grothe suffered a season ending injury the previous week )  USF is hoping last years win in a hostile environment like Doak Campbell Stadium will prepare the Bulls and  B.J. Daniels for the “swamp“.   Skip Holtz will be looking for some “Holtz magic” on Saturday, his father was at his best when he was coming in as an underdog. In preparation for the swamp, the Bulls have been practicing  all week with crowd noise. Clearly they are  trying to simulate game conditions because we all know how loud the swamp can get.

The Gators on the other hand are coming off a very ugly win over a  pathetic Miami of Ohio team. The Redhawks went 1-11 last season.  John Brantley was less than stellar in his Florida debut. If Florida continues to be inept on offense, Gator nation will be very restless. The Gators ( only 1 game of course ) are DEAD LAST in the S.E.C. in rushing offense, passing offense and total offense.  When did you ever see the Gators last in anything?  Not exactly what Urban Meyer had in mind after week #1.  One of the strengths of head coach  Urban Meyer is  getting his team ready to play. Clearly Florida wasn’t mentally into it last Saturday.  Safe to say Meyer will have his Gators ready for the Bulls. I’m sure Meyer ran them through one difficult practice after another  this week.  Too many mental mistakes committed by Florida last week, I don’t see that happening Saturday against South Florida.   If the Bulls do pull off the upset, South Florida  must take the crowd out of it early. You don’t want to play from behind at the swamp. Teams that do, usually end up  with the L attached to their name.

Fast facts Gators last loss at home was against the Ole Miss Rebels back in 2008.

Largest crowd to see the Bulls, at Penn State in 2005.

USF is 10-2 against teams from Florida, with both losses coming to Miami.

Trivia answer location:  Long Island nickname:  Seawolves

Vegas line Gators favored by 15

Prediction Gators 26 Bulls 20

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Hi my name is Brian and I currently reside in the Sarasota area. I'm currently an online student with Southern New Hampshire University going for my Bachelor's in Communications. New Hampshire is close to my heart because I got married there in October of 2011. I was an intern with the local ABC station here in Sarasota last summer and it lasted until the winter. I had a blast and loved putting together highlights for the live sportscasts. I have also interned at WSRQ radio in Sarasota. Currently working for State College of Florida with their hoops team and softball team. I was at Tropicana Field, back in October of 2008 when the Rays won the AL. David Price came out of the bullpen that night and got Jed Lowrie to ground out and the dome went nuts! TB had a losing season every year until 2008, it was a magical season for the Rays.

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In response to “Bulls poised for the upset?”

  1. Joshua Litton Sep 10 20101:01 am


    First off, let me introduce myself. I am a fellow Bull and blogger! Love the article. However, I feel the Bulls are still a few levels behind the Gators. A 26-20 score is very, very lenient. Don’t get me wrong, I will be rooting my butt off for the Bulls but I just don’t think they are there yet.

    With a new coaching change comes a new identity. Holtz will be successful at USF but it will take him a few seasons to really get his feet wet. Although USF defeated Stony Brook by a big margin, I feel the score doesn’t tell the true story. Remember, it was 14-14 heading into the second quarter thanks to a few Bulls mistakes. Those same mistakes will be impossible to overcome at the Swamp.

    Don’t let the final score of the UF/Miami(OH) score fool you. Florida is a fast, talented and well coached football team. Also, the biggest improve in a college football season is from week one to week two.

    Great story, great history and I look forward to reading your stories in seasons to come.

    1. Brian Joyce Sep 10 201010:32 am


      Hi Joshua,

      Thanks for the kind comment about my article, very much appreciated.

      Clearly the Gators have more talent, not only on the field but on the sidelines as well. Florida brings in five star recruits year after year! The Gators second stringers would compete in most conferences, as you know they have lots of depth in Gainesville. What’s the old saying? Reloading not rebuilding, that is what top programs do. Quite true about U.S.F. being tied with Stony Brook going into the second quarter ( Div. IAA program ) but U.S.F. did end up smoking them. All the pressure is on Florida tomorrow, absolutely no pressure on the Bulls. Florida is supposed to beat teams like the Bulls, that is why the Gators put them on the schedule. If the Bulls do pull out the win, they will have to bring their “A” game with them and the Gators have to play a tad sloppy. Holtz and the Bulls have nothing to lose!

      1. Joshua Litton Sep 10 20103:58 pm


        No problem.

        However, I don’t tend to agree when people say that a team has “nothing to lose” because in reality, they do. Not only will USF lose the game, but they could also lose much needed confidence if they go up their and get embarrassed. These Bulls have no identity yet. They only solid factor they have is BJ Daniels and his ability to make plays.

        Also, it was Leavitt’s doing to get UF on the schedule. I am not sure his logic was that USF has nothing to lose. Although he never came out and directly said that he wants to be considered one of the top programs in Florida, his actions said otherwise. He schedule Miami, Florida State and Florida and dropped UCF. Also, he mentioned that USF would never be a top program unless they had top facilities in hopes to urge the athletic department to build him an indoor practice facility (I believe he made that statement after a USF practice was rained out and the Bulls had no where to go).

        I honestly think Holtz wouldn’t have schedule the likes of UF, FSU and UM if he had the choice, at least not until he could get his kids in their. Look at what he did at ECU, after he turned the program around he brought in VT and defeated the Hokies.

        1. Brian Joyce Sep 10 201011:42 pm


          All the “pressure” is on the almighty Gators tomorrow. Their is a reason why Florida is favored by more than two touchdowns. The Bulls need to be loose but play with poise. U.S.F. could lose the game but losing much needed confidence, I don’t agree with that. U.S.F. will be a better team because they are playing Florida at the swamp. When you go against good competition, that only makes you a much better team! Whatever confidence the Bulls lose ( as you know I disagree totally ) by playing the Gators. Their is a reason why they have Western Kentucky and F.A.U. the next two weeks.

          Clearly the Bulls would like to become one of the top teams in the state. If they ever reach that status, not only are you one of the best in the state of Florida but one of the best in the nation! How many National Championships have been won by schools in the state of Florida in the last fifteen years or so? Many times over the years, the road for a national championship has gone through the Sunshine state.

          Oh by the way, what’s your prediction for the game tomorrow? Score?

          1. Joshua Litton Sep 11 20101:24 am

            My prediction is posted at the bottom of my article “Bulls need to focus on Big East, not Big 3″

            As for the pressure, I never argued that fact. Of course the pressure is on the Gators, they are the No. 6-7 team in the nation depending on what poll you look at. All I said is that I don’t buy in to the “nothing to lose” mentality. As a football player, you play to win the game. I think Herm Edwards said it best.

            USF has a long way to go before the words “national” and “champion” should be used in the same sentence. As I mentioned in my article, and why I responded to your post is that USF fans and players need not forget their identity. The focus should be on competing in the Big East which is why I never said USF had any “pressure” on them. I am just worried fans, students and some players will lose a lot of confidence in themselves and their program if UF beats USF soundly, as I predict they will.

            As for my prediction, UF will beat USF soundly. The Swamp is the Swamp, not a lack-luster Doak Campbell at noon. Not only will UF correct the mistakes they had, they will do so early and often. UF has been listening all week long that they “aren’t any good” and that “Tebow was their whole team” and unfortunately for USF, they are next. Teams see their biggest improves from week one to week two. It’s a shame USF couldn’t catch UF on a day like they had last week. UF won’t play like that tomorrow, and if they do I will be completely surprised.

            GO Bulls.

          2. Brian Joyce Sep 11 201011:50 am

            You quoted Herm Edwards, oh no!

            Clearly the first agenda for the Bulls is to win the Big East. From what I have seen so far this season ( still early ) from the other Big East schools, USF has a chance to accomplish that this season. I’m not saying it will happen but it could. If the Bulls do win the Big East ( I believe it will happen under Skip Holtz ) that will give them more $$$$$$ for sure, the payout for one of those BCS bowl games is a nice chunk of change. Unlike the other bowls they gone to over the years.

            You keep mentioning “identity”, that will happen in time. If you think SMALL, you’ll always be small. Nobody will ever know where USF is located by continuing to think small. I’m guessing a lot of the Florida players thought USF was located near Miami somewhere. I doubt many of them even knew they were two hours away. I grew up in the Boston area and watched BC under Tom Coughlin. Many times when Coughlin met with a recruit from the south, they thought he was the coach from Bethune-Cookman, the other BC as some of those recruits would say.

  2. Brian Moore Sep 10 20106:52 am



    1. Brian Joyce Sep 10 201011:09 am


      It’s great to be here!

  3. Sebastian Soto Sep 10 20108:49 am


    Nice write up. Its cool how we both came up with the same stats to wrap up, although I used florida’s last home loss to a non SEC opponent. It should be a hell of a game. I really hope UF offense comes out to play, if not then its gonna be a long game and year. I think that the Bulls can win this IF they come out strong, get a big play early and hang around.

    BTW, John Brantley is from Ocala, just a few miles from Gainesville, I wouln’t want you to claim him as your own !!

    GO Gators, I hope we jump on them early, if so this one could get ugly…

    1. Brian Joyce Sep 10 201010:17 am


      Hi Sebastian,

      Thanks for the props. I just read what you wrote and your article is excellent! For some strange reason I wrote Brantley being a Tampa native ( I fixed it—thanks for pointing that out ) not sure why I did that. I’ve heard his uncle Scott Brantley on the radio in Tampa and talk about Ocala all the time.

      If Florida does jump out quick, it could be a long afternoon for the Bulls. Playing from behind at the swamp is not a good recipe for a win. IF the Bulls hang around, they could pull off the upset. I’m worried about the Gators return game, special teams might play a big role in this game. The Bulls have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

      1. Sebastian Soto Sep 10 20104:35 pm


        can wait to see how it plays out…i’ll admit I am nervous, much more than ive ever been for a week 2 game, but as you know thats not saying much… I dont know much about USF, Daniels is apparently a top dual threat QB, but weve been good at contaning running QBS….u guys lost a ton of guys on D so Im assuming that bodes well for our offense, asuming they can snap the ball this week.

        A big play (return, on defense, whatever) early will help take the edge of the gators who as u say are feeling the pressure right now…its key that we start off with a bang to lay any lingering doubts to rest…good luck tomorrow, but not really….

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