According to coach Jim Leavitt, the Big East has changed – and he’s not just referring to when USF entered the conference in 2005.
Leavitt knows many consider teams such as No. 4 West Virginia and No. 6 Louisville the powerhouses of the conference, but he also knows the other six teams are a few steps, or players, away from being just as good.
“The Big East has changed,” Leavitt said. “I’ll probably watch (the West Virginia/Louisville game Nov. 2) because it’s a Big East game. We’re just a few steps away from being West Virginia. Our guys don’t know it yet, but we are.
“Let me think about it: We’ve played Louisville three times? What’s our record? 2-1. We beat them down last year. We’ve played West Virginia once. We got to first and goal twice.
“The one step we’re away from being West Virginia: their quarterback (Pat White). He’s one very good football player.”
Almost there: Down 9-0 on Sunday, the Bulls found themselves trying some trickery. On fourth and 4, USF lined up a punt and let punter Justin Teachey run the ball. Though the sophomore ran about 9 or 10 yards, he actually gained only one, falling 3 yards short of the first down.
Leavitt said he felt it was the right call at the time, but after watching the film, it would have been a close call for the conversion.
“We needed to make a play either on defense, offense or special teams,” Leavitt said. “We weren’t doing it on offense or defense. Guess what? (Special teams) is where we tried it, and it was the right decision, but that’s coaching.
“I thought it was coached well, to be honest with you. (Teachey) almost made it, but I don’t think he would have made it anyways because he was tripping toward the end there.”
No expectations: Leavitt has made it no secret that his team is young and inexperienced in many areas, especially playing time. But after seven games, Leavitt feels the Bulls played about seven and a half.
“We’ve got a young team this year,” Leavitt said. “I didn’t know if we could win one or two or three this year. We’ve won five already. I don’t know if we’ll win anymore, but I say that we’ve battled all the way through. I think we’ve played all the way through seven games. (The) eighth game we didn’t finish, and that’s the Cincinnati game because we played all the way till the fourth quarter.”