Two missed field goals in the first half Saturday brought back a familiar question for USF: Can senior Delbert Alvarado handle being the punter and kicker and do both well?
Alvarado missed kicks of 40 and 49 yards, both wide left, so the Bulls had just a 14-6 halftime lead at Western Kentucky. Alvarado made a 30-yarder in the opener, but he is now 26-for-45 for his USF career, just a 58 percent success rate.
Asked if he might look at another kicker, coach Jim Leavitt was frustrated by his lack of options.
"Who? Who do I go to?" Leavitt said. "I could go to (walk-on Eric) Schwartz, who has never kicked a ball in college. I don't know. That's a good question. Am I disappointed? Yes. Is he a good punter? Yes. Did he do some things on kickoffs that were pretty good? Yes. He can't miss field goals. I'm sure he's disappointed also."
Alvarado would have just been the punter this season, but starting K Maikon Bonani fractured a vertebra in his back in the summer when he fell 35 feet from the Skyride to the ground while working at Busch Gardens.
"What's our solution? Get Delbert back in there and crank it out and get him kicking again," Leavitt said.
RECORD: As expected, senior QB Matt Grothe became the Big East's career leader in total offense, passing the mark set by West Virginia QBPat White last season.
"It's an honor," Grothe said. "I couldn't do it without my teammates or the coaches giving me a chance to be here. Hopefully we can build off that."
White's mark of 10,529 yards fell on a 12-yard scramble by Grothe in the second quarter.
INTRODUCING TORO LOCO: Twice in the first half, USF lined up with backup QB B.J. Daniels in the shotgun and Grothe lined up as a receiver. Daniels gained 7 yards on a keeper, and RB Lindsey Lamar gained 8 yards on an end around the second time the Bulls showed the formation.
After Grothe threw a 65-yard pass to Carlton Mitchell to the 7-yard line in the third quarter, USF lined up in the same formation, and Daniels scrambled to his right for a TD and a 21-6 lead.
The formation is like the wildcat alignment used in the NFL, but offensive coordinator Mike Canales has a different name: Toro Loco, or Wild Bull.
NEW STARTERS: DE David Bedford and WR Patrick Richardson got their first career starts Saturday.