At Tuesday’s weekly press conference, South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt said the win against then No. 13 Kansas on Friday was a good win.
That was all he said about Kansas, but he wasn’t as brief when it came to talking about the Florida International Golden Panthers.
“Any time you play with two Florida teams, there’s always a lot of emotion,” Leavitt said. “You’ve got players that have played together before and that always leads to high emotion. And their new stadium is opening up, which is a real big event for them.”
The Bulls last played FIU in 2006. USF trailed 20-6 with 2:33 remaining in the game, but ended up winning by a single point.
That game was the first start in junior quarterback Matt Grothe’s career.
“It was a little scary,” Grothe said. “We were favored going in, but they played a really good game.”
Junior defensive end George Selvie was also a freshman when the Bulls beat FIU in 2006.
“In my freshman year we barely beat them, and I think they got the best of us,” he said. “It was a good game and they came out ready to play. It’s another Florida school coming out to your place. Regardless of what we do, they’re going to come out and be ready to play. They’re going to fight.”
Selvie said the Bulls’ mindset hasn’t changed since Friday.
“We have to come out like it’s our biggest game,” he said. “We have to come out like that, and they’re going to come out like that.”
Brouce Mompremier — a senior linebacker who was also on the Bulls’ roster during USF’s last encounter with FIU — said the Bulls are focused.
“This is a big game for them but an even bigger game for us,” he said. “We need to tighten up on defense and special teams — just get a little sharper.”
After Tuesday’s practice, defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said the Bulls cannot look past FIU and expect to leave Miami victorious.
“This is a trap game, I think,” he said. “If we don’t go out there and take care of our business and improve as a football team then we’ll be in trouble.”
Two USF teams to hold open tryouts
The USF Athletics Department announced that two teams will hold open tryouts next week.
The softball team will hold tryouts at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 at the USF Softball Complex.
On Sept. 25, the baseball team will hold tryouts at Red McEwen Field.
In order to participate in either tryout, students must be enrolled full-time at USF and pick up an information packet from the Athletics Building.
Standard requirements include a physical examination, a liability form and a drug test participation form.
Bulls receive weekly honors
Several USF athletes were honored Monday for their achievements during the weekend.
Selvie and freshman kicker Maikon Bonani were named Big-East Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively.
Selvie had his first sack of the season and broke Stephen Nicholas’ career record of 20. Bonani made the game-winning field goal with two seconds left Friday.
Freshman forward Chelsea Klotz was named Player of the Week by soccerfla.com after Sunday’s performance against Illinois State.
She scored two goals — including the game-winner in overtime — in USF’s 3-2 victory over the Red Birds.