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May 19, 2010

2009 season review: USF vs. Rutgers

The Bulls entered November 12th's matchup with Rutgers with revenge on their minds.

Just two years earlier, USF traveled to Piscataway, New Jersey as the second-ranked team in all of college football. Instead of glorious redemption, South Florida found misery in an unexpected blowout defeat.

The Bulls were shut out for the first time in regular season play in their 13-year history as Rutgers quarterback Tom Savage led Rutgers to a 31-0 victory knocking off the 23rd-ranked visitors.

"Offensively, we didn't do a good job with coaching and playing," head coach Jim Leavitt said. "You have to give Rutgers a lot of credit, they just beat the dog out of us. We haven't fared well against Rutgers over the years."

Savage completed only 50-percent of his 30 pass attempts, but amassed 245 yards and two touchdowns of 25 and 26 yards in the air. He was not perfect though as Jerome Murphy was able to grab an interception without any return.

Joe Martinek, the Scarlet Knights running back, had a memorable day on the ground racking up 128 yards on 25 carries in addition to one rushing touchdown.

South Florida's offense just couldn't get much of anything together.

Costly mistakes hampered quarterback B.J. Daniels who in the previous game, put up immense numbers. Daniels completed only seven of 17 pass attempts for 129 yards and threw two interceptions.

Usually a tremendous weapon on the ground, Daniels only mustered 11 yards and lost a fumble when scrambling. His rushing struggles were not isolated.

Mike Ford led the Bulls in rushing with only 17 net yards from scrimmage and averaged only 1.9 yards per carry. Moise Plancher accumulated a meager eight yards on two carries and the team as a whole averaged less than one, single yard per attempt.

Wide receiver A.J. Love was one of the lone bright spots for the USF offense catching four passes for 80 yards including one reception for 37 yards.

A defense that was left out to dry time and time again fought valiantly, but it was a losing battle.

"Our offense got dominated by their defense," said Jim Leavitt. "I thought our defense played and did some things. For it to only be 13-0 at halftime, I was shocked given the amount of mistakes we made in the first half."

Kion Wilson led the team with an astonishing 18 tackles, including one tackle for loss that set back Rutgers by three yards. Murphy, who snared the aforementioned interception, also contributed double-digit tackles with 14.

Joesph Sabbath, Nate Allen, and Jason Pierre-Paul all registered at least six tackles. Pierre-Paul recorded two quarterback sacks for a loss of seven yards - the only sacks USF had on the night.

The disheartening loss continued the Bulls struggles against Rutgers dropping their all-time record against the New Jersey opponents to 2-4.

South Florida would return home for the next two weeks as the Bulls would host Lousiville and Miami, respectively, as they looked to get back in the win column.

Talk about it on The Bullpen or El Toro Loco.


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