May 25, 2010

2009 season review: USF vs. Miami

South Florida already made the most of their first shot against an in-state power earlier in 2009 winning at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.

The second attempt didn't work out so well.

The Bulls suffered a 31-10 loss to the Miami Hurricanes in front of 66,469 fans at Raymond James Stadium - the second largest crowd in USF history.

While USF continues to work on crafting new rivalries in the state of Florida, the games against Miami have not worked out in a very limited sample size. The Bulls fell to Miami in the first ever meeting of the two schools 27-7 in Miami in 2005.

"Part of it, we've got to keep recruiting, no question," said head coach Jim Leavitt. "You all saw that. They've got some pretty good players but we should have played better. They're a very good football team. Miami's a very good football team and they just beat us."

Early on the Hurricanes looked like an offensive juggernaut moving the ball virtually at will. Miami jumped out to a 21-3 at the half and appeared in total control.

Leonard Hankerson and Javarris James each found the end zone in the first quarter to set the tone early.

Running backs Damien Berry and Graig Cooper led the way for Miami on the ground running for 114 and 83 yards, respectively. Quarterback Jacory Harris threw for 161 yards over 11 completions and two touchdowns.

Although it was too late, the Bulls did seem to figure things out after the game was out of hand.

Defensively it was Sabbath Joseph that led the way with nine total tackles and one and one-half tackles for loss. Joseph also registered a pass break up.

Defensive end and eventual first round draft pick Jason Pierre-Paul amassed seven tackles including two tackles for loss and a sack for a loss of four yards.

The Bulls offense struggled gaining only 220 yards of total offense against Miami - a meager 77 of which came via the passing game. Quarterback B.J. Daniels struggled to get anything going completing six of 16 attempts for those 77 yards and threw one touchdown and one interception.

"I thought he competed hard," Leavitt said of Daniels' game. "During the game, there was some things we felt that were there. But you know, he's always going to compete. I'm sure he made mistakes here and there. But you know, there's a number of things, you got to wait and see. There's a number of things during the game that I know about. He's always a battler."

Running back Moise Plancher led USF in rushing gaining 78 yards on the ground on 15 carries.

No single USF wide receiver caught more than one pass and Carlton Mitchell led the segment with the longest reception from the home team of 21 yards. A.J. Love did find the end zone catching a 12-yard strike from Daniels.

There was only one thing left to do for South Florida now. The collective attention of those in green turned to the final game of the season against Big East foe Connecticut.

"We've got UConn coming up," said Leavitt. "Some guys played very hard tonight, I saw that."

Talk about it on The Bullpen or El Toro Loco.



 

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