It was against a "very vanilla" defense that couldn't so much as tackle him, but Saturday was an impressive night for USF QB B.J. Daniels. The sophomore-to-be threw for 381 yards and five touchdowns in leading the "South Florida" team past the "Bulls" team 49-31 at Raymond James Stadium. "I really didn't want it to be this much of a passing fest," said first-year coach Skip Holtz, who set limitations on his defense to help limit injuries. "But I was really impressed with the job that B.J. Daniels did as a quarterback. We all know he's a great athlete and what he can do, but I think he's starting to do some good things from a mental standpoint." Four of Daniels' touchdowns went to senior WR Dontavia Bogan, who caught nine passes for 228 yards, including a 77-yarder down the sideline for the game's first touchdown. Said Holtz: "Bogan really stepped up and did some great things."
Another starting receiver, senior A.J. Love, was carted off the field after injuring his right knee with 4:33 left in the game. Love, who tore the ACL in his left knee in the 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl, took two hard hits on the opening possession as well, but the knee injury kept Holtz from being too excited about the game.
"That kind of puts a downer on it because everybody has such love and affection and knows how hard A.J. Love has worked to get back from his knee injury to have a valuable place on this football team," he said.
Holtz said he didn't know the severity of the injury and did not know "if it is as serious as I'm afraid it might be."
The first-team defense gave up far too many big plays even while being limited to no blitzing and certain coverages. But it did score two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman S JaQuez Jenkins, a graduate of Lakewood High in St. Petersburg, returned an interception for a score, and LB Mike Lanaris returned a fumble for one. LB DeDe Lattimore returned a fumble to the 10, setting up a Mo Plancher touchdown.
Despite early rains, Saturday's game brought a record crowd of 6,357, up by about 800 from last year's game. It's the fifth year in a row the attendance has risen from the previous year.
Sophomore Evan Landi caught a 57-yard pass on the first play of the scrimmage from walk-on QB Ryan Eppes of Largo High. And Landi spent alternate series as the No. 2 offense's quarterback. Landi completed 11 of 24 passes for 152 yards, including a touchdown to TE Andrew Ketchel. Landi looked especially sharp in engineering a 90-yard touchdown drive just before halftime. He'll be a full-time receiver in the fall but could step in as an emergency quarterback should anything happen to Daniels.
This and that
TE Andreas Shields of Tampa's Wharton High watched the game from a wheelchair after undergoing surgery on both ankles. But he's expected to be recovered in time for summer voluntary workouts. … LB Armando Sanchez of St. Petersburg's Northeast High had an interception on a two-point conversion. … Redshirt freshman WR Derrick Hopkins showed off his track-star speed, scoring on a 16-yard reverse.
Greg Auman can be reached at email@example.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/usf and follow him at Twitter.com/gregauman.