As originally posted here
The Bulls continued their winning ways closing out their home stand against UTEP 52-24 Sat., Sept. 24, at Raymond James Stadium.
USF Quarterback B. J. Daniels led the way throwing for 202 yards and running for 130. He ran a 71-yard score (fourth-longest in USF history) on the Bulls’ second offensive play and threw two scores to Lindsey Lamar in the second half. Receiver Victor Marc broke a 67-yard run (fifth longest in USF history) later in the first quarter for another score. Running back Darrell Scott ran for 87 yards and a score from 18 carries.
“Some of the plays were well executed by our offense,” said offensive coordinator Todd Fitch. “They boxed us on the inside, but it allowed us to put some plays on the perimeter. We had a couple of nice runs like the one from Victor Marc. There were some great individual efforts.”
The offense produced 373 yards of rushing, just 5 yards shy of the program’s record. The offense produced 575 total yards.
USF remained in control most of the game as they scored on most of their drives with an occasional stop from the defense. The Bulls scored on most of their drives in the first half, while the Miners tried all they could to keep up. The score ended up 31-17 at the half. Both defenses stepped up in the second half.
“You never take wins for granted,” said head coach Skip Holtz. “You’re excited about a lot of the positive things that happened, but there are so many things that we got to do better. I think that UTEP is a great football team. There’s a reason why they’re 2-1. At the same time, we’re really proud of how our team battled. I think offensively, it was a solid performance. UTEP doesn’t give up much on defense. I’m proud of some of the big plays we had.”
The Bulls’ defense surrendered 339 total yards (244 passing and 95 rushing). Linebacker Sam Barrington put the exclamation mark on the game when he intercepted a pass from UTEP quarterback Cameron Meger and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown.
“It was a tale of two halves,” said defensive coordinator Mark Snyder. “The first half was a barrage of mistakes. I’ll credit UTEP and coach [Mike] Price for what he did. Those were self-inflicted wounds in the first half. The kids came out and played a really good second half.”
There was a scary moment when Bulls punt returner Terrence Mitchell launched himself against UTEP punter Ian Campbell to save a potential touchdown when UTEP made a fake punt play run for 19 yards. Mitchell lowered his head and hit Campbell in his shoulder.
“They told us in the locker room that [Mitchell] was communicating,” Holtz said. “He’s verbal. He’s moving everything. It’s not his neck. They’re worried about a concussion. Obviously you need to do a lot of preliminary tests. We’re very grateful that the injury was not as severe as it appeared.”
USF will go on the road to start Big East Conference play on Thurs., Sept. 29, against Pittsburgh in a nationally televised game.