Postgame comments: Greg Gregory
USF offensive coordinator Greg Gregory, while praising quarterback Matt Grothe for his stellar play in the Bulls' 41-14 win in Saturday's St. Petersburg Bowl, reiterated that the throws Grothe made against Memphis were throws he hasn't been able to make in recent losses.
"Without me just flat out ripping him, he knows the last ballgame we had touchdown passes we didn't hit. He knows that," Gregory said. "He takes that stuff personally. I think he knows in his mind, you never take full responsibility for a loss, but three or four touchdown passes were there and we just didn't hit. We've had that -- we had two against Louisville we need to hit, we had three against West Virginia we needed to hit. Not that you hit every one of those, but you've got to hit some of them. I thought he came out and really responded and played well. ... He was just on."
USF's 41 points was more than the previous three games combined, and matched the second-highest total against a I-A opponent this season. The 496 yards of total offense was USF's most since a late September win against N.C. State.
"I told our guys today we were going to play the way we played the first half of the year," Gregory said. "Is that because Memphis isn't maybe as good as some of the teams we played at the end of the year? I don't know. I know we played better. I don't ever think really about who we play. It's about how we play. We made plays today. We hit passes that were there. We've had them in other games and we haven't hit them. Bottom line, we hit them today."
Grothe said the key to his success was playing more relaxed and not stressing over the pressure to win a game, which became a factor in the second half of the season.
"We know if we executed well today, it would work. We were going to come out slingin', and it did just that. It worked out for us," Grothe said.