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Bulls jump to No. 14; more notes ...



Just catching up -- USF jumped to No. 14 in all three polls and debuted at No. 16 in the first official BCS standings. Working on some research stuff, but will have more notes tonight. Here's the notebook for Monday's paper ...

TAMPA -- If you're still wondering about Syracuse receiver Lavar Lobdell's juggling catch Saturday on the USF sidelines -- ruled a catch and upheld after review -- so is Bulls coach Jim Leavitt.

"I was surprised it was first ruled a catch, and surprised it was not rescinded," said Leavitt, just a few feet away as Lobdell caught a pass from quarterback Cameron Dantley. "It doesn't appear he had possession before going out of bounds, but I'm just watching it on TV. I don't have all the angles the replay people have."

The ruling gave Syracuse a first down in USF territory, trailing the Bulls 14-10 in the second quarter, but USF's defense stepped up, getting a sack of Dantley by end Jarriett Buie three plays later to end the drive. The Bulls held Syracuse to three points the rest of the way in their 45-13 victory.

POLLS: Amid several losses by ranked teams, USF jumped five spots to No. 14 in the AP poll, with the same ranking in the coaches' and Harris polls, getting back more than half the ground lost from their Oct. 2 loss to Pittsburgh. The Bulls are ranked 16th in the initial BCS standings.

WAIT AND SEE: True freshman quarterback B.J. Daniels, who has played sparingly in two games, did not get any mop-up action at the end of Saturday's win, and Leavitt said he might pursue a medical redshirt for Daniels because of an injury to his left (non-throwing) wrist.

"We won't use him at all until he gets better," Leavitt said. "We'll have to wait and see how it plays out."

If Daniels, a highly touted recruit from Tallahassee, does not play again, he would meet the NCAA's criteria for a medical redshirt, which would give him three years of eligibility after starter Matt Grothe's senior season in 2009.

FEWER FLAGS: USF had six penalties for 35 yards, both the team's lowest totals since the season opener against Tennessee-Martin. The Bulls ran into the punter for a first down on the opening drive for the second week in a row, but the most frustrating penalty came when Syracuse was most hoping for it.

Facing a fourth-and-1 from their 20 in the second quarter, the Orange lined up to go for it -- often this is just to run the clock down with the hopes of getting a player to jump offsides for a first down. Sure enough, defensive tackle Aaron Harris, who later forced a key fumble on a sack, jumped early.

"Everybody knew that's exactly what they were doing," Leavitt said. "You just tell them not to do it, but sometimes it's hard not to move."

THIS AND THAT: Walk-on running back Joel Miller, a redshirt freshman from Wharton who transferred from The Citadel in January, got his first two career tackles on special teams. ... Leavitt didn't know the severity of injuries to senior safety Danny Verpaele and walk-on linebacker Lucas Darr. ... Offensive guard Zach Hermann, who started every game last season but has missed the last four with a broken foot, is still far from returning. He has yet to begin working with trainers at practice, so it's doubtful he could return for USF's next two games. ... Former USF running back Chad Simpson, who finished his college career at Morgan State, made his NFL debut Sunday with the Colts, rushing twice for 1 yard in Indianapolis' 34-14 loss to Green Bay.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 1:04pm]


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