After a week off and lots of sound and fury from Bulls fans over the team's terrible start, USF gets back on the field this Saturday at 3:30 against the Louisville Cardinals. Louisville comes into the game ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll, 14th in the coaches poll, and 16th in the first Bowl Championship Series standings of the year, released on Sunday. The Bulls... no.
GAME: South Florida Bulls (2-4, 0-2 Big East) at Louisville Cardinals (6-0, 1-0 Big East)
WHERE: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville
DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 20, 3:30pm Eastern
TV/RADIO: ABC (regional coverage - check ESPN2 if the game isn't on your local ABC station); 98.7 (FM) The Fan
TICKETS: USF already sent their leftover tickets back, so you'll probably have to hit up StubHub or pay your local scalper. (Don't go to jail.)
Of course USF is plenty familiar with the Cardinals. The two teams have met every year since the Bulls' Conference USA football debut in 2003, and this weekend Louisville will become the first team USF has ever played 10 times in football. (Later this season, Connecticut, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh will also meet the Bulls for the 10th time.)
Let's get re-acquainted with the Cards:
CONFERENCE: Big East (8th year). USF's and Louisville's first Big East game was against each other in 2005. That game went well.
WEB SITE: UofLSports.com
2012 SEASON: Louisville is unbeaten, although if you really want to be critical about it, you'd like them to have been a bit more convincing. They beat Missouri State, Kentucky, and North Carolina, but let off the gas too early in those last two games and almost blew a huge lead to the Tar Heels. They won a sluggish game at FIU and survived a Necessary Roughness-level monsoon at Southern Miss, then rallied from a halftime deficit to beat Pittsburgh 45-35 last week in their conference opener.
SB NATION BLOG: Card Chronicle ("Charlie Strong's 9th favorite blog") is your SB Nation source for Louisville sports.
KEY OFFENSIVE PLAYERS: Teddy Bridgewater may be the best quarterback in the Big East right now, and he's only a sophomore. And he has plenty of weapons to work with. Senorice Perry and Jeremy Wright are a two-headed monster at running back, and DeVante Parker is a deep receiving threat.
KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: There are several defenders to look out for. Hakeem Smith was first-team All-Big East at safety last season, and this year he picked right back up where he left off. Preston Brown is a 6'2", 255-pound dump truck at linebacker, and Keith Brown, a true freshman linebacker, already has 23 tackles in four games.