After a rigorous week of practice in which the majority of the focus was placed on themselves during a bye, the University of South Florida football team was glad to get back into its normal routine Sunday, which included starting preparations for Saturday's game at Big East Conference foe Connecticut.
"We definitely needed to get the work in against each other and get our fundamentals back," LB Mike Lanaris said. "But it's definitely good to go out there now and take a look at UConn. It's good to get back into game prep because game prep is always fun. You always get excited."
The Huskies (2-4, 0-1 Big East) have lost four of their past five, but USF coach Skip Holtz believes their overall record is a bit misleading, pointing out three of the losses were by a touchdown or less. Holtz added UConn, which has won three straight at home against USF (4-1, 0-1), should be plenty motivated following a rough second half Saturday at West Virginia, where a 10-9 halftime deficit turned into a 43-16 rout.
"I'm sure they're coming off the same feeling we came off of with the Pitt week," Holtz said. "They're going to be really determined. They're going to go back to the grindstone and they're going to make sure they turn and get everything right. We're looking forward to it being a heck of a battle with it being a conference game, and you can't take any of them for granted."
Bulls battling virus
USF came out of the bye week relatively healthy on the injury front, with WR/PR Terrence Mitchell (concussion) the only question mark entering Saturday's game. The Bulls' overall health, however, is a bit in question as a virus is working its way through the locker room.
Holtz is among those battling flu-like symptoms and said roughly half the team has been affected during the past two weeks. He cautioned reporters to keep their distance prior to speaking Sunday evening.
"The sinuses are just getting in order a little bit, but then it all goes down into your chest and it's like you're coughing up a lung with razor blades in your chest," he said.