South Florida-Florida State pregame ponderables

September, 26, 2009
9/26/09
11:04
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Greetings from Doak Campbell Stadium on a hot, muggy Florida morning. It's about 85 degrees and feels 10 degrees hotter with the humidity. Just another fall day in the Sunshine State.

I saw lots of South Florida fans milling about downtown last night. The Bulls are expecting about 12,000 of their supporters here mixed in with the 80,000 or so in the crowd. Surprisingly, this game didn't officially sell out until this week.

As for the game, who knows what to expect from these Bulls? They haven't played anybody of note, haven't shown much on offense and have a freshman quarterback making his first start. So maybe they come out firing on all cylinders and surprise the Seminoles, or maybe their inexperience rears its head.

One area the Bulls will try to take advantage of is the FSU pass defense, which is ranked 117th nationally. B.J. Daniels should be able to make some plays through the air to South Florida's cadre of receivers. The areas I'd worry about for South Florida would be the offensive line, running the ball and stopping the Florida State run. The Seminoles rushed for more than 300 yards last week at BYU, and quarterback Christian Ponder is a dual threat.

USF will need a big game from George Selvie, who's been curiosly quiet so far this season despite playing inferior opponents. It's time for him to live up to his billing.

As for the other face of the program, injured quarterback Matt Grothe will be in the offensive booth today for South Florida, helping out playcaller Mike Canales. It's been a long week for Canales. Not only did Grother get hurt and force him to adjust the offense, but his son, T.J., who's a backup quarterback at Utah State, injured his knee this week as well.

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