BTN Notebook: Bulls smash Cards
BY THE NUMBERS:
9 -- Matt Grothe's first quarter rushing TD was his ninth of the season, which is tied for the third best single season total in USF history. The USF record is 13 by Andre Hall in 2005. It is also the 18th rushing TD of his career, which is just two shy of the USF career mark for QB. Marquel Blackwell (1999-02) owns the career record with 20. Grothe had 57 rushing yards in the first quarter to push his season rushing total above 700 yards. He is the first USF quarterback to rush for 700 yards in a season.
15 -- After not scoring a TD on the first 13 interceptions of his career, senior Trae Williams has taken his last two INT back for touchdowns. He had a 73-yard return and TD against Cincinnati and a 64-yard return tonight. Williams has 15 career interceptions, which is the second best total in USF history behind J.R. Reed's 18. He has five interceptions this season. Williams also increased his USF career record for interception return yards to 217 yards. Reed previously held the mark at 148 (2000-03).
20 -- First-quarter points USF scored, a new season high. The previous high for the opening quarter was 14 against North Carolina, Auburn and Cincinnati. USF scored 41 points in the first half. The USF record is 42 against Liberty on Sept. 27, 2001. USF would have tied the record had they not missed a PAT on its first TD of the game.
38 -- DB Jerome Murphy's fourth quarter interception was the seventh turnover gained by USF, which ties a single-game record set against Houston in 2002. USF has forced 38 turnovers this season, which establishes a new team single season record. The previous high was 36 in 2002. USF recovered three fumbles to increase its season total to 18, which is a new single-season record. The previous mark was 17, set in 2001 and 2005. USF had four interceptions vs. Louisville and 20 this season, which is two shy of the record of 22 set in 2002. USF forced seven turnovers tonight, marking the seventh time this season that the Bulls have forced three or more turnovers and the second time they have forced six or more. USF also forced West Virginia into six turnovers. The Bulls are tied for the national lead in turnovers this season with 38. Cincinnati also has 38, including three in its loss to WVU tonight.
319,019 -- The number of fans USF has played in front of in six games at Raymond James Stadium this season for an averaged 53,170. USF's 2007 attendance average of 53,170 is actually more than the single-game attendance record prior to this season. The single game record prior to this season was 49,212 in the inaugural game against Kentucky Wesleyan on Sept. 6, 1997. USF has eclipsed that mark in the last four games and set the new standard at 67,012 on Sept. 28 against West Virginia. Last year, USF averaged 30,222. The Bullls have increased that average by 22,948 this season, which is among the largest improvements in the NCAA. The NCAA does not announce official improvement rankings until after the completion of the regular season. Saturday's attendance of 57,288 is the fourth largest crowd to ever see a home USF football game, and the 11th largest to ever see a game home or away.
72 -- Rushing yards freshman RB Mike Ford accounted for USF's opening offensive drive. The 72 yards came on rushes of 43, 23 and 6. The 43-yard run was his second longest of the season. He had a 48-yard rush against Elon in the season opener. Ford finished the drive by scoring from six yards out. It was the ninth rushing TD of the season for Ford, who started at RB for the second consecutive game and the third time this season. Ford's fourth quarter touchdown gave him 10 for the year, which moves him into third on the school's single-season touchdown list behind Andre Hall who had 13 in 2005 and 11 in 2004. He has established a freshman TD scoring record this season with his 10 scores. Ford finished the game with 140 yards rushing and became the first freshman in USF history to rush for 100 yards in back-to-back games. He rushed for 134 at Syracuse last week.
185 -- First-half rushing yards for USF against Louisville, including 96 by Mike Ford and 71 by Matt Grothe. The Bulls have rushed for 531 yards in the last six quarters of play dating back to the game at Syracuse last week.
481 -- Total offense USF racked up vs. Louisville, marking the fourth consecutive game it has produced 400 or more yards of total offense. The USF record for consecutive games with 400 or more yards of total offense is five set in 2002. The Bulls have accumulated 3,313 yards of total offense in the last seven games, which is USF record for a seven-game span.
505 -- WR Carlton Mitchell broke two USF freshman records on his 30-yard TD reception in the second half. He broke the USF freshman receiving yards on the play improving his season total to 497 on the play. The previous record was 469 by Johnny Peyton in 2004. The TD was his fourth of the season, which is a new USF record for freshman. Mitchell finished the game with 54 yards receiving and has 505 yards on the season, which is the seventh best total in USF history.
CB Mike Jenkins pulled in his third interception of the season and the sixth the Thorpe Award candidates career . . . LB Tyrone McKenzie forced and recovered his second fumble of the season in third quarter . . . DB Louis Gachette recorded his second interception of the season and the fifth of his career . . . DB Jerome Murphy intercepted a pass for the second consecutive week. Both have come in the fourth quarter. He has two INT on the season.