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2009 South Florida Bulls Football Preview

2009 South Florida Bulls season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official South Florida Bulls football preview as well as the 2009 South Florida Bulls Football Schedule. After reading this article check out our college football predictions against the current point spread.

Coach: Jim Leavitt (13th year at South Florida)
Team Name: Bulls
2008 Overall Record: 8-5
Returning Starters: 12

The South Florida Bulls (8- 5 overall, 2- 5 Big East) continue to impress, having gone to their fourth straight bowl last year. In 2008, after finishing sixth in the conference, the Bulls met Memphis in the St. Petersburg Bowl, beating them 41- 14. In the three previous years, they’ve been to the Meinke Car Care, Papajohns.com and Sun bowls. This season, there will be an attempt to get to a big time BCS Bowl. That will be a tough goal to reach.

Senior QB Matt Grothe (380 ATT, 240 COMP, 2,911 YDs, 14 INTs, 18 TDs) will really determine how good this team is. Grothe, who was the team’s leading ground gainer with 591 yards and four touchdowns, says he’s determined to get his team to a BCS Bowl. In order to do so, he’ll have to be more consistent. Along with throwing 14 picks, he also lost a total of 239 yards on the ground. He does have some playmakers in receivers Dontavia Bogan (26 REC, 354 YDs, 1 TD) and A.J. Lowe (31 REC, 370 YDs, 2 TDs). Both are juniors who respectively averaged 13.6 and 11.9 yards per catch. There’s also Jessie Hester (54 REC, 579 YDs, 3 TDs), a senior, and junior Carlton Mitchell (28 REC, 405 YDs, 1 TD). Runners Moise Plancher (69 ATT, 340 YDs, 6 TDs) and Mike Ford (102 ATT, 417 YDs, 5 TDs) can score points. The O-line, which is replacing three starters, will definitely be a factor.

While the offense was averaging 27.6 PPG, the Bull defense was holding opponents to 20.0 PPG. The club was ranked 10th nationally versus the run and 10th in total yards. The linebackers will be led by the solid play of Kion Wilson (66 TKLs) and the frontline will feature DE George Selvie (43 TKLs, 5.5 SCKs, 8 TFL). Both units are sound and deep. The secondary was good last season, earning a ranking of 37th. Two starters, both seniors, return—CB Jerome Murphy (67 TKLs, 2 INTs) and FS Nate Allen (53 TKLs, 1 INT).

On special teams, Bogan averaged a resounding 26.6 yards per kick return and Theo Wilson was good for 12.9 yards on punt returns. Kicker Maikon Bonani offers an on-target leg that can hit from long-range and punter Delbert Alvarado can place the ball where he wants it.

Coach Jim Leavitt (87- 52 in 12 years at USF) has put together a good program but one that never quite breaks through and achieves all that is expected. The Bulls beat just two Big East teams last year—Syracuse and Connecticut. Until they can take it to the likes of West Virginia, Rutgers, Cincinnati and the rest, they will continue to dwell near the bottom of their conference. This season, USF has a tough non-conference schedule that includes a true testing ground—Florida State. That game on September 26 will define this team one way or another. Expect the Bulls to finish somewhere in the middle of the Big East and earn an invitation to another lower tier bowl.

South Florida Bulls Football Schedule

Date Team Opponent Site Line Total Points Opp Points
9/5/2009 South Florida Wofford home        
9/12/2009 South Florida West. Kentucky away        
9/19/2009 South Florida Charleston S. home        
9/26/2009 South Florida Florida St. away        
10/3/2009 South Florida Syracuse away        
10/15/2009 South Florida Cincinnati home        
10/24/2009 South Florida Pittsburgh away        
10/30/2009 South Florida West Virginia home        
11/12/2009 South Florida Rutgers away        
11/21/2009 South Florida Louisville home        
11/28/2009 South Florida Miami (FL) home        
12/5/2009 South Florida Connecticut away        


For more info on the 2009 South Florida Bulls football program, view the Bulls football site or you can read about other Big East teams below.


2009 Big East Football Team Previews

All of the Big East teams are featured to the right. Each link under the team previews gives our individual breakdown for the eight Big East colleges. For other teams visit Maddux's 09 college preview page.

If you would like to know how Maddux forecasts the order of finish for the Big East football conference check out the Big East Conference Preview section which is our conference preview as a whole. With only 1 starter back on defense can Brian Kelly get his Bearcats back to the BCS? Will Wannstedt choke away another season with loaded talent? Is Rutgers' schedule just too easy for them not to win the Big East crown?

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