As USF gears up to face South Carolina in this week's Birmingham Bowl, Bulls linebacker Auggie Sanchez is in line to break the school's single-season tackle record, which is currently held by Tyrone McKenzie. Sanchez, who has racked up 111 tackles this season, needs 11 more to stamp his name on program history.
However, South Florida's defensive leader is taking a team-oriented approach to the contest as he looks to cap a successful season. "If we get to 11 wins, that's a big deal for us," Sanchez told the Trussville Tribune. "I think that's what the guys are looking forward to. We're all into this and the bowl game is our main focus."
After a banner year on defense, Sanchez won second-team All-Conference honors for a second consecutive season. His six sacks this season were a personal best, and he is six tackles shy of matching his season-high at the university.
Sanchez and USF will go into the game without their former head coach Wille Taggart. Taggart signed with Oregon after leading the Bulls to a No. 25 rank in the nation this season. Taggart will be replaced by former Texas coach Charlie Strong, who was fired last November by the Longhorns after nearly three full seasons with the team.
Birmingham holds a special place in USF lore, as it was the site of their first program victory in a bowl game. They beat East Carolina 24-7 in 2006. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp will coach in the game for the first time, after being famously fired from Florida after the 2014 season with the Gators before the team played in the Birmingham Bowl.
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