Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

First-ever TD thrills offensive lineman

TAMPA — Jake Sims never had scored a touchdown, at any level, in his football career. So you can imagine the excitement when USF's senior tackle saw a loose ball in the end zone after RB Mo Plancher fumbled.

Sims jumped on the ball to give the Bulls a 28-27 lead with 9:33 left.

"It's been in my dreams for a while. It's still pretty surreal," Sims, the first offensive lineman to score a touchdown in USF history, said after Wednesday's victory against Rutgers. "I was in the right place at the right time. I see a fumble. I've got to get on top of it. I'm not giving that ball up for anything."

Sims wasn't the only unlikely player to make a big play in the end zone for the Bulls.

Their rally started late in the third quarter when junior DT Keith McCaskill tackled Rutgers RB Kordell Young for a safety, cutting the Scarlet Knights' lead to 24-22.

"This is my first ever, so this is the most exciting thing in my life," McCaskill said. "It was great momentum for us.

"It seemed like it was a momentum boost for the offense, too. They did their job, drained the clock down just enough for us to pull this victory off."

Bowl watch: With a Wednesday night audience all to itself, USF used the Rutgers game as its annual invitation to bowl representatives, 11 blazer-clad officials meeting with local leaders and Bulls administrators.

Representatives from the four BCS games — Rose, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange — were in attendance as well as both local bowls, the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl of St. Petersburg and Outback Bowl of Tampa.

Representatives from all Big East-affiliated bowls — Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., Birmingham (Ala.) Bowl and Liberty Bowl in Memphis — also were there to look at two teams that came in with four wins. (Teams need six wins to become bowl-eligible).

The Pinstripe Bowl representative didn't need a tour around Tampa. It was former Yankees star and USF baseball volunteer assistant Tino Martinez, who was on the sideline with Bulls baseball coach and brother-in-law Lelo Prado before the game. The new bowl, played at Yankee Stadium, will be Dec. 30 between teams from the Big East and Big 12.

PAYING TRIBUTE: USF players wore a red "52" decal on the backs of their helmets in tribute to Rutgers DT Eric LeGrand, who injured his neck while making a tackle on a kickoff Oct. 16 against Army and is paralyzed from the neck down. Two USF senior captains — CB Mistral Raymond and C Sampson Genus — delivered recorded messages to LeGrand on the video screens at Raymond James Stadium.

GOING STRONG: Sophomore Maikon Bonani continued his consistent kicking, connecting on a 48-yard field goal, his longest of the season and 1 yard short of his career high set in 2008. Bonani added a 20-yard field goal in the third quarter to improve to 8-for-9 on the season since taking over for senior Eric Schwartz.

Homecoming: Rutgers freshman WR Jeremy Deering, a graduate of Leto High, lined up several times in the wildcat formation, including a 15-yard run to the 1 — it was called a touchdown then overturned on instant replay — that set up a touchdown for a 24-17 lead in the third quarter. He led Rutgers with 69 rushing yards on nine attempts.

Greg Auman can be reached at

First-ever TD thrills offensive lineman 11/03/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:21am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays video tribute to ex-manager Joe Maddon upon return with Cubs


    Here is the Rays video tribute to former manager Joe Maddon, who returned to the Trop for the first time on Tuesday with his Cubs team:

  2. After Irma disruption, Miami eager to face Toledo


    LAKE BUENA VISTA — Like thousands of other evacuees, Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz headed north to escape Hurricane Irma with his family, two suitcases and the anxiety of not knowing what would happen to everything he left behind.

    Miami coach Mark Richt watches during a victory over B-CU in the Sept. 2 opener. The Hurricanes haven’t played since.
  3. Joe Maddon on being back at Trop, Cash, a new stadium


    More to come later, but a couple of quick early highlights from former Rays manager Joe Maddon's return to the Trop with the Cubs:

    Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.
  4. Former Lightning forward Brian Boyle diagnosed with cancer, expects to keep playing

    Lightning Strikes

    New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor said can largely be treated with medication.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]
  5. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Preseason storylines to watch


    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes podcast, Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones set up the preseason with storylines to watch, as well as expectations for the season. Will defenseman Mikhail …

    Will defenseman Mikhail Sergachev make the Lightning?