The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Bench backed up Matt McGloin for the Nittany Lions in 2012 and appeared in two games, completing 2 of 8 passes for 12 yards and rushing for 18 yards. He was allowed to transfer to South Florida without having to sit out a year because of policies granted to all Penn State players after the NCAA imposed sanctions following the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.
"He's still not there where he knows our offense completely, so we've got to be smart with what ask him to do," USF coach Willie Taggart said. "We don't need him to be Tom Brady. We want him to be Steven Bench."
Bench was 8 of 24 for 128 yards against the Owls, but impressed the coaching staff enough to earn Saturday's start against the Hurricanes.
"You really haven't seen our offense yet," Taggart said. "We're not a team built to come from behind yet. ... If we go out and play like we're capable, I think we have a shot."
Miami boasts a defense that has allowed three TDs in three games.
"They're back ... but we'll be ready," the first-year USF coach said. "We're not going to bow down to them, that's for sure."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.