TAMPA — University of South Florida coach Willie Taggart officially announced Tuesday that G Thor Jozwiak won't play football this season.
Jozwiak, a starter last season projected to resume that role this season, was sidelined during training camp after trainers discovered an irregular heartbeat. At times this season, it seemed Jozwiak was nearing a return to action, wearing full pads with his teammates in practice, but Jozwiak won't play this fall.
“He won't play this year,” Taggart said. “He had surgery last week to take care of his situation. Hopefully we can get him back in the spring or this fall.”
OL Boo Simon decided to leave football and return home to Alabama last year after issues with seizures derailed his career. Taggart hopes Jozwiak can return to the team once he's fully healthy.
UNDER THE LIGHTS: The Bulls have the chance to play in front of a national audience this week, with their matchup with Houston serving as ESPN's primetime national TV game.
Taggart said playing in front of the national audience tends to intimidate some players, but he hopes that won't happen this week.
“Our guys are excited and they believe,” he said. “Guys have to want to show up and show out. That's what it is. The spotlight does strange things to some people, it just does. Some people relish that, some people hide.
“We need a lot of people that want to go out and make a name for themselves and for this university. That's what it takes, guys being fired up to show people that they can play football with the big boys.
Houston will wear special Halloween-themed uniforms for the game, with reddish-orange helmets and features on all-black jerseys and pants.
BULLS BITS: RB Marcus Shaw, out since Oct. 5 with a hamstring injury, looked healthy at practice Tuesday. Taggart said barring any late setbacks, Shaw is likely to play against the Cougars. He's the team's leading rusher with 575 yards and two touchdowns. … P Mattias Ciabatti, who has punted 20 times in three October games this season, said he's never punted in a dome like he may this week, but hopes he won't have to. “If the offense never put me on the field, I'd be the happiest guy in the world because we'd win every game,” he said.