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Julmiste likely to play, but defense looks to carry team against Gamecocks

Though he disagrees, Javan Camon knows the Bulls are not favored to win Saturday against Southeastern Conference opponent South Carolina. But it only has him thinking upset.

USF travels to USC as heavy underdogs after its unimpressive win against Division I-AA Tennessee Tech last week. The Gamecocks are coming off a loss over No. 3 Georgia.

Last week’s results and an injury to starting quarterback Pat Julmiste don’t bode well for the Bulls. But Camon isn’t worried.

“They’re a great team, but they’re still a team that can be beaten,” the defensive back said. “Let us be the underdogs. I like surprising people.”

Camon, with a team-high nine tackles, led a defense that was a bright spot against TTU. USF held TTU to only 145 yards in total offense.

“The last game I thought our defense played very well,” Leavitt said. “I thought they were put in some tough positions. They played with a lot of energy. They played hard and I was happy about that.”

But it will be different at South Carolina.

“They are very strong everywhere,” Leavitt said. “Going up there in that environment this weekend is going to be a real tough challenge.”

Williams-Brice stadium, on the USC campus, holds 80,250 fans — the 17th largest home field in college football.

“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to go and see how our team will respond,” Leavitt said.

“We do have some talented players and some guys that have been in some big games. It’s not like it’s the first time we’ve been in a situation like this,” Leavitt said.

Lee Roy Selmon Jr, the team captain and USF’s most experienced player, has played in big games for the Bulls.

“The whole part about this week is being able to stay on edge,” Selmon said. “We know it’s no surprise that we definitely have to play a lot better than we did last week against Tennessee Tech to be able to stand toe-to-toe with South Carolina.”

The offense in particular will have to play better. The Bulls only managed 278 total yards against TTU’s defense. The offense could struggle again with starter Julmiste getting limited reps at practice this week.

Selmon agreed the defense could keep USF in the game even if the offense sputters.

“We like it to be that way,” he said. “We like to have the team on the defensive shoulders. The philosophy has always been if they don’t score, then they don’t win. We just have to be sound as a defense and not let them get in the end zone.”

Bucs sign Huey: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former USF wide receiver Huey Whittaker to their practice squad Wednesday.

Whittaker, 6 feet 4 inches 233 pounds, caught a team-record 117 passes for 1,447 yards in three seasons as a Bull. He went undrafted after last season.