Bulls Drop BIG EAST Game To Rutgers, 49-16

November 15, 2008

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Terrell McClain


















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TAMPA (AP) -- Mike Teel threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns to help surging Rutgers rout South Florida 49-16 on Saturday for the Scarlet Knights' fourth consecutive victory.

Kenny Britt had his fourth straight 100-yard game receiving, scoring on a 93-yard pass play early in the fourth quarter. Rutgers (5-5, 4-2 Big East) also forced six turnovers to hand USF (6-4, 1-4) its fourth loss in five games.

Britt finished with eight receptions for 173 yards. It was his sixth 100-yard performance of the season, 12th overall - moving him into third place on the career conference list for 100-yard games behind Larry Fitzgerald (14) and Antonio Bryant (13).

Jason McCourty returned one of his two interceptions 30 yards for a second-quarter touchdown, and the Scarlet Knights recovered three fumbles - all in Rutgers territory - to frustrate Matt Grothe and the rest of USF's offense.

Grothe, one of the nation's top dual-threat quarterbacks, completed 28 of 43 passes for 292 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for a team-best 50 yards on 13 carries, but hurt his team with three interceptions.

The Scarlet Knights beat the Bulls for the third straight season. Rutgers won 22-20 in Tampa two years ago when South Florida had a failed two-point conversion in the closing seconds, and took another close one in 2007, prevailing 30-27 at home when USF was ranked second in the country.

Rutgers' four-game winning streak is the longest in the Big East and has revived a season that looked bleak when the Scarlet Knights stumbled to a 1-5 start. One of the biggest differences has been turnovers: Rutgers has forced 13 in its five victories compared to none in its five losses.

USF Individual Notes
- Senior SS Carlton Williams started for the 44th time in his career, which is tied with Derrick Sarosi for the second highest total in program history ... The record of 45 career starts is shared by Stephen Nicolas (2002-06) and Trae Williams (2002-06) ... Williams pulled the second and third interceptions of the season and the fourth of his career ... He also had two his freshman season in 2005 ... The last time a player intercepted two passes was against West Virginia in 2007, when Ben Moffitt had a pair ... Williams registered his first sack of the season and the second sack of his career in the second quarter.
- Junior WR Jessie Hester has caught a pass in 19 consecutive games dating back to Oct. 6, 2007 ... The USF record of 20 consecutive games with a reception is held by Amarri Jackson and Hugh Smith ... He finished the game with a career high 10 receptions and a career high 110 yards ... The USF single game record for receptions is 11 set by DeAndrew Rubin against Pittsburgh in 2001.
- Senior DB Louis Gachette started for the first time in his career ... He has played in 46 career games.
- USF sophomore Jake Sims has started eight times this season, but the Rutgers game marked his first start at right tackle ...  It also marked the first time this season that Ryan Schmidt has moved inside to right guard.
- Senior WR Taurus Johnson moved into sole possession of third place on the USF career receptions list in the first quarter ... He came into the game with 104 receptions, which was tied with Charlie Jackson (1997-00) ... He finished the game with three receptions and increased his career total to 107 ... Johnson also reeled in his fifth touchdown of the season, which is the third best single season total in program history ... He has 11 career TD, which is the second best total in USF history and three behind the record of 14 by DeAndrew Rubin (1999-02).
- Senior DE Jarriett Buie set a new single season personal high with a tackle for loss in the first quarter that increased his season total to 6.5 ... His previous high was six TFLs last season.
- Junior QB Matt Grothe threw for 292 yards and one touchdown ... Grothe has thrown for a TD in 29 of 36 career games ... Grothe broke the career record for rushing attempts with 13 today and an increased career total of 483 ... The record was held by Andre Hall, who had 480 from 2004-05.
- Senior RB Ben Williams rushed for third touchdown of the season and the 13th of his career ... The career total is the 13th best in USF history ... Williams also had five receptions for 59 yards ... Both totals are the second best of his career ... His single game highs are eight receptions for 63 yards against Cincinnati in 2007.

Team Notes
- The game attendance was 47,216, which ranks as the ninth-best crowd at Raymond James in USF history.
- The loss to Rutgers drops USF's all-time record to 85-51 and to 57-34 as a NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision member.
- This was the fourth meeting between the schools with Rutgers holding a 3-1 lead in the all-time series. Rutgers had won the previous two meetings by a combined five points. USF won the initial meeting in 2005, 45-31.

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