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 running back stars at a meaningful moment

TAMPA — A major spark in USF's 31 straight points against Kansas on Friday night that turned a 20-3 deficit into a 34-20 lead was the running of sophomore Jamar Taylor, who rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter.

"It was big for me, and I felt like it was big for the team," Taylor said. "The offensive line was giving me big holes all night, so I was just thankful for that. My team, everybody was just trying to rally in the second half and I was feeding off them."

Taylor had a special motivation, having lost his grandfather, Albert Blount, last week.

"He was watching over me, and I got to do some great things," said Taylor, who said his family visited his grandfather in Miami often in summers. "He was a good person, a good man, and I miss him."

USF has had different running back stars every week. Last year's top backs, Mike Ford and Ben Williams, have had ankle injuries the past two weeks. Junior Mo Plancher and sophomore Richard Kelly combined for 89 yards against Central Florida, and Taylor had a career-high effort against Kansas.

"We have five great backs, and any day, any one of us can break away and do our thing," said Taylor, who attended his grandfather's funeral services Saturday. "It's unbelievable how much talent we have."

HOMECOMING: Saturday's game at Florida International is a proud homecoming for several Bulls from the Miami area. USF lost at Miami in 2005, but some of this year's seniors have fond memories of that game.

"I actually got to tackle Devin Hester," said senior linebacker Brouce Mompremier, who played at Miami's Edison High. "I was on punt team. Our punter was Brandon Baker, and (coach Jim) Leavitt kept saying 'Don't punt it to him.' He punts it to Devin, and I'm like, 'Oh, my God.' I actually tackled him, one on one. I got lucky on that."

The Panthers have lost 25 of their last 26 games, so the biggest challenge this week might be finding enough tickets for the friends and family of Miami area Bulls.

"Everybody, my coaches, my mom, a lot of kids I grew up with," linebacker Sabbath Joseph said. "I have 16 tickets, and it's still not enough."

Joseph said he knows several FIU players and has been trading calls with them, excited about the grand opening of their stadium Saturday.

"The trash talking has been going since summer," Joseph said. "Monday, I was chit-chatting with my friend (defensive Anthony Gaitor) and going back and forth. … We just have to go down there and stay focused and not let down, not turn the ball over and give them any chance to hang in the game with us. … It's an away game, but I feel like it's a home game for me."

SURPRISE: The most surprising success this fall has been USF's women's soccer team, which went 4-10-3 last season, scoring just nine goals in its first year under coach Denise Schilte-Brown.

This fall, with a lineup full of newcomers, the Bulls are 3-1-2 with seven goals. Six true freshmen started in Sunday's win against Illinois State, and freshmen Chelsea Klotz and Noelle Pineiro scored all three goals.

"We knew we'd be a young team, but we didn't want to use that as an excuse or a crutch," said Schilte-Brown, whose team has also overcome the loss of last year's top scorer, Lindsay Brauer, who was diagnosed with a heart condition before the season.

The Bulls, whose loss came in double overtime at Vanderbilt, open Big East play Friday at home against Marquette, eager to build on a promising start.

Greg Auman can be reached at and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at

USF running back stars at a meaningful moment 09/16/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 8:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    The Rays are looking to keep rolling when they make a quick turnaround after Friday's win over the Twins and are back on the field for a matinee today, 2:10 first pitch Tampa Bay time.

    RHP Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays, coming off a good but not great start against the Angels, though buoyed …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule


    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]