Daniels leads USF over Clemson, 31-26
CHARLOTTE -- B.J. Daniels got the nod for USF at quarterback Friday and made Skip Holtz look smart, throwing for two touchdowns and running for a third as the Bulls held off Clemson 31-26 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
The Bulls (8-5) beat an opponent from a BCS league for the first time in their bowl history, and their 31 points was the most allowed this season by Clemson (6-7), which came in with the nation's No. 9 scoring defense.
Daniels completed 14 passes in a row after a rough start that saw him intercepted on his second attempt. Down 3-0, he found a wide-open Demetris Murray for a 25-yard touchdown, then put the Bulls up 17-3 with a scoring pass to Dontavia Bogan. The Bulls never let Clemson's vaunted pass rush be a factor, as future first-round pick Da'Quan Bowers barely had his name called during the game.
Clemson scored with 30 seconds left in the half after a Murray fumble, cutting the lead to 17-13, but USF answered with an 83-yard scoring drive to open the second half. JaQuez Jenkins returned an interception 48 yards to the 5-yard line to set up a Daniels touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
USF has won its last three bowl games, but none against a team as established as Clemson, which took Auburn to overtime earlier this season.
-- GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer