Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
The Bulls take on the Panthers as they try to win a game before the start of what could be a very interesting offseason.
1. Senior night: For the 26 seniors on the USF roster, this is the last time they will ever suit up in the green and gold and take the field at Raymond James Stadium in front of the home crowd. While we're angry at pretty much everything right now, we must stand up and thank the seniors that have played and given everything they have for the program, the University, and for the community. There haven't been as many wins as we would have liked, but each senior has been a great role model and made an impact while at USF.
2. Nothing left to lose: Face the facts, the season is over, there is no bowl game, so it's time to let it all hang out. For Todd Fitch, open up the playbook, call some trick plays, throw the ball deep, just let it go and see if the team can't find something that works and have a little bit of fun with it. While closing out the year with a win is important, trying new plays and dialing up some new ones can't hurt. At least it would keep everyone entertained.
3. Ruin Pittsburgh's postseason chances: For the Panthers, this one's for all the pierogis. Pittsburgh is 5-6 on the year and has been a model of inconsistency, losing to Youngstown State and UConn, but beating Rutgers and taking Notre Dame to triple overtime. They can get to a bowl game with a win on Saturday. Not only that, but it's Pittsburgh's last Big East football game. USF should be tired of seeing teams celebrate on their home field after UConn and West Virginia both clinched conference titles in the season finales in 2010 and 2011. And it would be nice to get back at the Panthers in some small way as they head for the relative security of the ACC next season, while the Bulls are stuck in this craphole of a conference for who knows how long.
4. Stop Sunseri: Senior Tino Sunseri has gone through a lot in his Pittsburgh career, from new coaches, to new schemes, to terrible pass protection, and even his own coach throwing him under the bus. However, this season he has put it together and has quietly put together a career year, with over 2800 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. Sunseri has taken care of the ball all year, while USF, who has just two picks of their own, has to get pressure, get Sunseri off his spot, and try to force him into mistakes. It could be their only chance.
5. Play for each other: The season is going nowhere, the crowd will be sparse, their coaching staff might be handed pink slips on Sunday, and there's absolutely zero meaning to the game. So what is there to play for other than their fellow teammates? The younger players will play hard for the seniors, while the veterans want to add one more win to their career totals. At the very least, this team doesn't want to go out with a whimper in the last game of the season.