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Freshman QBs 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 didn't disappoint. Daniels threw for two 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, Landi's pass to WR 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." Daniels was 11-for-19 for 181 yards, while Landi went 20-for-30 for 189. The crowd at Raymond James Stadium was estimated at nearly 6,000, the most for a USF spring game and more than 1,000 ahead of last year.

Fast starts

Both B.J. Daniels and Evan Landi threw long passes on their first scoring drives. Daniels hit WR Dontavia Bogan for 55 yards on the game's second play and followed two plays later with a 1-yard touchdown run. Landi, taking over for senior Matt Grothe after two possessions, completed his first three passes, including a 55-yard touchdown to redshirt freshman Daniel Bryant to tie the score at 7.

Daniels and Bogan hooked up for a 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 to Bogan, who got a 46-yard touchdown for the game's 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

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-yarder. With 22 seconds left, Landi scrambled 17 yards to the 6 with 10 seconds to play.

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

"I had a little nervousness at the beginning, but once I settled down, it became just like practice," Landi said. "It was good to be in a game situation, to be in real drives, stuff like that. The last drive, everything clicked, the line blocked great, the receivers found ways to get open and caught the ball."

Taking it all the way

B.J. Daniels was closing in on a potential score when he tried a pass to Dontavia Bogan, but sophomore CB Quenton Washington jumped the route, intercepted the ball and took it 95 yards for a touchdown. Daniels and Bogan had a chance to make a tackle at midfield, but Washington juked them both to tie the score at 14.

"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," Leavitt said.

Defense, too

Senior Chris Robinson, penciled in as the starting strongside linebacker, made a leaping interception on a trick play when WR Theo Wilson took a lateral from Evan Landi and tried a deep pass to Carlton Mitchell. Robinson also broke up a pass when the White team went for it on fourth and 5 near midfield early in the fourth.

Freshman QBs ignite the night at South Florida Bulls' spring game 04/11/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 11, 2009 11:54pm]
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