Certainly you couldn’t fault the South Florida Bulls if they spent a little bit of time savoring their 23-20 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday in South Bend. Despite being outgained 508-254 and struggling to convert their scoring opportunities, they collected five turnovers and never trailed on their way to a win over one of college football’s true blue-blood programs.
But big non-conference road wins are almost becoming passe; after all, this is the same program that’s won at Auburn, Florida State, and Miami in recent years, in addition to winning at West Virginia in 2006 to knock them out of contention for a BCS bowl. While the victory is important for getting the 2011 season off on the right foot and boosting the team’s profile, they also know that it has nothing to do with their ultimate goal.
"It’s a big step. Notre Dame, with their history and all," said senior safety Jerrell Young. "But even if we would have won or lost this game, it had nothing to do with our Big East championship goal."
Holtz said, "What we have not done is we have not been able to line up and play consistently through the course of a year and win a Big East championship, and that’s the No. 1 goal we have as a football team right now and with what we’re trying to do."
Big East play doesn’t begin until September 29 in Pittsburgh, but the Bulls do have three straight home games with which to continue building momentum towards their conference schedule and their goal of a BCS bowl game. USF hosts the Ball State Cardinals this Saturday at 7:00pm at Raymond James Stadium.
For more USF coverage, visit Voodoo Five, SB Nation’s USF blog.