Early Week 1 look-ahead: South Florida
South Florida is not exactly challenging itself with its first three games, which include two against FCS teams and FBS newbie Western Kentucky. But they should provide a good warmup for Week 4 at Florida State.
Here's an early look-ahead at the Bulls' Sept. 5 opener in Tampa.
Team: Wofford Terriers
Coach: Mike Ayers (141-96-1, 22nd season)
2008 record: 9-3 (7-1 Southern Conference). Lost in first round of FCS playoffs.
Returning starters: Offense: 4/Defense: 5
About the Terriers: Wofford was no pushover in 2008. The Terriers finished second in the FCS in rushing offense at 339.75 yards per game and were sixth in scoring offense. They were ranked No. 8 in one final FCS poll and played South Carolina tough on the road before losing 23-13.
But they graduated top rusher Dane Romero, who had 1,078 yards and 23 touchdowns, along with starting quarterback Ben Widmyer and star receiver Andy Strickland. Only two starting offensive linemen return as well. Robby Davis and Mitch Allen were battling to win the starting quarterback job this spring.
Wofford will give the Bulls a different look, for sure, with its wing bone offense, which combines elements of the wishbone and the Wing T. The Terriers play multiple formations on defense based out of a 3-4 scheme. As is often the case when FCS schools take on FBS opponents, there should be a big size discrepancy. The starters this spring on Wofford's defensive line went 252, 245 and 212 pounds.
Random factoid: Wofford, which is located in Spartanburg, S.C., is the fourth-smallest school in Division I, with an enrollment of just 1,400 students.
Totally unscientific odds of South Florida winning this game: 98.8 percent. Wofford won't just roll over, and South Florida will likely keep things pretty vanilla before the FSU game. But the size and speed edge are just too much in the Bulls' favor.