Despite the Flags Ducks Lead at Halftime

El Paso -- Penalties, penalties and more penalties in the first half of the 74th Annual Brut Sun Bowl, plus some hard running by Oregon Jonathan Stewart was the story as Oregon took the lead into the locker room, 18-14. Stewart rushed for 142 yards on 12 carries including a 71-yard scoring run. The two teams were called for 18 penalties for 167-yards in the first half alone.

The penalty yardage broke the Sun Bowl record for penalty yardage for an entire game and the 18 flags tied the record. Oregon was called 11 times for 108 yards and USF was whistled seven times for 59 yards.

USF's Matt Grothe threw for 168 yards and a touchdown on 13-for-25. Grothe was also the leading ground gainer for USF with 22 yards on nine carries. Justin Roper was 9-for-15, 74 yards and a touchdown. Andre Crenshaw also had 27 yards rushing for the Ducks.

The game started with Justin Roper hitting Garren Strong for a 17-yard gain. Roper was then called for an illegal forward pass when he stepped beyond the line of scrimmage throwing to Jeffrey Maehl. The drive stopped when Jeffery Maehl fumbles on the first series giving the ball to USF. Grothe had to recover a bad snap leaving the Bulls 2nd and 28 and he was only able to recover 6 yards before USF was forced to punt. Jairus Byrd returned the ball the Oregon 39.

The first delay of game call against the Ducks happened on the first play of the second series. Roper missed Maehl on the next play. Roper then handed off to Jonathan Stewart for a 15-yard gain. From the Oregon 49 Roper missed Maehl on a lateral that went out of bounds for a yard loss. Stewart took the handoff next for a yard gain. Roper threw incomplete to Jaison Williams and the Ducks had to punt. Josh Syria's punt was nearly blocked but the ball rolled to the USF 6.

Grothe handed off to Mike Ford for a yard gain off the left side. Timeout called by USF. A.J. Tuitele tackled Mike Howard for a 2-yard loss. Grothe's pass was tipped and fell incomplete. USF punted from the USF6.

Byrd called for a fair catch and the ball was spotted at the Oregon 45. Stewart ran for 7 yards but a flag was thrown. The call was offsides defense and the penalty was accepted. Stewart took the hand off for a yard gain. Roper shovelled the ball to Maehl who moved the ball to the USF 45. Stewart takes the hand off to the 39. Roper faked the handoff and rolled left and hit Williams for 9 yards to the USF 30. Crenshaw was stopped for a yard loss. Crenshaw rolled 7-yards to the 25. A flag was thrown for a personal foul and the ball moved back to the USF 39. Roper hit Derrick Jones at the 9. Roper shoveled the pass to Maehl, who ran the ball to the 7. Roper's pass was broken up Nate Allen. Roper hit Strong for the touchdown. Roper took the snap on the two-point conversion but fumbled the ball into the endzone and Matt Evensen recovered the ball for the successful 2-point conversion. Oregon grabs the lead, 8-0.

Evensen's kick is returned to the U40. A dead ball foul was called against USF moving the ball back to the U21. Benjamin Williams took the handoff and was dropped for loss by Jerome Boyd at the 19. Grothe competed a pass to Marcus Edwards at the U33. Williams was stopped for no gain by Patrick Chung. A flag was thrown for false start South Florida. The ball was spotted at the 28. Grothe completes a pass to Edwards for a gain 8-yards to the 36. Grothe's pass was long on the next play but a flag on the play for personal foul gave the Bulls a first down to the O48. Grothe's pass was broken up but an offside call against Oregon moved the ball to the O43. Grothe kept the ball to the 42 for a yard gain. Ford to the handoff and ran to the O37. Grothe's next pass was tipped and fell incomplete. Grothe competed a 24-yard gain to the 19. Ford carries for one on the next play to the 18. Ford was gang tackled on the next handoff. Holding was called on USF and the ball moved back to the Oregon 27. Grothe was sacked but flags were thrown for personal foul (facemask) and the ball was moved to the O13. Williams was tackled for no gain but another flag was thrown for illegal block in the back. The ball was moved back to the O22. On the next play more flags were thrown for pass interference and the ball was moved to 14. Grothe kept the ball for a yard gain to the 12. Grothe threw a very ill advised pass but the ball fell on turf as the first quarter ended. A total of 12 penalties were called in the first quarter.

The second quarter started with the ball on the Oregon 12 and 3rd and 8 for the Bulls. Grothe's pass was dropped Jamar Taylor and the Bulls set up for a 29-yard field goal attempt that was good. Oregon 8, USF 3.

Patrick Chung took the kickoff to the 30 but flags dropped for block in the back. The ball was then spotted at the O18. Stewart took the handoff and ran 13 yards to the O331. Stewart ran left for 13 to the O44. Roper fumbles the ball but Fenuki Tupou recovered at the 49. Stewart rushes the ball to the U45. Andre Crenshaw took the ball and ran to the U17. Stewart was caught in the backfield for a 2-yard loss to O21. Roper's pass overthrown in the endzone. Roper hits Maehl on a screen but was stopped for no gain. Matt Evensen attempted a 39-yard field goal attempt that was good. Oregon 11, USF 3.

Evensen's kickoff went deep into the endzone for a touchback. USF took over on their own 20. Grothe's pass was broken up by Walter Thurmond. Grothe hits Jesse Hester for 8 yards. USF was called for illegal procedure and the ball moved back to the 23. Grothe hits Johnson for a gain of 12. Grothe picked up 2 on the keeper to the 37. Grothe was stopped by Boyd at the 37, but a flag was thrown against Oregon personal foul and the ball was spotted to the O46. On the next play Ford picked up 2 yards, but a holding call moved the ball back to the U44. Grothe's screen pass was caught by Benjamin Williams and was immediately hit by Kevin Garrett for a 4-yard loss. Grothe completes to Courtney Benson to the U45. Grothe scrambles and goes 22 yards to the O32. Grothe hits Hester to the 21. Grothe throws the ball away on the next play bringing up second and 10 at the O21. Grothe escapes a sack and hits Johnson for the touchdown. The pass to Cedric Hill was complete for the 2-point conversion and the score was tied at 11.

The kickoff was returned to the O25. Stewart swept right and was hit late out of bounds, and several flags were thrown. Two personal fouls were called on USF and one on Oregon. The ball was spotted at the 30. Stewart takes the next handoff to the 38. Crenshaw comes in and carries to the 46. Roper fielded a bad snap and was tackled at the 40. Crenshaw caught Roper's pass and ran to mid-field but the play was called back on a holding call on Oregon. The ball was spotted at the O35. Roper was incomplete and the Ducks were forced to punt. Syria's punt was fielded at the 11 and returned to the U25.

Grothe's pass was caught by Hill and moved to the U43. Grothe threw the next ball away bringing up 2nd and 10 at the U43. Grothe's pass was nearly intercepted by Thurmond. Grothe's next pass again was nearly intercepted but it brought up a 4th and 10 at the U43. USF punted and Byrd watched the ball go out of bounds on the O28.

Roper's pass to Ed Dickson went incomplete. Stewart rushes the ball to the O29. Stewart takes the next snap to the endzone for a 71-yard touchdown run. The point after was good and the Ducks regain the lead 18-11.

Evensen's kickoff went into the endzone for a touchback. Ball spotted at the U20. Grothe's pass was caught Dontavia Bogan to the U48. The next pass from Grothe went to Hester at the O37. Grothe keeps the ball to the O30. Benjamin Williams carried to the 28. Grothe's keeper drew a flag that broke the Sun Bowl record for penalties. The penalty was off sides against Oregon. Ball spotted at 23. Grothe hit Cedric Hill at the 12. Ford was stopped for a gain of 2 to the 10. Grothe's next pass was incomplete bringing up 3rd and 8 from the 10. Grothe fell creating a sack for Kenny Rowe at the O18, bringing up 4th and 16. USF called timeout with 4.3 second remaining before halftime. The Bulls' field goal unit came on for a 35-yard attempt that was good. Oregon 18, USF 14 at the half.


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