Running With the Bulls

September 26, 2009 11:48 PM

USF Stuns Florida State With Bullish Effort

Florida State University never saw this one coming.

The Seminoles were confident they'd handle upstart South Florida in the friendly confines of Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday.

FSU never saw first-time starter B.J. Daniels coming. Likewise, the Seminoles never saw the South Florida defense coming, and that was a mistake.

The South Florida Bulls, playing FSU for the first time ever, stunned the 18th-ranked Seminoles in every facet of the game and reshuffled the state's football power structure with a 17-7 victory.

Daniels, who played at Tallahassee's Lincoln High, was not the recruit who got away from FSU, he was the player who received no interest from the Seminoles. He got their attention in a BIG way Saturday.

The shifty replacement for former starter Matt Grothe, put a super-human effort into the offense. He ran for 126 yards, and was the first quarterback to do that to a Seminole defense in 23 years.

He passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns, both in the second quarter, to pave the way for this historic USF victory. One of those strikes was a beauty of a 73-yarder to freshman Sterling Griffin.

While FSU struggled with Daniels' dazzling skills, the Bulls defense proved too much for the Florida State offense.

The Bulls put together a carefully orchestrated game plan by coordinator Joe Tresey and that plan slapped FSU's ground game into the Doak Campbell turf. The 'Noles managed a pathetic 15 yards rushing on the afternoon.

USF front four kept the heat on FSU quarterback Christian Ponder all afternoon. He was sacked five times, including once by Jason Pierre-Paul that knocked the ball loose for a recovery by George Selvie at the FSU 13 and set up a short field goal by Eric Schwartz that put the game out of reach.

Daniels was simply amazing in his starting debut, but refused to take credit.

"It's not about me," he said in a soft voice.

"It's about the USF Bulls."

And on this exciting afternoon for USF Nation, it was about the Bulls.

"It was just an incredible effort," coach Jim Leavitt said. "They finished the game. They won under tough circumstances."

The Bulls did that and more.

They out-hit FSU. They out-played FSU.

They simply out-everythinged the Seminoles.

It was simply historic for the 4-0 Bulls.

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