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USF Defense Banged Up

Six starters hobbled:

No. 13 USF began preparations for Saturday's game at N.C. State with more than half its defensive starters held out with lingering soreness and injuries.

Only one -- linebacker Brouce Mompremier, who is out indefinitely as he recovers from a neck injury -- is definitely out for Saturday, and USF coach Jim Leavitt said he'll know Wednesday about the rest: defensive end George Selvie, defensive tackles Terrell McClain and Aaron Harris, cornerback Tyller Roberts and safety Carlton Williams.

"We usually wait until about Wednesday's practice," Leavitt said. "If they're really hobbling Wednesday ... then probably normally if they don't practice Wednesday, 80 percent they don't (play). We're going to prepare everybody else as if these guys aren't playing, and then we'll see."

Amateur quarterback-eater George Selvie is dealing with an ankle sprain, but it doesn't sound serious, at least not according to him.

TOB says it's on:

USF got some extra motivation Monday from comments made last week by N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien. He consulted with other college programs about the spread offense and how to contain it defensively but told reporters last week that USF was not one of the schools he talked with.

"South Florida? Did you watch them against Oregon?" O'Brien said of the Ducks' 56-21 rout of the Bulls in the Sun Bowl. "Go look at that game. That was the spread that they were defending. I'm not saying anything about South Florida's defense, but if they're the gurus, we'd better go somewhere else."

I know, right? Plus, South Florida's football program is just 11 years old. Would you seek advice from an 11-year-old? For our trouble we'd get a roll of the eyes and a "can't you see I'm on the phone? Shut the door."

Update: USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham responds:

"Here's the way I feel about it: He's right. We're not gurus," Burnham said. "On the other hand, we try to handle things professionally and not say anything ... with class, not say anything about anyone else's coaching staff. He can say what he wants to. The other thing, I forget what bowl game they were in. That's all I've got to say."

Update #2: O'Brien's USF comment can be heard here (towards the end).