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Record night for USF offense in rout of FAMU

Posted Sep 18, 2011 by Adam Adkins

Updated Sep 17, 2011 at 11:18 PM

As promised, Skip Holtz inserted his second-team offense early in the game Saturday night against Florida A&M, and USF’s coach watched the unit commit a turnover that led to the first points scored against the Bulls in the first half this season.

It didn’t matter, though. No. 20-ranked USF was already in command thanks to another stellar performance from the first-team offense, and that unit continued to pour it on an eventual 70-17 rout of the Rattlers in front of an announced crowd of 50,128 at Raymond James Stadium.

Junior quarterback B.J. Daniels had another career night, throwing for 382 yards and four touchdowns and running for another score despite playing less than three quarters. Junior running back Darrell Scott had a big night, as well, rushing for 146 yards and three scores on just 12 carries while also adding a receiving touchdown.

It all helped add up to a record-breaking night for the USF offense, which amassed a school and Big East Conference record 745 total yards and scored the second-most points in program history, behind only the 80 scored in the program’s first-ever game against Kentucky Wesleyan in 1997.

“That gives us has a lot of confidence offensively. We know that we’re capable of putting up big points,” said Daniels, who tied the school record for passing yards in a game, equaled by Matt Grothe’s performance against Cincinnati in 2007. “We have a lot of goals that we’re trying to meet. I’m not sure we necessarily met all of them, but that’s definitely what we’re aiming for.”

The offense wasted little time getting to work. The Bulls (3-0) were on the board 1:46 into the game when Daniels connected with senior receiver A.J. Love for a 43-yard score on his first passing attempt of the game against badly overmatched Florida A&M (1-2).

USF’s first-team offense scored touchdowns on seven of its nine first-half possessions, though the Bulls likely would have had another had they simply just not run out of time – receiver Victor Marc was tackled as the Rattlers 7-yard line on the final play of the first half. Still, USF’s offense finished the first half with 537 yards of total offense. That included 355 passing yards from Daniels, which was just four yards shy of the career high he set last week in a 37-7 win over Ball State.

The 49 points in the first half was a school record that also tied for the most ever in a single half. USF scored 49 points in the second half of a win over Cumberland in 1998.

USF’s first-team offense went to the sideline for good after producing another touchdown on its first drive of the second half. That ended with Scott’s fourth score of the night, a 30-yard run that went down as his third-longest touchdown of the night. Scott also scored on a 56-yard run and 84-yard reception, both coming in a 28-point second quarter.

The second-team offense took over from there, and the unit managed to produce a score in the fourth quarter when running back Marcus Shaw scored on a 2-yard run. The 69-yard scoring drive helped the Bulls eclipse the Big East record for total yards of offense, previously held by Louisville (729 yards) in a win over Middle Tennessee State in 2007.

USF’s defense did its part, too, limiting the Rattlers to 180 total yards while forcing two turnovers. And the Bulls special teams unit came up with a big play for the second straight game, with true freshman Andre Davis blocking a punt, scooping up the loose ball and returning it 11 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

“I can sit here and talk about nine penalties, two fumbles, mistakes in the kicking game and everything else, but those are things we’ve got to get straight tomorrow” Holtz said. “But it’s certainly hard to find a lot to complain about when you look at the way we played, really, in all three phases of the game.”

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