Chattanooga vs. South Florida: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Radio, Game Time & More
South Florida and Chattanooga will help kick off the 2012 College Football season this Saturday night in Tampa, Fla. each looking to begin the fall on a high note.
For Chattanooga, the goal will be to remain competitive and to represent the Southern Conference well.
On the other hand, South Florida will be looking to win and earn style points in the process. The Big East program will attempt to bounce back from a down year in 2011.
Will they do it?
Here is everything you need to know for Saturday night's showdown between the Mocs and Bulls in Tampa.
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
When: Saturday, September 1 at 7 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN GamePlan
Listen: ESPN 105.1 FM (Chattanooga), 98.7 FM The Fan (Tampa)
Live Streaming: ESPN3.com
Betting Line: TBA
Much is expected of South Florida in 2012. The Bulls have been projected to finish second in the Big East conference behind only Louisville, according to Florida Today's David Jones. South Florida's most difficult challenges will come against Florida State and at Louisville, but not against Chattanooga this Saturday.
The key storyline for Saturday's game will be the high expectations set for USF this season following a 5-7 season a year ago. The Bulls return 15 starters and boast a favorable schedule, giving them no excuse not to succeed this fall.
Who May Not Play for Chattanooga
*According to USA Today
No significant injuries to report.
Who May Not Play for South Florida
*According to USA Today
No significant injuries to report.
For South Florida, anything less than a win on Saturday will likely damage its chances of making a push into the Top 25 this September. Of course, the Bulls will rely on their Big East conference schedule to earn them some Top 25 and BCS consideration.
There aren't many good things that will come from beating an FCS opponent that went 5-6 last year in the season opener. It's simply expected that USF will run away with Saturday's game.
What They're Saying
Chattanooga head coach Russ Huesman acknowledged in his Tuesday press conference that the Mocs will have their hands full on Saturday in their season opener against a team projected to be one of the best in the Big East this season:
Some days we look really good, but the first game is always scary no matter who you're playing. And then when you're playing a BCS school it makes it even tougher. Hopefully we've prepared for the situations that we'll face, but we know we have a tough test on Saturday against South Florida. - via GoMocs.com
It's safe to say that the Mocs will be in desperate need of their A-game this weekend.
Bulls senior signal-caller B.J. Daniels has taken the right approach to Saturday's season opener and told the media this week that he's focused for this weekend:
We’re not looking past anybody or down the road, this is right now the most important game of my career and it’s the first one of my senior year. - via GoUSFBulls.com
Daniels is a mature player, and will turn 23 this October. His words leading up to USF's first game of the season sound as if he is ready to take the leadership reigns in 2012.
Chattanooga Player to Watch
Running back J.J. Jackson will be the player to watch for the Mocs this weekend. Not only does Jackson have a terrific football name, but he is also a senior with 18 games of experience under his belt. Jackson rushed for 234 yards and three touchdowns last season on 70 carries.
Head coach Russ Huesman announced at Tuesday's press conference that Jackson would get the start at running back for the Mocs, and that they would assess the position from there.
South Florida Player to Watch
Senior quarterback B.J. Daniels will the most important Bulls player on Saturday, and likely all season long as he attempts to produce even more offense in his final season at South Florida. Daniels threw for over 2,600 yards last season, but only completed 58.9 percent of his passes and tossed only 13 touchdowns to seven interceptions.
Daniels has an added strength being that he can run the ball. He carried the ball 132 times for 601 yards and six touchdowns in 2011. Watch for Daniels to create offense early on against Chattanooga.
The biggest question in Tampa on Saturday night will be whether Chattanooga can move the ball at all against South Florida's stout defense. The Bulls' DeDe Lattimore heads a linebacker corps with loads of experience and talent.
Lattimore, a junior, led the Bulls in tackles with 94 last season. He also sacked the opposing quarterback seven times in 2011. In addition to needing to stop South Florida's proven offensive unit, the Mocs must be able to move the ball on their FBS foe if they are to have any shot at keeping this game close.
On the Hot Seat
South Florida head coach Skip Holtz will be on the hot seat all season long, and it starts Saturday night against Chattanooga. After coaching the Bulls to an 8-5 season that included a bowl game victory in 2010, Holtz went 5-7 in his second year.
With high expectations surrounding USF in 2012, being projected to finish as high as second in the Big East this fall, Holtz will be feeling his coaching seat heat up with every loss.
Chattanooga looked severely overwhelmed in its only game against an FBS opponent last season, getting walloped by Nebraska to open the season, 40-7. On Saturday in Tampa, I like the Bulls to begin a strong season with a blowout victory over the Mocs.
South Florida 38, Chattanooga 13
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter all season long for more college football reaction and analysis.
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