Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Raymond James Stadium (65,857/Natural Grass)
BIG EAST Network — Dave Weekley and Doug Graber
USF holds a 3-2 series lead against Western Kentucky … The teams met last season in Bowling Green, Ky., when the Bulls took a 35-13 win … USF RB Moise Plancher ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns and the Bulls amassed 461 yards of offense in last year’s win.
Skip Holtz (Notre Dame ’86)
1-2, first season at USF
73-52, 11th year as collegiate head coach
USF has not played since Sept. 11, when the Bulls dropped a 38-14 decision at Florida … The Bulls opened with a 59-14 win against Stony Brook Sept. 4 … USF is 12-8 all-time following a regular-season bye week ….USF is paced on offense by QB B.J. Daniels, who leads the Bulls in rushing and passing … Daniels has rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and has completed 20 of 42 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns with four interceptions … RB Demetris Murray has been the first option at tailback … Murray has averaged 58.5 yards per game and has one touchdown … WR Evan Landi (six receptions, 143 yards) and WR Dontavia Bogan (four receptions, 98 yards, 1 TD) are the top two deep threats … Landi has averaged 23.8 yards per reception, while Bogan’s mark of 24.5 yards per catch leads the BIG EAST … The Bulls don’t have a player with double-digit tackles on the season, but have 11 different players who have made at least five stops … Four different players have registered interceptions … The game against Western Kentucky is the first of three straight home games for USF.
WESTERN KENTUCKY (0-3)
Willie Taggart (Western Kentucky ’98)
0-3, first season
Western Kentucky fell to 0-3 after Saturday’s 38-21 loss to Indiana in Bowling Green, Ky. … The Hilltoppers have lost 23 straight games, which is the longest active streak among Bowl Subdivision teams … Western Kentucky’s last win was a 50-9 decision against Murray State Sept. 20, 2008 … The game against USF will be Western Kentucky’s fourth straight against an opponent from an automatic-qualifying BCS conference … The Hilltoppers opened with a 49-10 loss at Nebraska and fell 63-28 at Kentucky before last weekend’s home opener … Western Kentucky has been outscored 52-7 in the second quarter … RB Bobby Rainey has been the top player through three games … Rainey has rushed for 444 yards and five touchdowns on 73 carries and has averaged 148.0 yards per game and 6.1 yards per carry … Rainey enters Saturday’s game ranked fifth nationally in rushing … QB Western Kentucky was the first visiting team — at the collegiate or professional level — to win a game Raymond James Stadium when the Hilltoppers defeated USF 31-24 Oct. 17, 1998 … Prior to that date, USF was 2-0 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 2-0 in the stadium … Hilltopper head coach Willie Taggart was the quarterback for WKU in that game.