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Stewart Mandel on our Bulls


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Which Louisville team will show up vs. West Virginia? The Fighting Petrinos that score in the 60s, or the team that got smoked by South Florida?

--David, Louisville, Ky.

Good question. The Bulls may well end up winning the Big East, but as of today, the most baffling score of the season (besides UC-Davis over Stanford) remains USF 45, Louisville 14. North Carolina isn't USC, but the Tar Heels aren't exactly chopped liver, either -- they beat Miami last year, for crying out loud -- and the Cardinals put up 69 points on them! Clearly, their offense is a lot better than it looked that night in Tampa. But then again, they're a younger group than they were last year, and Mountaineer Field will be a considerably more hostile atmosphere than was Raymond James Stadium. We'll see how Brian Brohm & Co. react.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/stewart_mandel/10/12/mailbag/1.html

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just curious - how does beating pitt show that beating us was not a fluke?

I've got respect for USF and I have been touting you guys even in the preseason when everyone picked you to finish at the bottom of the conference.  But seriously - you beat us 41-14 or something like that.  Do any of you honestly think that wasn't a fluke?

Sure, USF could beat UofL and it wouldn't be a fluke - you are a good team - but pounding us like that by such a wide margin is indeed a fluke.  

I think what you guys want is for the media to legitimately recognize your program as a solid one (which I think you are) however beating pitt won't show anything imo.  Beating WVU will make a huge statement.  Even beating Uconn will make a statement.  But beating pitt won't do squat...

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it wasn't a fluke... its called stellar defense and an excellent offensive line.  Maybe our offensive output was better than usual, but our defense has been very good all year.  Other teams have had trouble scoring, including PSU and Miami.  The only reason they both scored over 20 was because we handed them so many points from our shaky offense.  

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Why would you say that?

I didn't say that our team was the best.  We just have a defense that is good enough to shut down your offense.  Our problem is that our offense isn't putting our defense in very good positions.  If we had your offense, it would be scary!

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Guest S.  Bien
just curious - how does beating pitt show that beating us was not a fluke?

I've got respect for USF and I have been touting you guys even in the preseason when everyone picked you to finish at the bottom of the conference.  But seriously - you beat us 41-14 or something like that.  Do any of you honestly think that wasn't a fluke?

Sure, USF could beat UofL and it wouldn't be a fluke - you are a good team - but pounding us like that by such a wide margin is indeed a fluke.  

I think what you guys want is for the media to legitimately recognize your program as a solid one (which I think you are) however beating pitt won't show anything imo.  Beating WVU will make a huge statement.  Even beating Uconn will make a statement.  But beating pitt won't do squat...

Well put BPSUL.  I think people want to see what USF does against an inferior opponent on the road, or rather one of similar skill sets since we beat UL.  Miami beat us, we screwed up down there, but they beat us so the reporters all decided we shouldn't have won anyway, but Pitt, despite their troubles has some talent.  Many want to see what happens, if we struggle or lose they'll say "I told you so."  If we pound them on the road then many will believe we've got a chance.

Pitt won't give us respect, actually the UL win gave us some of the respect we deserve.  The Pitt game is more of a test, win a road game, against a team with a reputation, that pounded you last year, and we pass the test.  No one will go "Wow" because of how bad Pitt's been playing and after them losing to Ohio, and us beatin UL the Pitt game is a game we're suppose to win.  If we want a chance to win out, we must prove we can win the games we're suppose to win, particularly on the road.

Next week the WVU game will be the next game to give us more street cred again.  Clearly WVU is not better than UL, but Rodriguez has been building a respectable program- and is always tough, and has been perpetually in bowls.  Beat WVU, and UL then everyone starts to 'believe' hell even most Bulls fans will start to 'believe'.

By the way BP, I don't think beating you was as much of a shock to me, not so much even the point margin.  The shock was how good we were able to keep your offense out of the end zone.   In the last three years only Memphis in 2003 held you to less.  And this year, your offense is so much more explosive then in 03.

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