With a 5-1 overall record through 2016, USF has started to gain recognition on the national stage, landing votes in polls across the country, including a top-25 appearance in the CBSSports.com Coaches’ Poll.
Well aware of the challenges of facing the nation’s eighth overall scoring offense is UConn coach Bob Diaco, who said Monday that facing the Bulls would be a ‘spectacular challenge.’
“They are spectacularly talented on offense,” Diaco said.
“It’s going to be a great, great challenge. I know that you’re going to need to tackle well for sure. You’re going to need to have your players positioned with an opportunity to be settled and have a settled purpose with their eyes on their work. Not moving around all haphazard if you are going to have a chance.”
Since joining the Big East in 2005, Saturday’s opponent, the UConn Huskies, have played USF as close as any opponent in program history.
In 10 meetings all time, the Bulls are 6-4 against the Huskies, with wins over their AAC foe in the last four match ups. However, USF has only outscored UConn by a combined 21 points in those victories, including a 28-20 win on the road in East Hartford, Connecticut last season.
“Every time we play UConn, we know we’re in for a dog fight,” coach Willie Taggart said.
“There needs to be some big time plays in the game, and our guys made them (last year) when we needed them. I thought it was a tough ball game that could go any way…UConn did a good job offensively in moving the ball and making plays early, but Id say late in the game our guys our guys made more plays than they did.”