THE GAME The University of South Florida (2-4, 0-2 BIG EAST) returns to action following a bye week as it heads to Louisville to face the Cardinals at 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20. The Bulls last faced Temple in a 37-28 loss while the Cardinals won at Pittsburgh 45-35.
THE PROGRAM USF has an all-time record of 110-73 (.601). The Bulls overall winning percentage of 60.1 ranks 24th among FBS schools in all-time winning percentage. In addition, the Bulls have posted an 90-59 (.604) record since joining the FBS in 2000. Their winning percentage of .630 (76-43) from 2000-09 ranked 26th nationally over that time span.
ON THE ROAD USF has posted a 35-43 (.449) record in true road games during the program's 15-year history.
Including 2010, in which USF went 3-2 on the road, the Bulls have had four seasons with winning road records (2010, '07, '03 and '02) and four where they finished at .500 (2009, '08, '06 and 1998). USF's road success has increased over the last five years, producing a 19-17 (.528) record over that time span.
In the first five seasons of program history, the Bulls were only able to manage a 6-15 (.286) record in road games, but in the 10 seasons since then, USF has gone 29-28 (.509), including seven of 10 seasons at .500 or better. Since joining the BIG EAST in 2005, USF has posted a 20-21 (.487) road record.
CONFERENCE COMPETITION After spending the first six seasons of program history as an independent, USF joined Conference USA in 2003, and then, in 2005, moved to the BIG EAST. Overall, USF is 29-38 (.433) in nine years as a conference member.
The Bulls were 8-8 (.500) over their two-year span with C-USA and have gone 21-30 (.412) in the BIG EAST.
Third-year head coach Skip Holtz has posted a 54-42 (.563) conference record in his 12 years as a head coach and has won two conference championships (CUSA: 2008 and '09).
THE BACKFIELD The Bulls return five of their top six rushers from a year ago led by seniors B.J. Daniels and Demetris Murray. Daniels racked up a career-best 601 yards in 2011, which ranked sixth in the BIG EAST.
Murray, who has seen action in 40 career games, rushed for 503 yards on 121 attempts while adding eight TDs a year ago. Also returning is senior Lindsey Lamar who saw action in all 12 games and rushed for 150 yards on 17 carries (8.9 ypc), while playing mainly at wide receiver.
The Bulls lost their top rusher from 2011 in Darrell Scott who declared for the NFL Draft after posting 814 yards
NATIONAL AWARDS WATCH The Bulls had six players named to 2012 preseason national award watch lists. Senior QB B.J. Daniels has been named to the Davey O'Brien Award Watch List. The award honors the nation's top quarterback each year.
Junior DE Ryne Giddins, a 2011 AllBig East second team selection and 2010 freshman All-American was selected for the Lombardi Award watch list. Joining Giddins on the Lombardi list is junior LB DeDe Lattimore.
The Lombardi Award recognizes the nation's top lineman or linebacker.
On the offensive side of the ball, senior OT Mark Popek is on the Outland Trophy list, which honors the nation's top lineman.
For the second-straight year senior PK Maikon Bonani, a 2011 second team All-BIG EAST selection, has been named to the Lou Groza watch list.
Rounding out the group of Bulls gaining national attention is senior OG Danous Estenor, who is on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team list, which is one of the nation's most prestigious off-the-field honors for a group that has made a difference in the community.
BONANI' S RECORDS Senior PK Maikon Bonani continued to etch his name into the USF record book as he became USF's all-time scoring leader after scoring four points on PATs against Chattanooga (Sept. 1).
Bonani pushed his career total to 248 points (51 FG/95 PAT), passing Santiago Gramatica (2001-04) who held the record with 246 points (38 FG/132 PAT). He currently has 273 career points. Bonani is also USF's record holder for most career FGs made (56), most FGs in a season (19; 2011), most career FG attempts (75), FG percentage in a season (81.8, 17-of-21), career FG percentage (74.5; 56-of-75), most consecutive FGs made (12; 11/11/11-10/6/12) and most consecutive PATs made (58; 10/14/10-9/8/12).
THE D-LINE The Bulls return a wealth of experience on the defensive line, especially at the defensive end position in juniors Ryne Giddins and Julius Forte.
Having lost just Patrick Hampton (42 games/15 starts), USF has solid depth at the DE spot this season, especially with the additions of junior college transfer Tevin Mims, who started his career at Texas, and true freshman Eric Lee from Daphne, Ala.
Giddins, a second-team All-BIG EAST selection in 2011, has started in 29 of 33 career games and posted 44 tackles, 11 TFL, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 2011. Forte has seen action in 27 games (one start), including all 12 last season where he recorded 21 tackles, six TFL, three sacks, two QBH and one PBU.
In the middle, the Bulls return senior Cory Grissom who has started in 34 of 40 career games at defensive tackle. Grissom posted 38 tackles, six TFL, 1.5 sacks, one FF and one FR in 2011. He set career-highs at Connecticut with eight tackles, one PBU, one FR and a FF.
Junior Luke Sager (30 games/six starts) and sophmores Elkino Watson (17 games) and Todd Chandler (six games) each had productive springs and will be counted on to solidify the middle of the d-line.
CHANDLER'S DEBUT In his collegiate debut, defensive tackle Todd Chandler looked like a veteran when he took the field against Chattanooga, posting a team-high three TFL for 13 yards, one sack and a total of five tackles. On the season, the sophomore has totaled 13 tackles, 3.5 TFL and one sack.
PORK CHOP PLUGGING THE MIDDLE Senior Cory 'Pork Chop' Grissom has been a mainstay in the middle of the Bulls' defensive line for the last three years, having played in 39 games, starting 33. But, the beginning of the 2012 season was put in jeopardy at the end of spring practice when Grissom suffered a broken angle during a non-contact drill on April 16.
Initially, he wasn't expected to return until maybe the fourth or fifth game of the year, but his diligent work in rehab over the summer had him ready to go for fall camp. The coaching staff was cautious in order to make sure he returned to full health, but there was the familiar 46 lining up over center in the season opener against Chattanooga.
As he usually is, Grissom was a handful and posted seven tackles and a half TFL on just 26 snaps against the Mocs. He added five more tackles at Nevada.