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)

USF Bulls defense steps up to keep team in the game

FSU receiver Greg Dent is brought down by JaQuez Jenkins, left, and Reshard Cliett.


FSU receiver Greg Dent is brought down by JaQuez Jenkins, left, and Reshard Cliett.

TAMPA — A week after failing to stop the offense of Ball State, USF's defense brought enough pressure to at least make No. 4 Florida State sweat.

Facing a Seminoles team that was averaging 56 points per game, the Bulls held FSU's offense to 23 in a 30-17 loss Saturday, giving their offense ample opportunities to close the gap.

Senior defensive tackle Cory Grissom, who recorded his first sack of the season, said the defense's renewed sense of aggression spawned early in the week during practice.

"Coach (Skip) Holtz, he got the front seven together, he was like, 'We need y'all this game,' " he said. "We just snapped. … It was just like a little spark. In practice, everybody was intense, everybody was fired up … ready to go."

USF also improved on its third-down woes from the previous two games, holding the Seminoles to five conversions out of 15 tries. FSU had 425 yards of total offense, but 115 of those came from three plays. Defensive coordinator Chris Cosh said he was pleased with his team's overall effort but it gave up too many big plays down the field.

"The big one was … that long pass," he said of wide receiver Rashad Greene's 39-yard third-down catch. "That was the one that sticks in my mind. But other than that, I thought the kids competed well on third down. You're confident when you win, but I think … they should be proud of their effort."

The most noticeable difference in the defense was its ability to get into the FSU backfield. Cornerback Kayvon Webster led the team with 12 tackles, two of which were for a loss. Holtz said he thought the defense succeeded in containing FSU's ground attack.

"I thought the defense did a great job outside of a couple big plays,'' Holtz said. "For a team that was averaging about 10 yards a carry, to come in here and only have about 4 yards a carry, I thought our defensive front did a great job."

USF Bulls defense steps up to keep team in the game 09/29/12 [Last modified: Sunday, September 30, 2012 12:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Playoff ambitions evident in opener for Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch


    WESLEY CHAPEL — A new football season in Pasco County begins Friday night, but this one promises to be like none before it — with more math than ever. A new playoff system emphasizes schedule strength, making non-district tilts particularly important.

    Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  2. Dirk Koetter says Bucs used team meeting to discuss social issues


    Four days before their preseason home opener against the Cleveland Browns, which had 12 players not stand for the national anthem prior to their last game, the Bucs used their team meeting to discuss social issues that might have led to that demonstration, coach Dirk Koetter said.

    "The main thing is we have to respect everybody's opinion," Dirk Koetter said, "because everybody is not going to agree." [AP photo]
  3. Rookie tight end Antony Auclair making case to stick with Bucs


    Don't let his modest preseason stats fool you: Antony Auclair, the undrafted rookie tight end from Canada is making a strong case to stick around on the Bucs' 53-man roster this season.

    Bucs tight end Antony Auclair (82) collides with a defender following a catch during training camp. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Calm (Largo) and clamorous (St. Petersburg) converge Friday night


    If Largo and St. Petersburg high schools are going to be successful this football season, it will be because of defense. And if those defenses are going to be successful, it will be because of secondaries that are potentially the best in Pinellas County.

    St. Petersburg High School CB Anthony Johnson  practices with his team Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.
  5. Rays morning after: Secret to Alex Colome's success is staying cool, calm, collected


    The ninth inning couldn't have started much worse for Rays closer Alex Colome on Tuesday, who took over with a 6-4 lead and quickly allowed a single and a double to bring the tying run to the plate.

    Alex Colome said the key to his effectiveness is not altering anything, especially his locked-in focus on getting the final outs.