TAMPA (Nov. 03, 2010) – Senior running back Mo Plancher rushed for a career-high 135 yards to lead the University of South Florida to its 100th victory Wednesday night. The Bulls defeated Rutgers, 28-27, in a BIG EAST showdown at Raymond James Stadium.
USF now holds an all-time record of 100-60 with the win, becoming the fastest team in BIG EAST history to accomplish that feat based on games played. The Bulls snapped their four-game losing streak against the New Jersey school, earning their first victory over Rutgers at Raymond James Stadium.
The Bulls improved to 5-3 on the season and now stand at an even 2-2 in conference action, while the Scarlet Knights fell to 4-4 on the year and 1-2 against BIG EAST competition. USF stands one victory away from becoming bowl eligible for the sixth consecutive season.
Plancher, the senior from nearby Naples, Fla., added 45 receiving yards on three catches, giving him a total of 180 yards of total offense on the night. His 45 yards receiving were also a career high.
Sophomore quarterback B.J. Daniels also added to his career numbers. He passed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau with 1,014 rushing yards in his career. Daniels rushed for 15 yards in tonight's victory, while finishing the day with 164 yards of total offense, including 149 in the air. The Tallahassee native completed 10-of-17 passes with two touchdowns and just one interception.
Offensive tackle Jacob Sims got his name in the stats column, becoming the first offensive lineman in USF history to score a touchdown after he recovered a Plancher fumble in the end zone with 9:33 left in regulation. His touchdown gave the Bulls a 28-27 advantage, which was good enough for the win.
The Bulls were anchored by senior Jacquian Williams on defense. He posted 11 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. Junior Keith McCaskill tallied his first career safety when he tackled Rutgers running back Kordell Young in the end zone with 1:02 left in the third stanza, snapping the Bulls' 20-game streak without a safety. USF recorded its last safety on Sept. 5, 2009 in its season-opener against Wofford.
USF finished with 306 yards of total offense, including 149 in the air and 157 on the ground. The Bulls defense held Rutgers to just 238 yards of total offense (160 passing / 78 rushing). USF's defense put a clamp on the Scarlet Knights' running game, forcing them to put the ball in the air. Quarterback Chas Dodd completed 19-of-22 passes, but was only able to amass 139 yards and failed to reach the end zone.
The Scarlet Knights' two touchdowns came from Mohamed Sanu and Mark Harrison. Harrison led the team with 88 yards and has scored a touchdown in each of his last four games. The Rutgers special teams also contributed, scoring on a punt return in the first quarter.
The Bulls got on the board first, taking advantage of a mishandled snap from Rutgers that forced a third-and-26 situation. On the ensuing punt, freshman Terrence Mitchell posted a 47-yard return, setting up a four-yard touchdown pass from Daniels to sophomore Evan Landi for a quick 7-0 lead.
Later in the first half, after falling behind 10-7, the Bulls responded as Plancher charged through the Scarlet Knight defense to put USF in scoring position. USF capped the drive when Dontavia Bogan, who caught two passes for 18 yards, took a pass from Daniels and glided into the end zone for a six-yard touchdown reception, his third of the season, giving the Bulls a 14-10 lead.
After a Rutgers TD gave the Scarlet Knights a 17-14 lead, USF put together a nine-play, 52 yard drive that reuslted in a 47-yard Maikon Bonani field goal with just 32 seconds remaining in the half. The 47-yarder tied his season-high and tied the game at 17 at the break.
Rutgers came out of the half and put together a nine-play, 74-yard TD drive to take a 24-17 lead. USF would score a field goal at the 7:16 mark of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 24-20. They followed that with a safety at the 1:02 mark to get within two, 24-22.
Rutgers would do a little more damage at the 12:00 mark in the fourth quarter off a field goal by San San Te to take a 27-22 lead, but the Bulls kept battling as Sims recovered a Plancher fumble in the end zone with 9:33 left on the clock to give USF its 100th program win with a 28-27 final.
USF returns to action on Nov. 13 when they travel to Louisville for another BIG EAST match-up. Kick-off is scheduled for noon.
USF Football Post Game Notes
USF (5-3, 2-2 BIG EAST) 28 vs. Rutgers (4-4, 1-2 BIG EAST) 27
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010, 7 p.m.
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
- With tonight's 28-27 win, USF improves its record to 5-3 overall and evens its BIG EAST slate at 2-2 ... It marks the sixth straight year that the Bulls have recorded at least a 5-3 record after eight games, and the 12th time in the program's 14-year history ... USF's best eight-game start was a 6-2 ledger during the 1998, 1999, 2002, 2007 and 2008 seasons.
- Tonight's win over Rutgers improves USF's record over the Scarlet Knights to 2-4 all-time dating back to the 2005 season, and ends a four-game losing streak against the New Jersey school ... The victory is the first for the Bulls over Rutgers at Raymond James Stadium.
- USF improves its all-time record to 100-60 with its win over Rutgers tonight ... In addition; the Bulls are now 62-15 all-time at Raymond James Stadium, since moving into the venue in 1998, and 69-19 all-time at home (Tampa Stadium and Raymond James Stadium).
- USF's victory tonight is its first by one-point since a 45-44 overtime triumph at TCU on Sept. 25, 2004.
- Tonight's game is USF's first home game since Saturday, Oct. 9 when it faced Syracuse ... The 25-day stretch is the third longest between home games for the Bulls only behind the 56 day's during the 2005 season (Sept. 24 vs. Louisville, 45-14 win through Nov. 19 vs. Cincinnati, 31-16 win) and the 35 day's during the 2002 campaign (Sept. 7 vs. Northern Illinois (37-6 win through Oct. 12 vs. Southern Miss, 16-13 win) ... The 56 days between games in 2005 was due to a series road games, a bye, and Hurricanes that swept through Florida during the month of September and October.
- Tonight's game is the third-straight nationally televised for the Bulls, and their second consecutive on ESPN2 ... Tonight's win improves USF's record on ESPN2 to 14-7 all-time ... It is also its third consecutive win on the network - dating back to last year - and its fifth victory in its last six games on "The Deuce."
- In order to show support for injured Rutgers DT Eric LeGrand, the USF Bulls wore a red and white '52' decal on their helmets for Wednesday night's game against the Scarlet Knights ... LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury during Rutgers' Oct. 16 contest with Army ... In addition to the decal, senior captains C Sampson Genus and CB Mistral Raymond recorded messages to LeGrand, which will be shown on the video board at Raymond James Stadium during the game ... Rutgers has established the "Eric LeGrand Believe Fund" to support LeGrand and his family ... Contributions to the fund can be made by sending a check payable to the "Eric LeGrand Believe Fund" to:
"Eric LeGrand Believe Fund"
PNC Wealth Management
Attn: Kimberly G. Kingsland, Senior Trust Advisor
One Palmer Square Suite 201
Princeton, NJ 08542
All proceeds of the fund will go directly to the LeGrand family. For more information, visit www.ScarletKnights.com/Believe.
- OC Sampson Genus, S Mistral Raymond, LB Jacquian Williams and LB Armando Sanchez were USF's captains for tonight's game against Rutgers ... Genus, Raymond and Williams are all captains for the entire season, while Sanchez is this week's weekly captain ... Tonight marks Sanchez' third time as captain this season ... He also made the walk with the season trio against Stony Brook (Sept. 4) and Syracuse (Oct. 9).
- Tonight's offensive starters were: SE Dontavia Bogan, LT Jamar Bass, LG Jeremiah Warren, C Sampson Genus, RG Chaz Hine, RT Jacob Sims, TE Kevin Gidrey, FL Evan Landi, QB B.J. Daniels, RB Mo Plancher, WR Lindsey Lamar.
- Tonight's defensive starters were: LE Patrick Hampton, NT Cory Grissom, DT Terrell McClain, RE David Bedford, SLB Jacquian Williams, MLB Sam Barrington, WLB DeDe Lattimore, LC Mistral Raymond, SS Jon Lejiste, FS Jerrell Young, RC Quenton Washington.
- QB B.J. Daniels threw his seventh touchdown pass of the season, and the 21st of his career, when he connected on a four-yard toss to WR Evan Landi with 8:33 left in the first quarter ... He would follow that up with 7:11 left in the first half on a six-yard pass to WR Dontavia Bogan for his eighth scoring pass of the year and the 22nd of his career.
- WR Dontavia Bogan's touchdown reception from Daniels in the second half was his third of the season and the ninth of his career.
- Daniels would surpass 1,000 rushing yards for his career in the second half ... He would finish the game with 15 yards on eight carries ... He has 1,012 career rushing yards through tonight's game on 258 carries.
- K Maikon Bonani's 47-yard field goal with 32 seconds left in the first half tied his season long ... He also booted a field goal of 47 yards against West Virginia on Oct. 14 ... Bonani would also hit a 21-yard field goal with 7:16 left in the game ... Bonani is now five-for-five on field goals dating back to the West Virginia game on Oct. 14.
- DT Keith McCaskill recorded his first career safety and the first safety for USF since Sept. 5, 2009 in the season opener against Wofford.
- RB Moise Plancher rushed for 135 yards on 21 carries marking a new career high ... He surpasses the 119 yards that he ran for against Western Kentucky on Sept. 12, 2009.
- OT Jacob Sims scored his first career touchdown when he recovered a Plancher fumble in the end zone with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter ... It is also thought to be the first touchdown scored in USF history by an offensive lineman ... It is also the first touchdown scored by a fumble recovery in the end zone since Dontavia Bogan did it against Louisville on Nov. 17, 2007.
- LB Jacquian Williams recorded 1.5 sacks on the night including a big sack on Rutgers QB Chad Dodd with less than four minutes left in the game on fourth down and three for the Scarlet Knights ... Through tonight's game Williams has 2.5 sacks for his career.
- Williams also finished with 11 tackles on the night, including seven unassisted.