Second-half defense not quite a record
Surely, you thought, the ridiculously stingy 9 yards allowed by USF in the second half of Saturday's 45-13 win against Syracuse was a school record, right? USF doesn't keep such records, so I set off, one game at a time, to see if there had ever been a half with fewer yards allowed.
It didn't take long to find one to beat it: In USF's first-ever game, an 80-3 win against Kentucky Wesleyan in 1997, the Bulls held Kentucky Wesleyan to minus-2 yards in the second half. There aren't halftime stats for every game in USF's statistical archive, so I can't say that's the record, but it's the best I was able to find.
There have been four other halves that I can find where USF held a team to fewer than 25 yards -- Valparaiso got 20 in 1998, Southern Utah got 20 in 2001, Florida A&M got 21 in 2005 and Charleston Southern got 23 in 2003.
And what about USF holding Syracuse without a first down in the second half -- that has to at least tie a school record, right? It's not the first time, however. It's happened at least twice before: Valparaiso didn't move the chains once in the second half in 1998, and Florida A&M couldn't do it in the first half of the 2005 game.
This concludes the obscure research portion of tonight's blog. It's kept me from going crazy during the Rays game. Three more outs for Tampa Bay ...