The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will take on the University of South Florida Bulls to kickoff the 2011 season.
The Bulls finished last season with a 31-26 win over Clemson in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Head Coach Skip Holtz—son of legendary Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz—is in his second-year at USF and is a Notre Dame alum.
These are the top five players to watch out for as the Irish begin their pursuit of a BCS Bowl game birth at home against USF.
USF Quick Facts
Location: Tampa, Florida
Enrollment: 48,000 students
2010 Record: 8-5 3-4 (Big East)
Redshirt sophomore linebacker DeDe Lattimore is expected to have a huge season for the Bulls.
Lattimore started 12 games in 2010 and he was also named to the freshmen All-American team by Rivals.com.
He finished his 2010 campaign leading the Bulls with nine tackles in their bowl game win over Clemson.
Ryne Giddins is poised to become a breakout star for the Bulls this fall.
The 6-3, 259 pound sophomore is one of the most heralded recruits to ever choose to play his college ball at USF.
Giddins had rather modest stats least season but he is ready for his coming out party and the stage be set on national television against the Irish.
Giddins was named to ESPN's All-Big East freshmen team.
Quenton Washington is perhaps the best pro prospect right now for South Florida. Washington is about to enter his third year as a starter and he hopes to make a continued impact in the secondary.
He started 12 of 13 games last season and tallied 59 tackles with one interception.
Most likely Washington will be matched up with Irish wide receiver Michael Floyd so this is definitely a matchup to keep an eye on week one.
The Bull's backfield is really a mess coming into this season with the incumbent Murray battling for playing time against Colorado transfer Darrell Scott and Auburn transfer Dontae Aycock. With that said Murray should get the starting nod against the Irish.
Murray does not have great high end speed but he is a hard nosed in between the tackles kind of guy.
Murray's style of running should be a great early season test for the Irish defensive line and linebacker core.
B.J. Daniels has had a roller coaster ride of a career for the Bulls. Daniels is a dual -threat quarterback who can be a huge headache for defenses. He has great size and speed but mental mistakes and untimely turnovers have really put the brakes on a his development.
Regressing after his freshman campaign he finally put together a complete game beating the Clemson Tigers in the Meineke Car Care Bowl to finish up 2010. In that game Daniels threw for two scores and ran for another earning him MVP Honors.
Daniels will show flashes of greatness but there will be times he will leave you scratching your head. This first game versus the Irish will show how he has improved in the off season in terms of decision making.