Bulls look for emotional charge after tough loss

It’ll be a challenge to rally after a deflating loss to Pittsburgh that all but knocked USF out of Big East title contention.

But coach Skip Holtz said Sunday the Bulls still have much to play for this season, starting with a game against in-state rival Miami on Saturday.

“Both programs are in the same boat with a loss last week,” Holtz said. “We both kind of had hopes that we can get into that championship game and we both knocked ourselves out of it with a loss. I think it’s going to be important (for) the team that bounces back and has the ability to put this one behind them as fast as they can.”

While the Bulls, who host Connecticut on Dec. 4 in their regular-season finale, saw their conference title hopes dashed, the Hurricanes were knocked out of the race for the ACC championship after losing to Virginia Tech on Saturday.

For his players, Holtz said emotions will still run high despite their disappointment in coming up short of their goal.

“That’s where the character is going to come into play,” Holtz said. “I don’t think you can play that hard if you’re just trying to play for a prize at the end of the rainbow. You’re playing because of the hard work, energy and all the stuff you’ve put into. That’s what’s really going to show up. Each and every week, they’ve been emotional; they’ve been into it. I think the seniors have done a great job in leading this team.”


Holtz said several players suffered injuries Saturday, but most are minor and will be evaluated this week … Senior defensive end Craig Marshall ran with the team Sunday and could play at Miami, Holtz said … Redshirt sophomore offensive guard Danous Estenor (knee) also has a good chance to play Saturday, Holtz said.