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Gameweek South Florida: The More You Know

November 20, 2010

Opponent: South Florida Bulls (6-3, 3-2 BIG EAST).

Kickoff: Saturday, November 20th, 12:00pm

Mascot: Rocky D. Bull.  The braham bull was not the first chosen mascot for the university.  In fact, its a very complicated story.

Coach: Skip Holtz, the son of Lou Holtz, is in his first year as head coach at South Florida, taking over after Jim Leavitt was forced out for slapping his players around.  Despite being his first year, this is not Holtz’s first stint as a head coach of a current BIG EAST school.  Holtz was actually Randy Edsall’s predicessor at UConn from 1994-1998…a year before UConn made the jump to I-A football.

Conference: BIG EAST: New World Order.  They have only had a football program since 1997, moving to FBS in 2000, and Conference USA in 2003.

Series: 4-3-0. Six of these meetings have occurred since South Florida has joined the BIG EAST, however the first meeting occurred in 2001, the Bulls first year of FBS play.  Despite being a cream puff team that Pitt should have beaten, Walt Harris decided to introduce the spread offense that season, losing 5 consecutive games starting with this one.

TV/Radio: The game is a National TV game on ESPN2.  So far this season, Pitt is 0-4 on National TV.  However, it is also a Noon game in which the Panthers are 3-0, so something has got to give.  If you don’t have cable, it will also be available on ESPN3.com. If you’re on the go in Pittsburgh, you can also listen to the play-by-play with Billy Hillgrove and Bill Fralic on 93.7 The Fan.

Bloggers: VoodooFive.com.  These guys who live for South Florida sports and are a good follow on Twitter (@SBNVoodooFive, @usfvoodoo5, and @USFCollin)

Fun Facts: We don’t want to dwell on the negative (Pitt being USF’s first win over a BCS or FBS team), so let’s talk about the positive…the fact that USF kicker Maikon Bonani is back on the field in 2010.  Bonani kicked for the Bulls in 2008, but missed the entire 2009 season due to injuries sustained from his summer job.  While working as the Skyride attendant, an ariel tram at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Bonani noticed that he hadn’t locked one of the gondolas that was about to leave the platform.  He climbed onto the gondola and held on for 50 ft while the passengers tried to pull him in, however he fell 35 ft into bushes below and cracking a vertebra in his back.  When the cart reached the other station…the door was now locked.

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