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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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College football: USF 31-Cincinnati 16
Bulls on the radar for New Year's Eve
By GREG AUMAN
Published November 20, 2005
TAMPA - Will Webb had made reservations Dec.3 in Jacksonville, planning on taking in the first ACC Championship Game.
But thanks to USF's three-game winning streak, the executive director of the Meineke Car Care Bowl has changed his itinerary. After watching Saturday's 31-16 win vs. Cincinnati, he'll be back to watch the Bulls play West Virginia in Tampa in two weeks.
"I see a lot of fan enthusiasm, and Jim Leavitt really has these kids excited," Webb said. "It's been a good first impression."
Saturday's noon kickoff drew an announced 27,204, well under USF's average of 40,616. But barring a loss at Connecticut next weekend, the Charlotte bowl, played at 11 a.m. Dec.31, is where the Bulls will likely play unless they upset the Mountaineers and land a Bowl Championship Series berth.
"There's still a lot of football to play," said Webb, whose game will also feature an ACC team. "There's scenarios (USF athletic director Doug Woolard) and I were going through, where if Notre Dame loses, if West Virginia loses or whatnot. Another week or so, we'll know more."
RECRUITING: Before their first home game in eight weeks to host recruits, the Bulls picked up a key local oral commitment.
Leslie Stirrups, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive tackle from Hillsborough, chose the Bulls over Florida, Florida State and Georgia.
"I might as well come here and stay in my hometown, where my mom can see me play," said Stirrups, touted as a four-star recruit by scout.com. "I'm going to make some visits, but this is my school."
Stirrups said he'll need to improve his academic status to meet the NCAA's minimum eligibility requirement. He has a 2.3 grade-point average and took the SAT two weeks ago.
LINE CHANGE: Junior Thed Watson, the starting left tackle, watched from the sideline, out with an ankle injury sustained in last weekend's win at Syracuse. Redshirt freshman Marc Dile started in his place, with sophomore Walter Walker at right tackle. Watson, a Lakewood graduate, said he'll be healthy enough to play Saturday at Connecticut.
PROMISING: Freshman quarterback Carlton Hill saw his most extensive action, playing the final 10 minutes and getting a 47-yard scramble. "That guy is talented in a big way," Leavitt said.
Hill came in during the third quarter when starter Pat Julmiste injured his throwing elbow, but the Bulls were called for back-to-back false starts, and Julmiste was back in the game before Hill could take a snap.
THIS AND THAT: Sophomore defensive tackle Eric Thomas missed the game and had a cast on his left wrist. ... Redshirt freshman Josh Julmiste had his first career sack, and senior Jason Allen tied linebacker Stephen Nicholas for the team lead with his sixth. ... The Bulls matched a school record with 18 penalties, totaling 137 yards. "You can rip us, and you're right," Leavitt said.