Although the Bulls head to upstate New York this week to meet the Syracuse Orange for their first road game of 2016, attention from fans and the media has already been drawn to a looming matchup with No. 2 Florida State back home in Tampa on September 24th.
While a matchup with a team that won the national championship in 2014 might draw some early attention from the Bulls, USF Coach Willie Taggart said during Monday’s AAC Coaches’ Teleconference that his team is solely focused on the Orange.
“Not at all,” Coach Taggart said. “That’s one thing our guys have been able to do over this entire span of our guys winning again is focusing on the game at hand.
“I don’t see it being any different now. Our guys understand it’s going to be tough going up to Syracuse and playing well…We’re not gonna play Florida State for two weeks, so we gotta go up there and take care of these guys.”
A unique venue
The Bulls’ opponent Saturday is one of only three FBS schools to play their home games inside of a domed stadium.
Over the years, Syracuse’s “Loud House” has drawn the attention from opposing coaches to prepare for the added crowd noise caused by the from the dome’s plastic roof. Taggart said Monday the Bulls have no such plans.
“We’re going to practice and do what we do, and go up there and play the way we play,” Taggart said.
Banged up Bulls
Taggart appeared to be sound optimistic on the return this week of standout running back Marlon Mack, after not playing in the win over Northern Illinois due to a concussion.
“I haven’t seen Marlon yet today,” Coach Taggart said. “But, I would say (he’s) probable…if I had to say right now.”
Along with Mack, other Bulls to join this week’s injury report include junior defensive tackle Bruce Hector (ankle), sophomore safety Khalid McGee (ankle), and junior defensive end Mike Love (concussion).