UConn, South Florida get together in battle of struggling Big East teams
Tampa, Fla. - UConn and South Florida are determined to not let a wretched October get the best of them.
The Huskies and Bulls both went 0-3 last month and remain winless in Big East play entering a matchup between the struggling conference rivals tonight (7 p.m., ESPNU).
The teams are in jeopardy of missing the postseason for the second straight year, however neither is conceding anything with four games remaining.
"We're just focused on getting back on the right path," UConn linebacker Jory Johnson said. "We had a bad month of October and we're trying to put that behind us."
The Huskies (3-5, 0-3) have dropped five of seven following a season-opening victory over UMass. October losses to Rutgers, Temple and Syracuse dropped them into a tie for last place in the conference until USF (2-6, 0-4) squandered a 20-point halftime lead en route to a 37-36 loss to Syracuse that left the Bulls alone in the cellar.
"Somebody has to win. Hopefully it's us," South Florida running back Demetris Murray said.
UConn is coming off a bye week that gave players some much-needed rest and allowed coach Paul Pasqualoni to address some of the team's shortcomings.
Meanwhile, USF coach Skip Holtz has been searching for the answers to a school-record six-game tailspin that includes a 2-point loss unbeaten Louisville two weeks ago, as well as last Saturday's collapse against Syracuse.
The Bulls led both games in the closing minutes before faltering defensively.
One of the bright spots for South Florida has been the play of B.J. Daniels, who at times has been a virtual one-man show on offense while finding ways to keep the Bulls in nearly every game.
"He certainly can hurt you throwing the ball, but when he drops back to throw the ball he can make as many yards running as he can passing," Pasqualoni said.
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