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Cliff's Notes: USF at UC

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For those who haven't been paying close enough attention this week, I don't condone it, but here is a helpful cheat sheet so you can be an informed fan heading into Friday's game against South Florida.

Where: Nippert Stadium, (turf, outdoors)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., ESPN/700WLW

Forecast: Temperatures around freezing, windy

2012 records: Bearcats 7-3 overall, 3-2 Big East, Bulls 3-7, 1-4

Ranking: UC is receiving votes in the AP poll

Tickets: Tickets are still available.

What to wear: Wear black. 

When to arrive: Senior Night festivities honoring 24 seniors will begin around 6:40 p.m.

Past results: The Bearcats lead the series 6-3. Zach Collaros led a comeback victory in the fourth quarter in Tampa last season.

Bulls.jpgNeed to know: The goals of a Big East championship may have been altered by the Bearcats, but they still shoot for a 10-win season. Most importantly, Friday will be a chance to honor a class of seniors responsible for so many great moments in the recent history of the program. Players like Walter Stewart and Dan Giordano, George Winn and Travis Kelce.

As for the game, USF comes in beat up and struggling mightily. The Bulls are playing with their third string quarterback as starter BJ Daniels and backup Bobby Eveld both are out for the year. They lost 40-9 against Miami last week and only win in the Big East came against lowly UConn.

Need to know stat: The 26-degrees the temperatue is expected to drop to would be the coldest weather the Bulls have ever played in, according to Tampa Bay Times writer Greg Auman.

Who to know: Bulls QB Matt Floyd. The third-string, redshirt freshman quarterback makes his first career start Friday. He connected on 20 of 35 passes for 175 yards with two interceptions last week coming in to replace Eveld. They are clearly not afraid to let Floyd wing it and with USF looking forward to 2013, I'd expect them keeping the playbook open to grab a feel for what he brings.  

Defining matchup: QB Brendon Kay vs. USF secondary. Kay didn't enjoy the success he would have liked against Rutgers, though he didn't play poorly. The door will b open against the Bulls, though. They come into the game ranked second-to-last in the Big East in passing defense. The Bulls allow an average of 263 yards per game in the air and given up 15 touchdowns -- only Temple and Syracuse are worse there. If Kay can connect as he did against Temple the Bearcats could quickly turn this into a Senior Night coronation.

Delving deeper: Maybe the biggest loss due to injury for South Florida is explosive runner/receiver/returner Lindsay Lamar. He hurt his chest two weeks ago against Syracuse and isn't expected to play. He brought the explosion on offense and special teams for USF and without him they've struggled to find another potent weapon .

In eight games before Lamar went down the Bulls compiled 13 plays of at least 30 yards. In two games since, they've only had two. 

By the numbers: Football is a game of turnovers and the Bearcats hope that will be the case again Friday. The Bulls rank 120th out of 124 FBS teams in turnover margin (-14).

Remarkably, they have thrown 12 interceptions this year but only picked off two passes themselves. In their three games against ranked opponents they lost the turnover margin by an average of 2.33 per game. Not good.

Injury update: Kay injured his non-throwing elbow against Rutgers, but will start.

Quotent Quotables: Senior defensive lineman Dan Giordano on his final game at Nippert on Friday :

"We got to win, obviously, I want this win. Especially at home, senior night. I refuse to lose. I am getting carried off this field Friday night."

Looking Ahead: The Bearcats will close out the season at UConn and await their bid to what looks to be the Belk Bowl.

Words from Butch Jones:
Tommy G sat down with Butch Jones on Bearcats Football Weekly to discuss Saturday's game and the state of the Bearcats. He also did the first interview with Walter Stewart since his injury. Here's the link.

Hype video: Today is President Santa Ono's 50th birthday and here's the video birthday card from his party in the bubble.


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