Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Colleges

Terrence Mitchell impressive in USF Bulls opener

TAMPA — Almost a year removed from the head injury that ended his 2011 season, USF wide receiver Terrence Mitchell wasted no time reestablishing himself as one of quarterback B.J. Daniels' primary targets.

With nine minutes to go in the second quarter, Daniels felt pressure and launched a 38-yard pass off his back foot that landed safely in the arms of the streaking Mitchell for a touchdown and a 21-3 lead in the second quarter of Saturday's 34-13 victory over Chattanooga.

"It happened so quick," Mitchell said. "I just remember finding the ball in the air and then telling myself, 'I've got to go get it.' "

Daniels, who had an up-and-down game passing, said it was great to have Mitchell back on the field.

"I trust Terrence's speed," Daniels said. "He's one of those guys who can shift into three or four different gears."

Mitchell finished with five catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.

The junior, a Hillsborough High graduate, not only led his team in receptions and receiving yards but also had a productive night on special teams, setting up two scoring drives in Moc territory. Mitchell returned a first-quarter punt 22 yards to the Chattanooga 23-yard line and brought another back 39 yards in the fourth quarter.

Coach Skip Holtz had emphasized last week the importance of winning the field position battle. He said having Mitchell back played a large role in the offense's success.

"It makes a huge difference," Holtz said. "He had a couple good punt returns tonight. … They even started just punting the ball away from him. But then as a wide receiver to be able to get the ball in his hands, I think he's got a chance to be an impact player."

Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said he hopes Mitchell's skill set at receiver will make him a problem for defenses down the road.

"The role he's playing when there's a big field with his speed that's something that's going to be a (mismatch) for pretty much anyone because he can really go," he said.

For Mitchell, whose last play of the 2011 season ended with him being carried off on a stretcher, Saturday's home opener could not have come sooner.

"It felt great to be back out there," he said. "It was a long wait for the next season. I feel that everything that happened today was great. I loved the outcome."

He also said that with the added depth at wide receiver he relishes every opportunity to get onto the field.

"I'm just doing my job," he said. "When they call my number, I've got to make a play."

Comments
Gators crash volleyball power party, play national semifinal Thursday

Gators crash volleyball power party, play national semifinal Thursday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s difficult to call a volleyball program that has been to the Final Four eight times an underdog, especially the way Florida rallied to beat Southern California and punch its latest ticket. Yet of the four schools descending on ...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

Published: 12/10/17
Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy

Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy

NEW YORK — Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, completing a climb from walk-on to one of the most accomplished players in the history of college football. Mayfield won a lopsided vote to become the sixth Okla...
Published: 12/09/17
Could Jim Harbaugh soon be known as Willie Taggart’s buddy?

Could Jim Harbaugh soon be known as Willie Taggart’s buddy?

TAMPA — His team was in Ann Arbor, practicing. He was signing footballs in Tampa.Yet another Jim Harbaugh fun fact."I can’t be in two places at once," Harbaugh said.Not that Harbaugh wouldn’t try it if he could. College football’s firestarter, its bi...
Published: 12/08/17

Gasparilla Bowl journal: Temple’s Collins speaks highly of former boss, new Gator Mullen

ST. PETE BEACH — If anyone has an accurate read on how new coach Dan Mullen will fare at Florida, it’s Temple’s Geoff Collins.Collins worked under Mullen as a Mississippi State assistant from 2011-14. He jumped from there to Gainesville, where he spe...
Published: 12/07/17
No. 5 Florida Gators lose stunner at home to Loyola-Chicago

No. 5 Florida Gators lose stunner at home to Loyola-Chicago

GAINESVILLE — Aundre Jackson scored 23, Cameron Krutwig added 14 and Loyola-Chicago stunned No. 5 Florida 63-59 Wednesday, handing the Gators a third consecutive loss. Less than 48 hours after Florida coach Mike White said his team’s performance agai...
Published: 12/06/17
Twitter propels man toward dream of becoming bloomin' onion at Outback Bowl

Twitter propels man toward dream of becoming bloomin' onion at Outback Bowl

No matter what happens on the field at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, the star of the show will be the bloomin’ onion. Not the deliciously crispy, glistening, 1,900-plus-calorie appetizer served at Outback restaurants, but the person who parades t...
Published: 12/06/17
Indiana hoops transplant perfectly at home in Tampa

Indiana hoops transplant perfectly at home in Tampa

TAMPA — Back home in Indiana, he was basketball royalty. He played in his first league at age 2. He lived — and loved — the hardwood life. He was accustomed to performing before more than 10,000 fans for his big games.Pat Bacon capped his storied pre...
Published: 12/06/17
Offensive guru Heupel is named UCF coach

Offensive guru Heupel is named UCF coach

UCF hired Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel as football coach.Heupel quickly hired former UF interim coach Randy Shannon as defensive coordinator.Heupel, 39, was a consensus All-American quarterback who led Oklahoma to the 2000 national titl...
Published: 12/05/17
At Hall of Fame induction, Steve Spurrier and Peyton Manning share respect

At Hall of Fame induction, Steve Spurrier and Peyton Manning share respect

NEW YORK — After the class picture of the latest Hall of Fame inductees was taken, Peyton Manning made his way over to Steve Spurrier for another handshake and some chit-chat before heading off in opposite directions to do media interviews. The forme...
Published: 12/05/17