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)

Skip Holtz questions some calls in USF Bulls' loss to Connecticut

B.J. Daniels says he had trouble gripping the ball Saturday. Other weather issues were cold and 16 mph winds.

Associated Press

B.J. Daniels says he had trouble gripping the ball Saturday. Other weather issues were cold and 16 mph winds.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Coach Skip Holtz made it clear that the nine penalties called against USF weren't why the Bulls lost 16-10 Saturday at UConn, but he planned to write to the Big East questioning some of the calls.

"What's frustrating is I go back and I have a hard time finding five of them on film," Holtz said Sunday night. "It's very difficult to argue with an official crew when a game's going on. You go on to the next play. Not that it's going to make any difference. They throw the flag, the word is final."

Terry McAulay, an NFL official and the Big East's coordinator of football officiating, watched the game from the press box. Holtz said he will submit a letter to the league office, as well as video of the questionable calls.

"I would hope we would get a fair assessment when he sits down and watches the play in a neutral situation," Holtz said. "I can look at a lot of the penalties and go 'Okay … that's a good call.' I'm not trying to argue just any time a flag drops that everything they do is wrong."

The nine penalties were one short of the most under Holtz, and the 89 penalty yards were the most in his 19 games at USF.

weather issues: Asked why USF's offense didn't have the same passing success against a Connecticut defense that had given up 948 passing yards in its previous two games, Bulls coaches and QB B.J. Daniels cited a number of weather issues, from humidity to cold to wind at Rentschler Field.

"You just don't have the humidity up here in the air. B.J. was having a hard time holding onto the ball, complaining about it being really slick," Holtz said after his team passed for 164 yards. "You could see he kept coming over to the sidelines, spraying his hands with water to try to keep them moist so he could grip the ball. He just missed a couple of balls."

Daniels attempted just eight passes in the first half, when USF had only 23 offensive plays. Holtz said the lack of passing wasn't dictated by UConn's defense.

"I can't remember one in the first half that it was covered. We needed to execute," Holtz said. "Second half, we put handwarmers in his deal to keep his hands real moist and sweaty so he could grip the ball."

Daniels, who had three turnovers after having one in the first five games, said his problems were more about the cold, with temperatures dropping from 65 degrees at the 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

"The ball's a little bit harder, your hands a little rougher," he said. "Just trying to keep my hands warm in the second half, and it definitely helped."

Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch also cited strong winds that were 16 mph at kickoff.

THIS AND THAT: USF has taken pride in its defensive depth, but only 12 players were credited with tackles on defense Saturday. … The Bulls had just 17 yards on four punt returns and two holding penalties. … With Lyle McCombs rushing for 130 yards, USF has allowed a 100-yard rusher in all three games against BCS-level competition.

Skip Holtz questions some calls in USF Bulls' loss to Connecticut 10/16/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 16, 2011 9:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)


    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.