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)

South Florida Bulls' B.J. Daniels leads key 80-yard scoring drive in win against No. 16 Notre Dame

QB B.J. Daniels engineers an 80-yard scoring drive starting late in the third quarter that pads USF’s lead to 23-7.

Getty Images

QB B.J. Daniels engineers an 80-yard scoring drive starting late in the third quarter that pads USF’s lead to 23-7.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — After a two-hour lightning delay — the first of two weather delays in the game — No. 16 Notre Dame had seized momentum from USF on Saturday, outgaining the Bulls 159-48 in the third quarter and cutting their lead to 16-7.

But after a 30-yard missed field goal, USF got the ball at its 20-yard line late in the quarter, and quarterback B.J. Daniels and running back Demetris Murray gave the Bulls what they needed: a long drive that ended with USF's first offensive touchdown of the game and a 23-7 lead.

"I joked with Coach (Skip) Holtz back in Vero Beach (in preseason camp) that field goals didn't count," said Daniels, who went 18-for-30 for 128 yards in USF's 23-20 win and rushed for 37 despite being slowed by cramps and a hamstring injury in the second half. "We've got to score touchdowns, and that was a drive that we needed to get the ball in the end zone."

USF hadn't had a drive longer than 45 yards in the game, but Daniels led it on a 14-play, 80-yard march that ended with him lobbing a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Evan Landi.

The drive allowed USF to keep its defense and the suddenly clicking Irish offense off the field for more than five minutes.

On the drive's second play, Daniels hit his longest pass of the game, 18 yards on second and 16 to receiver A.J. Love, a sixth-year senior playing for the first time in 20 months after missing last season with a knee injury.

Five plays later, facing third and 10, and having gone 1-for-11 on third-down conversions for the game, Daniels found tight end Andreas Shields for a 12-yard gain to the Notre Dame 30.

Then Murray, who started the game at running back but had just two carries for 5 yards in the first three quarters, found momentum, rushing four times for 28 yards, the last time for 12 yards to the 2.

But the Bulls' drive nearly stalled again. They were flagged for sending 12 men onto the field after a timeout, so instead of third and goal from the 1, it was from the 6. But Daniels' pass into the end zone drew an interference flag on cornerback Gary Gray, setting USF up on the 1.

On the next play, Daniels hesitated, then lobbed a pass straight ahead that Landi caught around a Notre Dame defender as he fell backward for the score.

"It wasn't the look we anticipated," Landi said. "B.J. made a beautiful throw, and all I had to do was catch it, to be honest. I think me and B.J., we kind of click a lot, so I knew where he was going to put it."

South Florida Bulls' B.J. Daniels leads key 80-yard scoring drive in win against No. 16 Notre Dame 09/03/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 4, 2011 12:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 17:  Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts a pass during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  2. Florida starter under center still under wraps

    College

    GAINESVILLE — With two weeks before Florida opens its season against Michigan, the Gators' three-way quarterback battle remains wide open.

    Luke Del Rio, right, is in the mix to start against Michigan in the season opener … as is Malik Zaire and Feleipe Franks.
  3. Jones: What Bucs need in final preseason games, more or less

    Bucs

    That's it. Let's start the season. Start it right now.

    Tom Jones wants to see less of Jameis Winston playing hot potato with the football and throwing it up for anyone to catch. [Getty Images]
  4. Barts Mr Peabody the likely favorite in Derby Lane's T.L. Weaver finale

    Parimutuels

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rick and Rhonda Bartley have a date Saturday night. It may turn into a date with destiny.

  5. Rays series preview: Who are the Mariners?

    Blogs

    The Rays are back home again, duking it out with another club in the American League Wild Card chase — the Mariners, who have a slight advantage over Tampa Bay. Here's the information you need to know about Seattle before the action kicks off.

    Record: 61-61, third in AL West

    Starter Erasmo Ramirez will face the Rays after they traded him to the Mariners in July.