Win this one for the seniors.
After three consecutive losses ended the South Florida football team’s chances at not only a Big East title but also a 10-win season, the Bulls are aiming to send the senior class out on a high note.
The Bulls (6-4, 1-4) have 22 seniors, 14 of whom are starters, who will play their final game at Raymond James Stadium when they host the Connecticut Huskies (7-3, 3-2) at 8 p.m. Sunday night. The game will be broadcast by ESPN.
USF coach Jim Leavitt said the seniors mean a lot to him.
“I love ’em to death,” he said. “It’s really just a great group.”
Leavitt said senior safety Carlton Williams has had his best season as a Bull.
“That young man has played three positions for us this year,” he said. “He had the best game of his career (against Rutgers).”
Sunday’s game is also a chance for USF to clinch a berth in a bowl game. At 6-4, with one of those wins against Division 1-AA Tennessee-Martin, the team would be an unlikely bowl candidate if it finished at 6-6.
Junior quarterback Matt Grothe said USF needs a win.
“We just want to win a game, because it’s been a few weeks since we have,” he said. “I think we need one more win to go to a bowl, so we’re going to try and get that win this week.”
Grothe said playing on ESPN gives USF a rush, and Leavitt agreed.
USF has a tough task on its hands with the Huskies.
Connecticut running back Donald Brown leads the nation with more than 156.5 yards per game.
“The running back they have, I haven’t seen many better than him,” Leavitt said. “He runs hard and strong. He has quick feet, and he blocks well on their blitz protection.”
The Bulls haven’t won since Homecoming, when they thumped Syracuse 45-13. Grothe said after three losses, he isn’t frustrated anymore.
“I’m not worried about anything anymore,” he said. “I just want to have fun. I just want to play football. As a team, if we just go out there and play football, the rest will come.”