Raymond James Stadium sure has seen more than its fair share of losing by the home teams during the 2013 football season. So far the local boys are 0-5 at home in the oppressive heat of the Florida Summer.
The "Ray-Jay" as most locals call it, is a stadium that primarily serves as a the home field for the Tampa Bay Bucaneers. The Bucs have started this season 0-4 and 0-2 at home while the University of South Florida Bulls are 0-4 on the current campaign and 0-3 at home.
That can't be very much fun for the hometown fans, now can it?
Starting QB Josh Freeman got benched for rookie Sean Glennon (from NCST) by former UM defensive secondary coach and current Bucs head coach Greg Schiano. Word on the street in Tampa is that Freeman may allegedly be suffering from a severe case of scurvy that is going around in the 813.
It appears to many observers and the local media that Schiano may be struggling to keep his team on track while he adjusts to the NFL game after leaving a successful stint as head coach at Rutgers. He has Dave Wannstedt and Butch Davis to back him up but the team has not yet responded to his leadership and some may have even jumped ship.
Much like the Miami Hurricanes share Sun Life Stadium with the NFL's Miami Dolphins, the USF Bulls share Raymond James Stadium with the Bucs. The stadium is nice enough and has good access and parking. We always enjoy our time there having made our third trip to Tampa for the USF game this year.
But the Ray-Jay stadium is completely different from the 305. To be honest, I like Sun Life much better for tailgating, watching a game and the general atmosphere. It was even as if Darth Vader showed up in Tampa because he had to, but would much rather be back in the 305 just chillin'.
The game last Saturday was a vivid display of absolute contrasts. It showed a game between two teams that are certainly headed in two very different directions, and fast.
Clearly, Miami under Al Golden is ascending up through the college football hierarchy while USF under first year head coach Willie Taggart is definitely descending into the bottom third of major college football programs.
Now before you read too much into that last sentence we realize the Taggart is a good coach who inherited a bad team left behind by the bumbling, stumbling Skip Holtz. Rule number one for Athletic Directors around the Country is never hire a coach named Skip. Trust me, it never turns out good.
So far in 2013 the previously porous UM defense (think swiss cheese) looks like a completely new animal under much criticized coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. The man who was recently called "D'No" apparently has completed a complete transformation into a new coach called "D'So".
How that happened we do not know but we do not care. Coach D'Onofrio has the current UM defense playing lights out and we can only hope it continues as ACC play starts against Georgia Tech this Saturday. Shutting down the Jackets offense should be easy enough for D'So's aggressive defense.
With that the Hurricanes will be 5-0 and ready to go as the conference schedule heats up even as the weather hopefully cools down. We have heard from reliable sources that FSU is scared.Very scared.
Could that even possibly be true? Yeah, we think so!