Obstacles keep piling up in front of the No. 23 South Florida football team.
It lost its second game of the season to Louisville in a stadium where the Bulls have never won Saturday. On Thursday, the Bulls travel to Cincinnati to play the Bearcats in another stadium where they’ve never won.
Senior linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, however, said he sees the game as an opportunity.
“It’s a huge game,” he said. “It’s a huge chance to go up there and get a win, and I’m excited. I’m pumped. I’m ready to go up there and get a win.”
Thursday nights have been a problem for USF as well. The Bulls lost to unranked opponents (Rutgers in 2007, Pittsburgh on Oct. 2) in their last two Thursday night games on ESPN.
Then, of course, there is the weather. USF is 1-1 in games where the temperature at kickoff is below 40 degrees. Thursday’s low in Cincinnati is projected to be 39 degrees.
“I don’t know how early it gets cold up in Cincinnati,” USF defensive backs coach Troy Douglas said. “It shouldn’t be that bad, but I’m not playing.”
The Bulls have one more thing going against them — travel.
Not only will they play their third game in 12 days, but the Bulls have a Thursday game following a Saturday game for the second time this season.
“Other than having to travel, I think the guys will be more prepared for this one then they were for the last one,” USF defensive ends coach Kevin Patrick said. “I thought we were prepared last time, but I think the energy level is up for this game.
Grothe fails to make cut
USF junior quarterback Matt Grothe was not named a semi-finalist for the Davey O’ Brien Award. The award is given annually to the best quarterback in college football, as voted on by the Davey O’Brien Foundation.
Thirteen players were named semi-finalists, including six quarterbacks from the Big 12 and three from the Southeastern Conference.
Bulls earning honors
Three men’s soccer players and one volleyball player earned conference honors for their performances last week.
Senior Yohance Marshall and freshman Sebastien Thuriere were named Big East Players of the Week. Marshall scored the game-winning goal against Florida Atlantic on Tuesday, and Thuriere scored the game-winner against Villanova on Friday.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jeff Attinella had two shutouts in those games, helping USF to its single-season record of 10 shutouts. He was named to the Big East Honor Roll.
In volleyball, junior Alli Arbogast was named to the Big East Honor Roll after hitting .429 with 11 blocks last week.