Fitch talks about final drive vs. Pittsburgh
TAMPA -- Part of the problem in USF's troubled final drive in Saturday's loss to Pittsburgh was a communication error on the next to last play, with players unsure if the Bulls were spiking the ball to stop the clock or not.
"A couple of guys were on the wrong page with the signal, what they thought they saw and what was called," offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said Sunday night. "That's why it looked stupid, to be honest with you. It was more of a communication from the sideline to the field. A couple of guys saw one signal, couple of guys saw another signal."
Needing a touchdown to tie in the final minute, USF's final five plays netted 10 yards, including a 2-yard loss on a screen play with 20 seconds left. On first down from the USF 49, Bulls running back Demetris Murray and receiver Faron Hornes -- two of five receivers on the play -- did not take off on the snap, and Hornes even signaled that he expected a spike to stop the clock.
Rather than throw the ball away to stop the clock, Daniels opted to throw to his closest target, Hornes, who was dropped for a loss, forcing USF to use its final time out with seven seconds left. Daniels' last pass was intercepted at the Pittsburgh 20 as time expired to end the game.
Fitch said the decisions made in the final drive -- taking a sack, receiver Dontavia Bogan not getting out of bounds, only short passes -- were unfortunate, but USF has handled other two-minute drills better.
"That's learning, we've scored on one or two of those this year," he said. "That one, we just didn't have enough production."