Gameday UConn-USF

Connecticut’s Nick Williams catches a pass against Syracuse during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Syracuse, N.Y., Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)

John F. Silver

We are here in lovely Tampa at Raymond James Stadium for the big college football game on Saturday night.

Well, considering LSU-Alabama is on, I would expect this game to get lost in the shuffle. I can’t tell you how different the feel is. I do believe UConn is better than 3-5 and USF better than 2-6. But, the old line you are your record holds. One team is going to leave here winless in the Big East and with it a whole lot of negativity.    Skip Holtz is 15-18, now in his third year at USF. He’s 0-2 against UConn.

Here’s today’s advance in the Journal Inquirer on what’s at stake for the Huskies here. UConn has 16 seniors who have seen a lot of success. As the season winds down — and this is a must win today — this senior class which came of age in the Fiesta Bowl two years ago:
http://journalinquirer.com/articles/2012/11/03/sports/doc5094921d2b4c0824368512.txt

The Huskies are 3-5, winless in three tries in the Big East, and head to Tampa tonight to take on South Florida in a matchup of last-place teams. The Bulls (2-6, 0-4) are on a six-game losing streak.

It’s a far cry from two years ago when UConn miraculously turned around its season with five straight wins, including a 16-13 triumph over South Florida at Raymond James Stadium to clinch a spot in the BCS and the Big East championship.

Now the Huskies are fighting for survival and with two more losses will be sitting home during the bowl season for the second straight year.

It’s not something that Johnson is accustomed to, and the lack of success weighs heavily on the team’s 16 seniors.

“We’ve just been focused on trying to get back on the right path,” Johnson said. “We had a bad week and a bad month losing three games. Things haven’t really gone our way. We have to get back to working hard and to show everybody we have four games left and the season isn’t lost just yet.

The Huskies have some concerns today. The defensive line hasn’t played well against the run in recent weeks and South Florida had 369 yards rushing including 134 from B.J. Daniels at quarterback. The Huskies catch a break with RB Lindsey Lamar, who is out with a shoulder injury.

The Huskies have given up 100 yards rushing to running backs in three straight games and the read-option that the Bulls use has given the Huskies troubles.

But, this is USF and weather it was our buddy Jim Leavitt or the amiable Skip Holtz, the Bulls find a way to lose. I thought the Bulls had the talent and the athleticism to be a top team in the Big East. But, after 6 straight losses they are their record.

UConn is too.

Whatever happens here tonight, the losing team deserves the criticism it gets,