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Freshman quarterbacks ignite the night at South Florida Bulls' spring game

TAMPA

USF's spring game was expected to be a battle of two freshman quarterbacks, and B.J. Daniels and Evan Landi more than obliged. Daniels threw for two long touchdowns and ran for a third. But Landi, with his White team down 21-14, drove 88 yards in the final 2:13 for his second touchdown pass as time expired. Going for two and the win, Landi's pass to receiver Theo Wilson was high, and Green held on for a 21-20 win. "That was an exciting game, as exciting in spring as you'll maybe ever see," coach Jim Leavitt said. "Across the country, I don't know if they'll be any as exciting as that."

Fast starts

QBs B.J. Daniels and Evan Landi threw long passes on scoring drives on their first possessions.

Daniels hit WR Dontavia Bogan for a 55-yard pass on the game's second play and followed that two plays later with a 1-yard touchdown.

Landi, taking over for senior QB Matt Grothe after two possessions, completed his first three passes, including a 55-yard touchdown to redshirt freshman WR Daniel Bryant to tie the score at 7.

Daniels and Bogan hooked up for another long score late in the third quarter. Two plays after a 56-yard score was wiped out by a penalty, Daniels' pass was tipped by walk-on CB Chris Lane into the hands of Bogan, who got a 46-yard touchdown for the winning margin.

"I thought both freshman quarterbacks did a real good job," coach Jim Leavitt said. "They competed so well, and I was really proud of that."

The drive

QB Evan Landi showed a lot of poise on the final drive, which started on his 12-yard line with 2:13 to play.

He completed three passes to get to midfield, then found WR Carlton Mitchell for a 19-yard pass. With 22 seconds left, Landi took off on a 17-yard scramble, getting stopped at the 6 with 10 seconds to play.

After a spike and an incompletion, Landi got a touchdown as time expired, firing a pass across the middle to a diving Colby Erskin, prompting Landi to a leaping chest-bump with Matt Grothe, who ran in from the sidelines.

Taking it all the way

QB B.J. Daniels was closing in on another potential score when he attempted a pass to WR Dontavia Bogan, but sophomore CB Quenton Washington jumped the route and intercepted the throw, taking it 95 yards for the touchdown. Daniels and Bogan had a chance to make a tackle at midfield, but Washington juked them to tie it at 14 — more points in one half than in the previous two spring games combined.

"What a great play he made — we may have to move him to running back or receiver, because of what he did with the ball," coach Jim Leavitt said.

Defense, too

Senior Chris Robinson, penciled in as the starting strongside linebacker, had a strong game, making a leaping interception on a trick play when WR Theo Wilson took a lateral from QB Evan Landi and attempted a deep pass to WR Carlton Mitchell. Robinson came through with another big play, breaking up a pass when the White team went for it on fourth and 5 near midfield early in the fourth quarter.

Cameos for stars

All-American DE George Selvie was held out as a precaution to avoid injuries, and QB Matt Grothe didn't get much more playing time than that. Grothe played the first two series, completing his first three passes, but his opening drive stalled in the red zone and came up empty when walk-on K Eric Schwartz missed a 34-yard field goal. Grothe's second series was three and out, with his last play whistled on what would have been a sack by DT Aaron Harris.

Freshman quarterbacks ignite the night at South Florida Bulls' spring game 04/11/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 18, 2009 6:37pm]
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