It is totally time Jim Leavitt's University of South Florida Bulls to quit messing around and get serious about this 2009 football season.
It's time for them to get serious and trample the last of three "warm up" opponents before things begin to heat up.
Here's the deal: a giant cupcake of a team -- Charleston Southern, will place itself in the USF line of fire Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.
The Bulls need to unload on the Buccaneers, no, not the Pewter Pirates of Raheem Morris, but these Charleston Southern Buccaneers, the 1-AA Buccaneers. USF can't even count this game towards bowl eligibility so the Bulls better show up and fine tune their game.
Matt Grothe, leader of the Bulls and now the all-time leader of offense in Big East football understands.
"We would like to come out," says Grothe, "set the tone early, score some points early and get our defense going. And then we need to move on to bigger and better things."
The bigger of those things is a trip to Tallahassee next Saturday and a game against Florida State. It's on everyone's mind that wears green and gold. It is a huge game for USF with the end result weighing big-time in the state's football pecking order.
But first things first.
Leavitt knows that and has appropriately fed everyone a solid dose of "coach-speak."
"Charleston Southern is very, very capable, very talented, they have size, speed and great athleticism. They had 18 first downs against Florida's defense. We gotta play good football, we need to play better as we get close to the Big East."
For all that size, speed and athleticism, the Buccaneers were crushed by Florida then bullied by Wofford last week.
This is a "clean-up" game for the Bulls. They have a number of facets of their game that need cleaning-up.
The defense needs to show it can stop a running game. There is a strong need to do away with turnover and penalty yards, all those things that can spell defeat when the Bulls move on to take on the bigger boys of Division 1-A.
This is the last of their three "warm-up" games and they have needed them. In the previous two, areas of concern have popped up and need to be addressed.
So USF needs to bring out something other than its C-plus or B-minus game.
The Bulls need to look sharp. They need to play sharp.
And they need to chomp down on and devour this cupcake.