22 days! It may seem like an eternity to college football fans, but that’s all that stands between us & the end of the “Countdown to College Football Season”.
As USF fans, we’ve had a few solid months to reflect, accept & forget the 2011 season. It is definitely not a memory that most of us would like to hold onto. After all, our beloved Bulls did finish the season with a 5-7 record. Only winning one of their seven Big East games & missing a bowl appearance for the first time since they entered the conference in 2005.
So it was a rough season for the Bulls… That’s all the more reason to be excited about the upcoming 2012 season. USF is looking to redeem themselves & avoid a mid-season melt down in order to make a serious run for the Big East Title.
There are many things to look forward to in the 2012 season, it’s only a matter of time before this team gets it together & what better time then a season with 17 returning starters & 20+ seniors. They’ve got the experience & the talent, now they just need to go out there & win some games!
These are the top 8 things I’m looking forward to in the 2012 season.
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1. Home Opener: September 1st
What is more exciting than the Bulls home opener?! Sure – it may be against UT-Chattanooga but you have to start somewhere, right? This is the perfect game for you to prepare for the upcoming season as well. Everyone needs a little practice to work out the kinks. For example: Who are you going to tailgate with this season? Where are you all going to meet up at? Who has the grill? How will I find my drunk friends come half time? You know… all the important things.
2. B.J. Daniels
BJ, BJ, BJ. I have such a love-hate relationship with you. It’s been a long 4 years… So this is your time BJ. Make it or break it. Surely you already know that. Daniels finished the 2011 season with 2,585 passing yards, despite missing a game. The redshirt senior has played 38 games at USF, starting 33 of those games. In his USF career he has completed 484 of 842 for 6,339 yards with 38 TDs.
Will Daniels be remembered as one of the best QBs in USF history? Does he have what it takes to lead this team to the Big East Title? Only time will tell.
3. The FSU/USF Showdown – September 29th
How could you not be excited about this in-state, semi-rival rematch? If you weren’t there the first time these two teams met, you definitely missed out. Don’t let that happen again!
The Bulls defeated #18 Florida State with a final score of 17-7. Even though it was approximately 125 degrees that day, it was well worth it to see the Bulls upset the Seminoles.
This game will surely be the biggest non-conference, most anticipated game the Bulls play this season. FSU is looking for revenge when they lost on their home turf during the 2009 meeting in Tallahassee.
4. Bobby Eveld vs Matt Floyd
It’s clear that BJ Daniels will be the starting QB come September 1st. However, the biggest debate is who will be his predecessor? Will it be Junior Bobby Eveld or redshirt freshman Matt Floyd? In Eveld’s two seasons with the Bulls he has thrown for 708 yards with 1 TD… Oh & let’s not forget those 4 INT.
After the spring game, it was still unclear who would emerge as the #2 QB at USF. Guess we will have to see how things play out during the upcoming practices.
5. Hosting Rutgers: September 13th
The Bulls have only won one game vs their division rivals, Rutgers, the last last six years.
I remember this all so clearly, as USF has not beat the Scarlet Knights since before my freshmen year of college. Essentially the entire time I’ve been a USF fan, we’ve been losing to them year after year. Every year I hope things will change, every year it ends in disappointment. I need this to be the year, WE need this to be the year!
USF will host Rutgers on Thursday, September 13th in their 2nd game of the 2012 season. If the Bulls are going to make a run for the Big East Championship, it’s crucial for them to win their first Big East game of the season. Not to mention they will be hosting FSU just 16 days later.
6. Skip Holtz
At the end of the 2011 season, many speculated that this would be Holtz’s “Do-Or-Die” season. This will be Holtz’s 3rd year as the Bulls Head Coach and the Bulls are being predicted to finish 2nd in the Big East. Athletic Director Doug Woolard wanted to take off the pressure the head coach may or may not have been feeling by extending this contract through the 2017 season.
Holtz is clearly the man for the job. The first two season records may not show it, but he has made serious improvements with this team & they will continue to be highlighted as the coach prepares his team for victory in 2012.
For Holtz, it’s not ALL about football. He gloats that 19 of his 20 seniors will have their degrees come December. Not to mention Holtz has doubled the number of players with a 3.0 GPA from the time he took over in 2010 to the spring when that total reached 37 players that had a 3.0 GPA.
7. Traveling To Miami: November 17th
On November 17th, the Bulls will travel to Miami to take on their in-state rivals the University of Miami Hurricanes. The Bulls are (1-3) vs the Hurricanes & are coming off an embarrassing loss during last year’s home game. The game ended with a final score of 3-6. The Bulls have only managed to pull out a win versus Miami in the 2010 season when the traveled to Miami & managed to win 23-20 in OT.
While it’s always important for the Bulls to win, this game isn’t nearly as important as the upcoming Big East matchups. However, everyone loves winning an in-state rival game. You know, for what’s that called again… Oh yea, BRAGGING RIGHTS!
8. Lindsey Lamar
This USF senior has finally found his place on the Bull offensive unit. After bouncing around a bit between receiver & kickoff returner, he has found a home in the running back position. He will join veterans Demetris Murray, Marcus Shaw,Bradley Battles and Willie Davis. During the off-season Lamar looked to put on some additional weight. At 5-foot-9 and 164 pounds he isn’t the ideal size for a running back, but with his off-season workouts he managed to gain 20 lbs by July.
I cannot wait to see what this talent player can bring to the Bulls dynamic offense.
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