Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Converting on fourth down leads to touchdown for USF Bulls

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — USF hasn't taken many fourth-down gambles this season, but the Bulls converted a key one early in Friday night's game at Syracuse and used a rare three-back backfield to do so.

Leading 3-0 and facing a fourth-and-1 play at the Syracuse 5-yard line, the Bulls lined up with three backs — TBs Demetris Murray and Marcus Shaw and walk-on FB Chris Breit — and Murray converted with a 1-yard gain. The Bulls lined up in the same formation on the next play, and Shaw found an opening for a 4-yard touchdown run and a 10-0 lead.

The Bulls went into the game 2-for-7 on fourth downs on the season; only six schools out of 120 in Division I-A had converted fewer. The gamble sparked an offense that had only a field goal and was working without leading rusher Darrell Scott, who was held out with concussion symptoms.

WELL-ARMED: After the Bulls struggled on kickoff coverage in last week's loss to Rutgers, coach Skip Holtz made good on a promise to use more of his starters on the unit.

Four defensive starters — LBs Sam Barrington and DeDe Lattimore and CBs Kayvon Webster and Quenton Washington — were on the unit. Washington made a tackle on a second-quarter kickoff.

YOUR LEADER, BRIEFLY: Senior DE Claude Davis, used primarily as a third-down pass rusher, took over the team lead in sacks when he got to Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib for his fifth of the season.

But later in the second quarter, sophomore Ryne Giddins got a sack of Nassib, giving him the team lead with 5.5. Both have surpassed last year's best total; no Bulls had more than four sacks in 2010.

QUITE A FLURRY: USF led 10-0 with four minutes left in the second quarter, but the teams managed to each score a touchdown and a field goal in the final 3:52 before halftime.

Special-teams penalties helped a bit. Syracuse had a kickoff out of bounds and a personal foul to set USF up at the Orange 45, and after a touchdown, USF answered with a late-hit flag to set up the Orange at its 44.

USF was able to pad its lead in the final 1:20 as B.J. Daniels drove the Bulls from their 19 to the Syracuse 29. A potential touchdown pass was caught out of the back of the end zone with one second on the clock, and Maikon Bonani connected on a 46-yard field goal as the half ended for a 20-10 lead.

THIS AND THAT: The Bulls loosened up their playbook. At one point, Daniels lined up in the slot but shifted back to quarterback before the snap. The Bulls tried a reverse as well, with WR Victor Marc gaining 5 yards. … Freshman WR and Jefferson High grad Andre Davis, whose 43-yard catch set up a Daniels touchdown, had a career-high 62 receiving yards, all by halftime. … Junior Evan Landi, who moved from receiver to tight end before the season, saw action at his old position, catching two passes for 24 yards in the first half. He had four catches for 36 yards in all.

Greg Auman can be reached at auman@sptimes.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bulls and follow him at Twitter.com/gregauman.

Converting on fourth down leads to touchdown for USF Bulls 11/11/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 12, 2011 12:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.