I'm a reasonably avid fan of college football. I have a decent idea of who's looking at a bowl bid, which conferences are faltering, and various other facts and stats to find my way through the season and toss out some half-assed pontification as I do so. I'm not an encyclopedia of football knowledge, but I'll say I'm football literate.
I don't know a damn thing about the University of South Florida.
All right, that's not exactly true. I know they're in the Big East. I know they stumbled into a bowl game, only to be shut out by an N.C. State team that had turned their season around with a new quarterback. (You know, the same quarterback they just benched to turn their season around.) But that's it. So pardon me while I whip up a quick USF crib sheet to try to get up to speed.
- USF is in its tenth season as a football program (65-41), and sixth in D1-A (30-24).
- They're 0-2 against the ACC.
- This season they're 4-2. I've already discussed their cupcake September diet - since then they've suffered back to back losses to Kansas and Rutgers, before blowing out Connecticut at home.
- That Rutgers game unfolded similarly to their opening game contest against UNC. Ray Rice tallied 200+ yards on the ground in both games, and Rutgers had to fight off fourth quarter surges (UNC from 21-10, USF from 22-14) to escape with the win.
- USF's hopes pretty much ride on the play of their fresman quarterback, Matt Grothe, who leads the country in various freshmen-QB stats. He'll be playing with a protective boot after straining some ligaments on the top of his right foot.
- Defensively, the bulls are giving up 293.7 yards a game, against significantly weaker competition than the Heels have faced. So that's pretty much a wash - UNC needs for he offense to show up for them to have a chance at winning this game.
- This will be the first game running back Ricky Ponton will suit up following a six-game suspension (with two other players) for violating the team's substance abuse policy. Most of the rushing yardage this season has come from Grothe.