USF head coach Willie Taggart always seems to have a smile and a swag about him every time he enters a room. It doesn’t matter if the Bulls are coming off of a 49-17 loss to NC State or the most recent conference victory over UCONN last Friday night. Taggart did much of the same Tuesday afternoon as he walked in for Media Day but the swag and the smile were a bit more than normal as he stepped to the podium.
The Bulls (2-2, 1-0 AAC) are facing a very tough, nationally ranked Wisconsin team who have arguably the best running back in the nation in Melvin Gordon. It will be the first meeting ever between these teams and it will be played in a hostile and packed Camp Randall Stadium, the first road game of the season for the Bulls.
“It’s a business trip,” freshman linebacker Auggie Sanchez said Tuesday. “That’s how we view it. It’s a business trip.”
The Badgers (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) are coming off of a dominate 68-17 win over Bowling Green in which they set a Big Ten record with an astounding 644 rushing yards, boosting their FBS-leading yards per game to a staggering 359.7 and 7.82 per carry. It all starts with Heisman-hopeful Melvin Gordon.
“He’s good at everything,” Taggart said of Gordon. “I haven’t seen a flaw in him, yet.”
Sanchez believes the Bulls are ready for the challenge and the spotlight, especially in a rowdy road stadium with a nationally recognized player like Gordon on the field.
“They have this great guy who’s a Heisman candidate, if you can shut him down you can be one of the teams that said yeah, we beat that guy. He’s human.”
Coach Taggart prepares his team not just to play on the road but in front of a nationally televised audience, once again, as the game will be shown on ESPNU.
“I tell them, this is what you all came to play college football for,” Taggart said. “To play in an environment like this, to play on national TV. Make sure you play and get noticed for the right things.”
The Bulls will come home after Wisconsin for a bye week leading into their Homecoming game against AAC conference foe East Carolina on October 11.
– Coach Taggart said WR Andre Davis is getting better. He will be evaluated at practice this week. No word on if he’ll be available for Saturday’s game, just yet.
– The Bulls rank 2nd in the AAC and 20th in the FBS in turnover margin at +1.
– Bulls RB Marlon Mack leads the AAC in rushing and is 3rd in all-purpose yards.