It was an historic evening for Grothe and the Bulls, who were 0-4 in previous games vs. SEC teams. They did it by improving to 6-0 all-time in overtime games.
"That was a play we just put in this week," Hester says of his touchdown catch. "We had worked so hard to come back and I had so many people counting on me that I knew I had to catch it."
Grothe says he was stunned when the play worked for the sudden death victory. "It was so emotional when he caught it," the quarterback says. "I wasn't sure what happened. It took me a minute to realize we had just won the game. This is my all-time favorite win because it happened on my birthday."
South Florida improved to 2-0 with the win while Auburn falls to 1-1.
"All week long the coaches had been telling us to finish and play four quarters," Grothe says. "It was frustrating to get the turnovers late in the game and not be able to score from inside the 20, but sometimes those things happen."
USF head coach Jim Leavitt says the victory reminded him of his team's win at West Virginia last year. "This was very similar. West Virginia was a big win for us, too, because it was in the Big East. I grew up in the South so this win was bigger because I had never played or coached against Auburn."