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. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Lightning-Penguins game

    Lightning Strikes

    Man, is Nikita Kucherov fun to watch. He has a goal in all but one game this season and points in all nine. You have to watch him each time he is on the ice because he is going to do something you do not want to miss: a goal, a shot that requires a tough save, a nifty pass to set up a linemate for a goal.

  2. No. 20 UCF beats Navy 31-21 for first 6-0 start

    College

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Central Florida finally had been tested in a tight game, and someone wondered if coach Scott Frost enjoyed seeing how his team reacted to the situation.

    Freshman  Otis Anderson gives UCF plenty of reasons to celebrate after scoring the final touchdown of the game to clinch bowl eligibility for the Knights.
  3. No. 8 Miami survives Syracuse test, beats Orange 27-19

    College

    MIAMI GARDENS — By Miami's new standards, this game was decided early.

    Sophomore Travis Homer on Miami’s hot start: “We’re 6-0, but that’s not our final goal. That’s not going to get to our head.”
  4. Stroud: Bucs need to stop digging holes on road

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    HARVARD SQUARED: Tight end Cameron Brate catches a TD from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  5. Topkin: A busy offseason for Rays approaching as postseason winds down

    The Heater

    Tuesday's opening of the World Series means the end of the postseason is in sight and that the offseason maneuvering, which starts five days after the final out, can soon evolve from talk to action.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi smiles at Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer after Mauer broke up Odorizzi's no-hit bid with a single during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)