With the bid to join the Big 12 Conference behind them now that the conference has decided not to expand, the University of South Florida Bulls are focused on making a statement against the Temple University Owls and continuing their bid to run the table in the American Athletic Conference.

USF is one of only six teams in the nation with six or more wins and is getting closer to its first national ranking since 2011, currently sitting at #27 in the coaches poll.  Bulls head coach Willie Taggart recalled what it felt like to miss the opportunity to play for a conference title last season as they position themselves to compete for the title this season.

“We constantly talk about that feeling we all had when Temple and Houston were playing in the American Conference championship game and we were here practicing for a bowl game.  Temple is a good team and they earned the right to go to the title game.  We have to earn what we want.  That’s how it is when you’re trying to get to a championship game.”

The Bulls’ running game is red-hot, posting back-to-back 300-yard games against the East Carolina Pirates and the UConn Huskies.  Center Cameron Ruff says "The Hogs" (the Bulls offensive line) are ready for a fast Temple defense.

“We know that we’re an uptempo offense.  So, we have to get on the ball as fast as we can to catch the defense off guard.  Beating Temple is a little more personal because we’re both at the top of our division.  So, this game matters to see who takes the lead in the division.  We’re just preparing for them to come against us with everything they’ve got.”

Defensive Tackle Deadrin Senat said the Bullshark defense is prepared and motivated to match up against a physical Owls offensive line.

“The game is going to be won with our D-line or their O-line.  They’re really good on both sides.  So, we’ll have to bring our A game.  It’s going to be a battle because they won last year.  They played in the conference title game and we didn’t.  They have what we want.”

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