They really are not paying attention. They can’t.
The USF football team, coming off a 45-14 upset of the now-No. 24 Louisville, has been gaining national attention faster than running back Andre Hall goes through a defensive line.From Web sites, to college football TV shows, to coaches speaking well of them, USF has been a hot topic to talk about – for everyone except the Bulls.
“Come Saturday, all that’s not going to matter,” Hall said. “We play Miami this weekend. A dynasty. When we go out there we have to forget Louisville because that game is done.”
Players like Hall and receiver Amarri Jackson have been featured everywhere, including the team being ranked No. 25 in CNNSI.com’s Top-25 power rankings. Another popular Web site, CBSsportsline.com, also lists the Top-119 teams in college football. USF is No. 35, all the way up from 86th.
But they are trying to not search the Internet and to stay away from sports channels, though it surely isn’t easy.
“Coach (Jim Leavitt) always told us, ‘You do good, everyone talks about you,'” quarterback Pat Julmiste said. “He also said, ‘But when you do bad, everyone is against you.’ We just have to focus. We really can’t think of all that stuff. I mean, we had a big win against Louisville, but we have another game Saturday that we still have to play.”
The Bulls face No. 9 Miami at the Orange Bowl, the first time USF has ever faced back-to-back Top-10 teams.
And while most eyes will be glued to what USF does during the week, players such as Julmiste are just worried about practicing and playing.
“It’s not tough to ignore (TV),” Julmiste said. “Obviously you want to watch it; not just the films we have to watch. It’s a great win, you want to see it. Coach told us, ‘Stay focused.’ Coach is just trying to keep us levelheaded so we can play.”
Another award: Linebacker Ben Moffitt was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Cardinals.
Moffitt, a 6-2, 235-pound sophomore, had 14 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in which USF held Louisville to its lowest scoring output since 2003.
Moffitt has been added to the watch list for the 2005 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which will be presented to the best defensive player in college football on Dec. 5 by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.