No spin here: Joyce 'motivated' by Rutgers loss
With less than two minutes remaining and USF trailing Rutgers 16-13 on Thursday night, the Bulls defense had largely held running back Jawan Jamison in check, limiting him to 101 yards on 36 carries, less than 3 yards per rush. But Jamison broke the game open with a highlight-reel 41-yard touchdown that included a straight-from-the-video-game spin move that left USF safety Mark Joyce going in the wrong direction.
On Sunday night, we asked Joyce about the touchdown and how hard it was to watch the spin move as the Bulls looked back on Rutgers' 23-13 victory in the teams' Big East opener.
"It was rough," Joyce said. "I know I can do better than that. It really stuck with me. It's going to motivate me to do better, to get better every day, to make sure it never happens again."
Joyce said he liked what he saw from the defense in Sunday night's practice, putting the Rutgers loss behind them and preparing for a prolific offense as the Bulls play at Ball State on Saturday.
"The whole team was focused on what's next," Joyce said. "We know we could have done a better job last Thursday, but it's over with, so we have to grow from that. I think our team came out mature, focused on practice and getting ready for Saturday."
USF's secondary could have its hands full against Ball State, which has averaged 472 yards of total offense in its first three games, despite playing a pair of BCS-conference opponents in Clemson and Indiana. That's a major upgrade from the Cardinals that USF faced in Tampa last season -- the Bulls won 37-7, holding Ball State to 225 yards of offense and shutting them out until the fourth quarter.
"They've improved a lot," Joyce said. "It was tough last year. It wasn't a cake walk when we played them, so we know we have to come prepared."