The goal for the USF football team at the beginning of the season was to win the school’s first Big East championship. Though the Bulls sit winless in the conference at 0-2, coach Skip Holtz said that goal remains a reality.
Holtz said the only difference is the higher sense of urgency going into Saturday’s game against Cincinnati, making it a “must-win” situation for the Bulls.
“I think if you want to continue to compete for a championship, it is … a ‘must- win,'” he said. “Starting at 0-3, you may be able to get back into a competitive race at 4-3 if you run the table the rest of the way, but I would think it would be difficult to win the conference with three losses when you look at some of the teams that are out there and the way they are playing right now.”
At this point in the season,there is no clear favorite to win the Big East, and if the Bulls can start winning, it could open the door for many scenarios, including a conference title.
Picked to finish fifth in the conference preseason, Rutgers is alone in first place at 2-0, ahead of Cincinnati and West Virginia, both at 1-0. USF is the only team with two losses.
USF junior linebacker Sam Barrington knows what the team must do to reach the next level, and he said it still believes it can happen.
“Every game is a must-win, unfortunately,” Barrington said. “We are 4-2, so you win out, you win every game here from here on out. Anything’s possible It’s college football. You go and take care of business.”
With the conference still up for grabs, Holtz said Saturday’s game is pivotal in the Big East race.
“We’re at the halfway point and we are 4-2,” he said. “We have made a huge issue about the conference and that is where we need to go – that’s where we want to go. Is this game big in the conference race? Yes, especially with what we’ve done to this point. Being 0-2, it’s a very important game for us.”
The Bulls have five Big East games remaining on their schedule, with three of those at Raymond James Stadium.
Kickoff for the Homecoming game is set for noon. The Bulls will wear pink accessories in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.