Daniels' Pitch Pays Off
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - Sales might be B.J. Daniels' calling if football doesn't work out for USF's star quarterback.
The redshirt junior made tons of highlight reel plays in Saturday's 70-17 victory over Florida A&M that helped him end up in the USF record books. Daniels tied former Bulls quarterback Matt Grothe for the most passing yards in a single game with 382.
"It's definitely an honor to be tied with Grothe," Daniels said. "He's definitely done a lot for this program."
Daniels wouldn't have been able to accomplish the feat if he didn't sweet talk his coach a little bit.
He had 355 passing yards at the half (a USF record) and was five yards short of Grothe's mark when backup Bobby Eveld entered the game to get some work with 11:19 remaining in the third quarter.
"I said, 'He's had a pretty special night. Somebody do some math and see if he's anywhere a personal best,' " said head coach Skip Holtz of Daniels.
It appeared Eveld was destined to finish the game until Daniels popped in for one play with 3:16 remaining in the third.
"I put him in, I said, 'One slant. You make it, you make it. You don't, you don't,' " Holtz told Daniels.
Daniels misfired on a pass to Stephen Bravo-Brown on first-and-10 on the Bulls' 31.
"I threw it on the back shoulder of the receiver," he said.
Daniels delivered his sales pitch to Holtz shortly after.
"I pulled him out and he said, 'A hitch would have been easier,' " Holtz said.
Daniels went back in nine plays later and tied the record. He faded back and hit 5-foot-5 speedster Derrick Hopkins on a little bubble route.
"Flea did a good job of getting those yards for me," Daniels said.
Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch made a little humor out of the situation.
"We blame Flea for not getting six. He got five," Fitch said with a smile.
Aside from Daniels' accomplishment, the 3-0 Bulls added to the history books before the final whistle.
The Bulls set a new Big East single-game record for total offensive yards with 745.
USF's tied the school scoring mark with 49 points in the first half.
Running back Darrell Scott became the first-ever Bull to score both a rushing and receiving touchdown from more than 50 yards out in a game and a season.
Daniels had set a personal best for passing yards last week against Ball State and was appreciative of having the chance to surpass it against the Rattlers.
"I'm definitely thankful for the opportunity for him to allow me to go back in and tie the record," Daniels said.
Holtz made sure to point out that his Bulls weren't going after team feats in the big win. Second- and third-team players, even walk-ons, got lots of time on the field.
"We didn't come out here to set records, that wasn't the object," Holtz explained. "We weren't out here to score points. I was trying to get our backups some work."