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)

Late mistakes hurt USF Bulls in loss to Rutgers

TAMPA — For all USF's futility Thursday night, the Bulls still found themselves tied with Rutgers with six minutes remaining, but three costly mistakes allowed the Scarlet Knights to pull away for the final 10 points and a 23-13 victory.

The first mistake was a coverage breakdown on defense with Rutgers at its 47-yard line on second down. CB Kayvon Webster broke off a receiver to cover a back coming out of the backfield, leaving Tim Wright open for a 46-yard gain to the USF 7. That set up the go-ahead field goal by Rutgers.

"It was a miscommunication," Webster said. "We switched off, and they got where we were lacking. We just have to stay focused throughout the whole game."

Even after the Bulls' offense missed on a fourth down conversion attempt, the Bulls had two timeouts and 2:13 left, with a chance to get one last drive. Any chance of that ended when Rutgers RB Jawan Jamison ran up the middle and got past safety Mark Joyce on a spin move that made ESPN's nightly highlights, breaking loose for a 41-yard touchdown.

"I thought we tackled him real well other than that last play," said defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, whose unit had held Jamison to 101 yards on 36 carries to that point, an average of fewer than 3 yards per rush. "I was upset with that last play. We didn't fit it right. We missed a tackle on the back end.

"We let two big plays at the end, in the fourth quarter … which accounted for, like, 88 yards right there. We've got to eliminate the big plays."

The Bulls' final miscues weren't over. When Rutgers sent its kickoff short and to the right side, TE Andreas Shields inexplicably let the ball land directly behind him and bounce back unclaimed. Rutgers recovered at the USF 25-yard line and ran out most of the final 1:19.

USF's inability to move the ball on its final three drives ended any chance of a comeback.

The mistakes at the end of a close game were reminiscent of last season's persistent problems.

"You feel like you have to keep fighting your way out of a hole we keep creating for ourselves," coach Skip Holtz said. "We're digging our own hole. We've got to eliminate some of those."

THIS AND THAT: Terrence Mitchell took accountability for fumbling a punt return for the second game in a row. "I got too relaxed getting out of bounds," Mitchell said. "I've got to do better with the special-teams portion of the game. I've got to be better." … USF's lack of a running game and struggles defensively on third down led to nearly 17 fewer minutes of possession than Rutgers. "Our inability to getting off the field on third down was the key defensively," Holtz said. … DT Cory Grissom said USF's challenge on a short week was more mental than physical, their bodies having recovered from Saturday's game at Nevada. "Physically, it wasn't really all that bad. Just the mental focus, trying to get everybody mentally ready," he said.

Late mistakes hurt USF Bulls in loss to Rutgers 09/14/12 [Last modified: Friday, September 14, 2012 10:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. FSU, Gators, USF and Miami all in Athlon preseason top 25

    Blogs

    The college football preseason magazines are trickling in, as our Joey Knight wrote earlier.

  2. Bucs' Jameis Winston rising in fantasy football rankings

    Blogs

    We're still probably three months away from most fantasy football drafts, but it's not too early to appreciate that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has taken a major step up in the rankings entering his third NFL season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is ranking much higher in fantasy football rankings entering his third NFL season.
  3. A new look at the top of women's tennis: It's wide open

    Tennis

    ROME — Asked Sunday if she believed, as the oddsmakers do, that she is the French Open favorite, Simona Halep dissented.

  4. Jake Odorizzi has a winning record for his career when pitching on five days of rest. He’s 12-9 in 34 starts. Pitching on a normal four days of rest, Odorizzi is 15-17 in 34 starts. On six or more days rest he is 6-6 in 18 starts.
  5. Sebastien Bourdais has surgery, likely out for rest of IndyCar season (w/ video)

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais is recovering from pelvis surgery after his car slammed into a barrier, and he is expected to miss the rest of the season.

    Sebastien Bourdais wrecks during Indy 500 qualifying, resulting in fractures in his pelvis and a fractured right hip. He says he appreciates the support and well wishes.