South Florida Bulls visit Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday. Notre Dame has almost as many national championships (11) as the Bulls have had seasons(14). The Fighting Irish also have had 96 Consesus All -Americans and your South Florida Bulls none. Notre Dame also has had seven Heisman Trophy winners and we all know how many South Florida has. Nada, Zip, Zero. The last time a Notre Dame player won the Heisman Trophy was Tim Brown back in 1987, current Bulls Head Coach Skip Holtz (son of Lou and former teammate of Brown) graduated from Notre Dame a year before. In other words, its been a while. Notre Dame has all sorts of history, but in recent years they have had nothing to really write home about. In fact, they have lost at home in recent years to Tulsa, Syracuse, and Navy (the Midshipmen have beaten them a total of 3 times in recent years) Since 1997 (South Florida’s first season) the Bulls have won 103 games and the almighty Notre Dame Fighting Irish—99 games. Recent history, tells you there isn’t much of a difference between South Florida and Notre Dame. Going into South Bend and coming out with a victory might have been unthinkable in the past, but that is not the case anymore.
South Florida’s first season under Skip Holtz was a successful one. The Bulls finished the season on a strong note by beating Clemson on the final day of 2010 in The Meineke Car Care Bowl. It was the first time the Bulls beat a team from a BCS Conference in a bowl game. In 2011, the Bulls have their sights set on winning the Big East Conference. U.S.F. is led by Junior quarterback B.J. Daniels who struggled for most of the season last year. Daniels last year threw more interceptions than touchdowns and looked lost and totally out of psynch in Holtz’s offense a year ago. Not only did Daniels struggle in the passing game, he also was limited in using his legs. Daniels was learning his third offense in as many years. Last year the Bulls ranked 105th nationally in total offense, I do not envision that happening in 2011. Two years ago, Daniels ran for 772 yards and 9 touchdowns. Last year, Daniels ran for 259 yards and 5 touchdowns. In 2010, the Bulls leaned on the “D” and in 2011, they will lean on Daniels and the offense to carry them. Things are looking up for the Bulls this year, do I dare predict Big East Champions this year for U.S.F.?
Vegas Line: Notre Dame favored by 10
Fast Fact: Skip Holtz (Notre Dame alum) is looking to be the first Notre Dame grad to go into South Bend and win since Eddie Anderson (remember him?) did back in 1940 when his Iowa Hawkeyes took South Bend by storm.I doubt that game was broadcast by NBC.
Key to the game: The Bulls need to put pressure on Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist. The Bulls have an inexperienced but yet talented Defensive Line. South Florida lost three starters from last seasons squad on the DL. If the Bulls can not get to Crist and knock him around, it could be a long day for the Bulls.
Prediction: South Florida 23 Notre Dame 20 (smelling upset)
Forecast: Last weather report I heard calls for rain on Saturday.
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.