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USF Football First Look: USF Bulls vs. Syracuse Orange

Homecoming against Syracuse gives the Bulls another chance to end the losing skid, now up to 5 games.

Ryan Nassib has been the gunslinger of the Big East so far in 2012
Ryan Nassib has been the gunslinger of the Big East so far in 2012
Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

This year's homecoming game is also welcoming the Bulls back after two frustratingly close road games (with a bye in between). The Bulls haven't had a home game in four weeks, when they lost to FSU in front of an alleged sellout crowd. This week, they'll play the best damn 3-4 team in the country.

GAME: Syracuse Orange (3-4, 2-1 Big East) at South Florida Bulls (2-5, 0-3 Big East)
WHERE: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 27, 7pm Eastern
TV/RADIO: ESPN3; 98.7 (FM) The Fan
TICKETS: Plenty of tickets available! Prices range from $10 to $60 on TicketMaster.

This will be the last conference game against Syracuse, who will move on to the ACC next season, along with Pittsburgh. (Hope the door hits ya where the good Lord split ya.)

Let's take a last look at this longtime but now short-time Big East member:

CONFERENCE:Big East (22nd year). USF holds a 6-1 record all-time against Syracuse, including our lone conference win last season.
2012 SEASON: Three of Syracuse's four losses have been of the excruciating nature: 42-41 to Northwestern with a last second Cats TD; four turnovers in a 7-point loss to Minnesota; three more turnovers in a 23-15 loss to Rutgers. They even played USC tough at the Meadowlands. All those headaches went away as they obliterated UConn 40-10 Friday night.
SB NATION BLOG: As well as being likely the longest blog title on SBNation, Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician is your source for Orange-related news.
OTHER NEWS OUTLETS: Syracuse Post-Standard, Daily Orange

KEY OFFENSIVE PLAYERS: The Orange are expected to throw the ball a ton. Ryan Nassib is averaging over 300 yards passing, leads the league in attempts (270) and yards (2159), and completes 65.2 percent of his passes. However, he's also thrown 8 INTs in 7 games. Can we finally pick one off?

Nassib's favorite target is WR Marcus Sales, who is tied for first in the Big East with 5 TDs and is second in receptions with 37.

KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: Brandon Sharpe is a man among boys this season, second in the Big East with 5.5 sacks, but leading in total sack yardage with 56 yards lost. Those sacks have contributed to his 10 TFLs, also second in the league.