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)

USF Bulls mix good and bad in 34-13 victory over Chattanooga

TAMPA — The scoreboard showed a relatively easy opening win for USF, but Saturday's 34-13 win over Chattanooga was an uncertain start for an ambitious Bulls team that saw a familiar sight — the good and the bad of senior quarterback B.J. Daniels.

USF's defense was strong, holding the Mocs to 151 yards, and the special teams were sharp all over, but Skip Holtz didn't have much praise for an offense that was inconsistent against its lightest opponent of the season.

"I didn't think overall offensively it was one of our better efforts," Holtz said. "There seemed to be a lot of confusion, guys running on and off the field. Offensively, we've got to get some things polished up. … We're going to have a much better effort (next week at Nevada) than the one we put out there tonight if we expect to fly across the country and come home with a win."

Daniels completed 15 of his first 18 passes for three touchdowns and scrambled for a 20-yard scoring run for a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter. But two turnovers — a fumble on a sack and an interception late in the first half — led directly to the Mocs' first 10 points, keeping the game closer than most would have liked in front of 30,733, according to the Tampa Sports Authority turnstile count.

"There were a lot of things we can definitely work on," said Daniels, who was 17-for-26 for 225 yards. "I missed a couple of throws that were easy and wide-open. Also, protecting the football is a thing I'm really hoping to work on this week to try to change that for the next game."

Daniels hit speedy receivers — a 19-yard throw to 5-foot-5 Derrick Hopkins for a wide-open 19-yard score, to 164-pound Terrence Mitchell for a 38-yard score, and to top returning receiver Sterling Griffin, for a 39-yard score. Daniels was sharp on downfield throws, but turnovers have been his nemesis in his three seasons as starter.

"We're not where we need to be. We're not consistent enough as a running team," offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said. "Just overall, the jelling of everything. There's some flashes, but we're way far away. … We have a lot of work to do. We're going to play a really good team this week in Reno. It's good we have a win. It's good to get back on the field. I think we have their attention."

Daniels' first mistake was a fumble on a sack that set the Mocs up on the USF 25-yard line, leading to a 39-yard field goal. Then with 1:13 left in the half his throw for tight end Evan Landi was picked off by D.J. Key and returned to the USF 4-yard line, a "critical one" according to Fitch, setting up a touchdown with 30 seconds left.

The interception came right after a strong goal-line showing by USF's defense, which stopped the Mocs despite six plays inside the Bulls' 10.

USF didn't allow a first down — or even net positive yardage — until the second quarter, though Chattanooga got a spark with the insertion of quarterback Jacob Huesman, the son of coach Russ Huesman. At the end of three quarters, the Bulls had held the Mocs to 148 total yards, with a 29-yard catch the only play longer than 17 yards.

USF didn't get to rest Daniels or many other starters until midway through the fourth quarter, when redshirt freshman Matt Floyd took over, going 3-for-7 for 19 yards.

USF Bulls mix good and bad in 34-13 victory over Chattanooga 09/01/12 [Last modified: Sunday, September 2, 2012 12:41am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF baseball heads to Gainesville for regional play

    Sports

    TAMPA — Had USF's players and coaches been less confident in their NCAA Tournament resume, Monday's selection show might have induced fidgeting, perhaps even frustration.

    South Florida coach Mark Kingston looks on during 2017 American Athletic Conference game Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Clearwater during the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls won 7-6.
  2. Rays call up Jose De Leon to add depth to bullpen tonight

    Blogs

    The Rays decided that after playing 15 innings Sunday they could use some depth and length in their bullpen after all and are calling up RHP Jose De Leon from Triple-A.

    The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.
  3. Tiger Woods arrested in Florida on DUI charge, released

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday on a DUI charge in Jupiter, Florida, and spent nearly four hours in a county jail before he was released.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  4. After state, academics will trump athletics for King ace Brian Lee

    Baseballpreps

    TAMPA — Brian Lee can still see himself on the pitcher's mound at Venice High School. Four years ago he was a freshman left-handed reliever just trying to keep King's state championship dreams alive.

    Pitcher Brian Lee participates in a practice at King High in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, May 26, 2017.
  5. Five cool things to do when it's hot outside

    Outdoors

    Summer is not officially here, but it may as well be. School is out, vacations are coming, and it's time to enjoy the outdoors. Don't buy the argument that summer in Florida is too hot to get outside. There is plenty to do, and we'll prove it. Here are five cool things to do outdoors during another hot summer.

    Rainbow Springs State Park is a registered natural landmark. Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon is one several state parks with natural swimming holes in Florida. (Octavio Jones | Times)