Our prayers are finally being answered, because as of this Saturday night around 10:30, we won't have to watch the 2012 Bulls play football anymore. We just have to get through that pesky last game of the season, and then we can sit back and see who gets fired.
GAME: South Florida Bulls (3-8, 1-4 Big East) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (5-6, 2-4 Big East)
WHERE: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
DATE/TIME: Saturday, December 1, 7:00pm Eastern
TV/RADIO: ESPN2, 98.7 FM The Fan
TICKETS: Check for free tickets under windshields in the parking lots. There is no reason to pay money to see this game.
USF is 3-6 all-time against Pittsburgh. They won the famous first meeting in 2001, and back-to-back games in 2006 and 2007. The Panthers won in 2004-05, and have won the last four meetings, including a 44-17 punking last year that started the Bulls on the nosedive that they are still in.
CONFERENCE: Big East (22nd year). This is Pittsburgh's last Big East football game. They join the ACC next year along with Syracuse, and eventually most of the current Big East. Basically everyone except us, I assume.
WEB SITE: PittsburghPanthers.com
2012 SEASON: Pittsburgh's season has been wildly inconsistent, to say the least. They lost to FCS Youngstown State by two touchdowns and got scorched by Cincinnati to start the season, setting an all-time record for coach embattlement. Then they stomped Virginia Tech, lost to Syracuse by 1, hung tight with Louisville, and crushed Buffalo and Temple to regain some dignity. After a valiant effort against Notre Dame, a game they eventually lost in triple overtime, the Panthers had completely righted the ship. And then they went and lost to UConn, followed by a convincing win over Rutgers. The Panthers need to beat USF to gain bowl eligibility and set up a potential New York-style Backyard Brawl with West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl.
SB NATION SITE: Cardiac Hill has you covered for Pittsburgh news.
OTHER NEWS SOURCES: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PantherLair.com. Sadly, Beano Cook is no longer with us to serve as an additional source of Pitt news.
KEY OFFENSIVE PLAYERS: Tino Sunseri's numbers have been quietly spectacular -- close to 3000 yards passing, 18 TDs, and only two interceptions. Ray Graham is up near the 1000-yard mark running the ball, and Devin Street and Mike Shanahan are both dangerous receivers. The Bulls' defense will have their hands full, although they've had their hands full with much lesser talents.
KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: Safety Jason Hendricks leads the team in both tackles (69) and interceptions (four). Defensive lineman Aaron Donald has 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, leading Pittsburgh in both marks. Injuries have hit the Panthers defense pretty hard, but they still have playmakers that USF needs to account for.