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
About the Author
Written by Brian Joyce
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.