BY KY-SHON HEPBURN
SPECIAL TO GOUSFBULLS.COM
TAMPA - The Bulls could not get much going on offense on Saturday.
Maikon Bonani connected on three field goals as USF fell, 40-9, to Miami before a crowd of 38,869 at Sun Life Stadium.
Quarterback Bobby Eveld started in place of injured B.J. Daniels. Eveld went 3-of-8 for 29 yards before suffering a left shoulder injury that caused him to sit out for the rest of the game.
Matt Floyd came in to replace Eveld as injuries continue to take a toll on the team. Floyd went 20-of-35 for 175 yards and two interceptions.
"I thought Matt showed courage, showed toughness, stood in the pocket and threw the ball well," said head coach Skip Holtz
Running back Demetris Murray rushed for 108 yards. The senior is the programs first running back with three straight 500-yard rushing seasons.
This game marks the fifth series meeting between the two teams. Miami holds a 4-1 advantage in the series.
Miami (6-5) scored on its first possession to take an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Jake Wieclaw culminated the eight-play, 48-yard drive with a 39-yard field goal.
USF (3-7) had an opportunity to tie the game at 3. The Bulls drove the ball to the 21-yard line, but the Canes special teams blocked a Maikon Bonani 39-yard field goal attempt.
Miami took advantage of the missed opportunity and Wieclaw booted a 22-yard and a 37-yard field goal in the second quarter to extend Miami's lead to 9-0.
The Canes were able to take a 16-0 lead on a touchdown thrown by Stephen Morris to Kendal Thompkins after Miami's linebacker Jimmy Gaines intercepted a Floyd pass.
Floyd threw his second interception of the game in the end zone, but the Bulls defense forced the Canes to punt. Terrence Mitchell muffed the punt and Miami recovered the ball at the 43-yard line.
The Canes moved the ball to the USF 1-yard line before safety JaQuez Jenkins forced a fumble after coming up with a huge hit on Miami's running back Duke Johnson. The Bulls took over possession on the 20-yard line after the ball went out-of-bounds through the end zone.
USF used the turnover to mount a 74-yard scoring drive before the half. Bonani converted a 23-yard field goal as time expired to cut the deficit to 16-3.
Miami opened the second half with a 76-yard drive capped off by an 8-yard touchdown by Johnson to make the score 22-3. The Canes attempted a 2-point conversion, but were unsuccessful.
On Miami's next possession, Morris threw an 87-yard touchdown pass to Herb Waters and the Canes converted the 2-point conversion to take a 30-3 lead with 7:31 left in the third quarter.
The Bulls moved the ball down the field and into field goal range with the help of two penalties on the Canes defense, but Bonani missed his second field goal of the night, a 49-yarder, in the third quarter.
Morris connected on a 65-yard touchdown pass to Clive Walford on the ensuing drive to give the Canes a 37-3 lead.
Bonani answered with a 25-yard field goal with 10:02 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 37-6.
Miami added another field goal to make the score, 40-6, the most points allowed by the Bulls defense this season.
Bonani connected on a 32-yard field goal on the Bulls final drive of the night to cut Miami's lead to 40-9.
USF will travel to Ohio Friday, Nov. 23 to face the Cincinnati Bearcats. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN at 7 p.m.