GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Greetings from The Swamp, which is appropriately named on this hot and steamy day. The temperature will be near 90 degrees at kickoff, but with the humidity it will feel more like 100 on the field.
But, hey, these are two Florida teams so they should be used to it, right?
The heat is the least of South Florida's worries. The Bulls took care of business in a Week 1 laugher against Stony Brook, but this will be arguably the most difficult assignment in the program's short history. I think USF would have been better off had the Gators not struggled in Week 1, but now they will be itching to prove they're better than what they showed against Miami of Ohio.
Keys for the Bulls today: Survive the early onslaught. Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder told me this week that it might take a couple of series for the Bulls to get properly adjusted to Florida's speed. This is the biggest atmosphere any of these players have ever been in, and they must be wary of falling in an early hole.
The big question, to me, is how South Florida is going to score against an active, aggressive Gators defense. I don't know if the Bulls can line up and run the ball and find success, and their young, inexperienced receivers will really be tested. Skip Holtz and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch will have to find ways to manufacture some big plays, whether that's through trickery or some wrinkles we didn't see in Week 1.
The best thing USF has going for it is B.J. Daniels, who's a gamer who won't be flustered in this environment. He's already engineered a win at Florida State; imagine the legacy he'll establish if he can do the same in Gainesville.
If all else fails, the Bulls can hope that Florida still hasn't figured out its snap problems between Mike Pouncey and John Brantley. But I've got a feeling the Gators will be much sharper on offense this week.