The Bulls will jump back into conference play on Saturday night when they face Cincinnati in a Homecoming match-up.
USF, who is coming off a bye week, is riding a program record 10-game win streak, the second-longest active streak in the nation (Clemson, 11).
Head coach Charlie Strong said the time off was much-needed for his team, who is approaching a four-game stretch with two games on the road.
“It gives players a chance to get their feet back underneath them— still about fundamentals and technique.” Strong said Monday during the AAC’s weekly coaches teleconference. “Our guys, they needed that rest.”
With a new coaching staff and revamped defense, USF is on its way to matching the program’s record 6-0 start (2007).
It’s already been a record-breaking season for the Bulls. Why stop now?
Quinton Flowers recently passed Tim Tebow to become the all-time quarterback rushing leader in the state of Florida’s FBS history with 2,989 yards.
In their last contest, USF set the program record for the most points in a road game with a dominant 61-31 win at East Carolina. The Bulls are now looking to pick up where they left off against Cincinnati at Raymond James Stadium.
Cincinnati (2-4) is winless against conference opponents and dropped its third straight game in a tough loss against UCF last Saturday.
The Knights’ offense challenged the Bearcats early, helping UCF claim a 51-23 win after the game was shortened due to inclement weather.
“They battled— have a really outstanding quarterback,” Strong said of Cincinnati’s performance. “Offensive line did a really good job of protecting him and he was able to make some throws.”
One of the few bright spots in Cincinnati’s loss to UCF was quarterback Hayden Moore who set his career rushing high by halftime with 67 ground yards. He also managed to throw for 278 yards.
However, it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Knights whose offense exploded from the start.
The Bearcats have been outscored 62-24 in the first quarter this season. USF will need to take advantage of UC’s slow starts and strike early.
“We keep getting ourselves way behind and have to fight out of a hole and it’s draining,” Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell said Monday.
They’ll have their work cut out for them against the Bulls, who are up to No. 18/15 in the national polls and looking to continue their undefeated record in front of a home crowd.
“You have a really good football team,” Strong said. “We just need the support and we need everybody onboard.”
Here are a few other notable stats heading into Week 7:
Bulls’ offense ranks among best in the nation standing 5th in scoring (44.8 ppg), 5th in rushing (309.2 ypg) and 10th in total offense (510.0 ypg).
USF defense leads the nation in interceptions with 14, and is third in turnovers gained (16).
USF has appeared in 11 straight Top-25 polls dating back to last season— making program record.
Bulls are riding a nation-leading 22-game streak of scoring 30 or more points— only one game shy of the record of 23 held by Oregon (2011-12).