The University of South Florida football team will visit Michigan State this weekend, the first game in a substantial set of games against Big Ten opponents.
USF announced Tuesday a two-game series with Illinois is to begin with a game in Tampa in 2017 before the Bulls head to Champaign, Ill., to play the return game in 2018.
Illinois is the fifth Big Ten team USF has scheduled a home-and-home series with. The others are Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich., on Saturday, Tampa in 2018), Maryland (Tampa next season, College Park, Mar., in 2015), Wisconsin (Madison, Wis., next season, Tampa in 2017) and Indiana (Tampa in 2015, Bloomington, Ind., in 2016.)
USF is 0-1 all-time against the Big Ten, with only a 23-13 loss at Penn State in 2005 on its record.
Stay in system
While watching tape of USF’s 53-21 loss to McNeese State on Saturday, head coach Willie Taggart and the coaching staff noticed the Bulls were actually trying to make the plays necessary to turn around a game that had slipped away.
The only problem was their desire to make that big play was so great, they were abandoning the system in order to make it.
While the intention is good, Taggart said, the Bulls must have the discipline to stay organized in their system or they risk creating a bigger issue for their teammates.
“I think guys tried to make plays, but they tried to do it their way rather than doing it within the scheme of what we’re doing,” he said. “That got us in trouble. That got us in trouble big-time. Rather than staying focused and staying poised and just running our scheme and playing with fanatical effort, we did the total opposite and it killed us.”
CB Jalen Spencer left the field Saturday with his right arm in a sling and Taggart announced Tuesday that Spencer will undergo surgery for a separated shoulder and miss the rest of the season. Spencer, a redshirt freshman from Pensacola, made 1.5 tackles against the Cowboys, serving primarily as USF’s nickelback.