Canales on Grothe INT: 'That's my fault'
Just now realized two days after the fact that USF quarterback Matt Grothe set the school record for completion percentage in a game by going 19-for-23 (82.6 percent) in Saturday's 40-7 win against Wofford.
The previous mark (for 20 attempts or more) was Marquel Blackwell going 37-for-46 (80.4 percent) against Southern Utah in 2001, and now Grothe has nine of the 10 most accurate games in school history.
Add in B.J. Daniels' 2-for-2 showing, and the Bulls also set the team mark for completion percentage -- USF tracks that stat for 10 or more attempts, and Saturday's 84 percent trumps a 83.3 percent clip from Georgia Southern in 1998.
Anyway, we bring this up to point out that even through Grothe threw only four incompletions, USF offensive coordinator Mike Canales made a point to say in Saturday's postgame interviews that Grothe's interception in the end zone in the second quarter shouldn't be taken as the quarterback's fault.
"I probably got a little aggressive. Matt's interception, that's my fault," Canales said. "I got a little overaggressive, anticipating the way they were going to play. He just didn't see the guy at all. He never saw him. He thought it was wide-open, didn't see him. I probably got a little overaggressive on my part. We want to be aggressive in the red zone, but we've got to be smarter than that: Second down, run the ball, then give you third down to play."
The formation on that play was one of the few times all night where USF didn't have multiple receivers. The Bulls had two tight ends in Ben Busbee and Andrew Ketchel, plus blocking back Richard Kelly and running back Mo Plancher, with receiver Dontavia Bogan on the right side. On play action, Grothe faked the handoff to Plancher, took a single step and threw across the middle to the back of the end zone, not seeing safety Tommy Irvin, who had picked up the route from the cornerback who was on Bogan.
(You can watch the play on ESPN360.com -- it's at the 1:02:30 mark.)
USF coach Jim Leavitt explained the decision to throw on second down as well.
"You're on the 2-yard line, and everybody will point right away and want you to pop the ball in and run it," Leavitt said. "I'd probably say that's right. We've got to be able to play action and hit the pass as well. I don't think MIke makes a bad call as far as that goes, but we've got to execute. If it's not there, just throw it up. Matt can't do that, can't throw the interception.
"And we can't be in a situation where we're just thinking the 2, we've got to always go run the ball, because it's not always going to (be there) ... we're going to have to do play action (sometimes) ... I was mad at him at first, but I probably shouldn't have been when I keep thinking about it. We've got to be unpredictable in those situations. We really do."