In the first meeting ever between the two teams, it seems that the Bulls are favored against a FAMU team – and school – that is struggling. Coming off a 21-17 loss to Delaware State, the Rattlers went 3-8 and are under new management. Coach Rubin Carter will take the helm, replacing Billy Joe, the coach with the third-most wins in NCAA history.
But even with senior running back Andre Hall in the backfield (74 yards against Penn State), the Bulls face tough opposition against FAMU, which only allowed 83 yards on the ground against Delaware State.
The Bulls have to contend with a tough running back themselves, as the Rattlers have been relying on senior running back Rashard Pompey, who rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown on Sept. 3, and is seventh on the FAMU all-time rushing list (2,050).
USF is riding a four-game losing streak continuing from last year, when the Bulls lost 45-23 to Cincinnati on Nov. 20.
The Bulls’ defense looked much improved from last season, racking up three sacks, a forced fumble and an interception in the 23-13 loss to Penn State, but now faces the largest offensive line it will see all season. The largest man on the Rattlers front, left tackle Daniel Parrish, is 6-foot-7 and 340 pounds, and coach Jim Leavitt claims, “He should be in the NFL.”
Reunion time: Co-defensive coordinator Rick Kravitz will have a trip down memory lane on Saturday against FAMU. In 1985, Kravitz began working with the FAMU team as a graduate assistant. Through the season he gradually moved up helping out the team and eventually was calling the defensive plays. He worked as defensive coordinator under coach Ken Riley, but left when Joe was hired and came to USF with Leavitt in 1996.
What a spread: The Bulls are 35-point favorites over the Rattlers for Saturday’s game, and while many in Vegas – if they bet on Division I-AA teams in the City of Sin – are expecting a blowout, the football team has only had a handful of games that could be considered blowouts. Here’s a list of games the Bulls won by five touchdowns or more:
Men’s basketball ready: The USF men’s basketball team announced its Big East schedule for the 2005-06 season Thursday, starting with a home opener against West Virginia on Jan. 5.The 16-game Big East schedule features home contests with St. John’s (Jan. 14), Villanova (Jan. 24), DePaul (Feb. 4), Seton Hall (Feb. 8), Rutgers (Feb. 18), Connecticut (March 1) and Georgetown (March 4). The Bulls will hit the road against Syracuse (Jan. 8), Georgetown (Jan. 17), Seton Hall (Jan. 20), Cincinnati (Jan. 31), Louisville (Feb. 11), Notre Dame (Feb. 15), Providence (Feb. 21) and Rutgers (Feb. 26).
The Big East Tournament host has yet to be announced.
Women’s basketball, too: The USF women’s basketball team announced its Big East schedule and will open with an early conference game at home against DePaul on Dec. 7.
Other home games include: Rutgers (Jan. 11), Syracuse (Jan. 18), Providence (Jan. 21), Villanova (Jan. 31), Pittsburgh (Feb. 11), Marquette (Feb. 16) and West Virginia (Feb. 25). The Bulls away games include: Pittsburgh (Jan. 7), Cincinnati (Jan. 15), Connecticut (Jan. 24), Notre Dame (Jan. 28), St. John’s (Feb. 4), Seton Hall (Feb. 8), Louisville (Feb. 21) and Georgetown (Feb. 28).The Big East Tournament will be hosted by UConn.
Mo’ Money: The University of South Florida Athletics Department announced a $100,000 endowment to provide athletic scholarships by Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is a multi-state law firm of more than 150 attorneys, with offices in Ohio, Florida and North Carolina. Founded in 1925, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick has become one of the nation’s prominent providers of legal services.
Help Wanted: The USF Athletic Department, in conjunction with United Way and the American Red Cross, will sponsor several fundraising efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Saturday, at the USF versus FAMU football game, USF student athletes will be at all entrances to Raymond James Stadium collecting cash donations and bottled water, non-perishable food, baby food, diapers, personal hygiene items, first aid kits, flashlights/batteries, pet supplies, toys and tools.
USF also plans to donate a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the souvenir inaugural Big East game programs for the relief effort.
For more information, call 1-800-GO-BULLS.
– Mike Camunas