TAMPA — A week after breaking school records for total offense and passing yardage in a game, USF flirted with adding a rushing record.
The Bulls' ground attack nearly eclipsed the school record for a game, gaining 373 yards in a 52-24 win over UTEP on Saturday night. The record remains 377 yards set against Florida A&M in 2005.
Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch was pleased to see USF improve its ability to create big scoring plays heading into the Big East schedule.
"In terms of attacking (the field) and creating big plays, the kids did a really nice job with it," he said.
USF didn't wait long, either. Junior quarterback B.J. Daniels turned a bobbled snap into a 71-yard rushing touchdown — the fourth longest in program history — on the team's second play from scrimmage.
"I tried to handle the snap … and I decided to just keep it down and protect it," Daniels said, "and it just so happened that everybody crashed the middle, and I had the opportunity to go outside."
Receiver Victor Marc took an option pitch 67 yards for a touchdown on a winding run down the right sideline in the second quarter, and it was the fifth longest in USF history.
Daniels finished with 130 yards on 15 carries, junior running back Darrell Scott ran for 87 yards on 18 carries, and Demetris Murray added 53 yards on eight carries.
Marc said his scoring play had been designed as a pass before Daniels called a run option: "B.J., as a leader, he checked out of the play, and he checked into a play that would be good for us to run as an offense, and then I just got some blocks down the field and was able to score."
Center Chaz Hine said the line worked effectively as a unit to aid the running game.
"We were able to get our blocks efficiently and just molded together and made running lanes for running backs, and running backs would make one miss and sometimes make more than one miss," he said.