USF Advances To 3-0 With Another Comeback Win

USF went on the road this week to take on UCF. They left Orlando with their first road victory of the year. Here is the recap of South Florida's thrilling 24-17 win. USFNation.com -- Get it First, Get it Fast!

If there was ever any lingering questions concerning who should be the starting quarterback, Matt Grothe has answered his critics. Grothe, who completed 23 of 33 passed for 341 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception, helped in leading the Bulls to a 24-17 win at UCF by completing a pass to seven different receivers. This victory breaks a seven year losing streak in road openers and improves the Bulls' record to 3-0 for only the second time in the team's 10 year history. On the other hand, a loss by the Golden Knights drops their season record to 1-2 as well as their overall record to 0-10 against teams from the Big East.

Entering the game, many were wondering whether the Knights would be able to establish a running attack due to starter Kevin Smith being suspended because of a violation of team rules. Jason Peters, who normally plays fullback, was given the starting spot and was very successful at times. He ended the game with 17 carries for 93 yards. On the opening drive of the game, the defense of the Bulls made an immediate impact. With 10:30 remaining in the first quarter, Steven Moffett, under heavy pressure, under threw his receiver to a waiting Trae Williams for the third week in a row. This was the first turnover of the season for UCF.

After the turnover, Grothe threw a swing pass to Ean Randolph who cut to the opposite side of the field, thanks in part to two outstanding blocks made by S.J. Green. The result was a 52 yard gain. Later in the drive on a 3rd and goal from the seven yard line, Grothe hit Marcus Edwards at the three yard line who then walked into the end zone to give the Bulls an early lead. For the game, Edwards had 3 catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. The following drive for the Knights ended the same way. On 2nd and 11 from the Knights 45 yard line, Moffett, under heavy pressure from Chris Robinson, threw a play action pass that was once again intercepted by Trae Williams on an over the shoulder catch as he outran the wide receiver. UCF was able to hit a short a field goal to get on the board after a 16 play drive that went for 79 yards in 6:29. Then with 2:15 left in the half, Steven Moffett, who finished the game completing 19 of 43 for 217 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, hit Willie Thornton on a 37 yard touchdown pass. This caused USF to enter halftime trailing for the third week in a row.

In the third quarter, Mike Benzer's name was called on to kick a 30 yard field goal. Benzer, who is 0-5 during his career, nailed it as the third quarter came to a close. The next time USF got the balls they decided to dig deep into the playbook. On second and nine, Grothe handed the ball off to Ean Randolph who pitched to Amarri Jackson who then threw a 31 yard touchdown pass to Amp Hill. This put USF on top 17-10.

Prior to Saturday's game, USF had outscored opponents 48-0 in the second half. The shutout would have continued if not for a blocked punt which resulted in a 31 yard return touchdown by Blake Carter in the fourth quarter. The play occurred after Alverado fumbled the snap and had his punt blocked by Jordan Richards. On the following drive, Grothe led the Bulls down the field 68 yards off of 9 plays to score the game winning touchdown. The score came on third and 15 when Grothe completed a 28 yard touchdown pass to Ean Randolph. For the game, Randolph had 5 catches for 127 yards and 1 touchdown and Taurus Johnson, who made a big catch on the final drive, had three catches 42 yards.

UCF was given one last chance to drive the length of the field and tie the game. Moffitt repeatedly completed passes to Mike Walker, who was the game's leading receiver with 12 catches for 133 yards. UCF found themselves facing a fourth and six with 30 seconds left. As Moffitt dropped back, he once again faced heavy pressure and was brought down by Chris Robinson to secure the USF victory.


 

Final 1 2 3 4 T
USF 7 0 3 14 24
UCF 0 10 0 7 17
South Florida Central Florida
Pass  Matt Grothe
23/33 341 yds, 3TD, 1INT
Steven Moffett
19/43 217 yds, 1TD, 2INT
Rush  Matt Grothe
22/70 yds, 3TD
Jason Peters
17/93 yds
Rec  Ean Randolph
5/127 yds, 1TD
Mike Walker
12/133 yds

 

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
USF TD 6:52 MARCUS EDWARDS 7 YD PASS FROM MATT GROTHE (MIKE BENZER KICK)
2nd Quarter
UCF FG 6:07 MICHAEL TORRES 22 YD FG
UCF TD 2:15 WILLIE THORNTON 37 YD PASS FROM STEVEN MOFFETT (MICHAEL TORRES KICK)
3rd Quarter
USF FG 0:00 MIKE BENZER 30 YD FG
4th Quarter
USF TD 11:05 BENJAMIN WILLIAMS 2 YD PASS FROM MATT GROTHE (MIKE BENZER KICK)
UCF TD 7:14 BLAKE CARTER 31 YD BLOCKED PUNT RETURN (MICHAEL TORRES KICK)
USF TD 3:20 EAN RANDOLPH 27 YD PASS FROM MATT GROTHE (MIKE BENZER KICK)

 

Player Stats

USF
Bulls

UCF
Golden Knights

PASSING
  CP/AT YDS TD INT
M Grothe 21/31 302 3 1
A Jackson 1/1 31 0 0

PASSING
  CP/AT YDS TD INT
S Moffett 19/44 219 1 2

RUSHING
  ATT YDS AVG TD
M Grothe 21 73 3.5 0
W Smith 4 14 3.5 0
B Williams 8 5 0.6 0
A Jackson 1 5 5.0 0
E Randolph 2 3 1.5 0
K Dorsey 1 2 2.0 0
T Johnson 1 -2 -2.0 0

RUSHING
  ATT YDS AVG TD
J Peters 20 98 4.9 0
P Smith 6 32 5.3 0
S Moffett 8 10 1.3 0

RECEIVING
  REC YDS AVG TD
E Randolph 5 126 25.2 1
A Hill 3 52 17.3 0
T Johnson 3 40 13.3 0
C Erskin 1 29 29.0 0
M Edwards 3 28 9.3 1
W Bleakley 2 22 11.0 0
S Green 1 16 16.0 0
C Hill 1 10 10.0 0
D Gordon 1 8 8.0 0
B Williams 1 2 2.0 1

RECEIVING
  REC YDS AVG TD
M Walker 12 133 11.1 0
W Thornton 1 37 37.0 1
C Rabazinski 3 20 6.7 0
R Ross 1 20 20.0 0
J Peters 1 7 7.0 0
M Merritt 1 2 2.0 0

KICK RETURNS
  NO. YDS AVG TD
T Johnson 1 42 42.0 0
M Jenkins 2 27 13.5 0

KICK RETURNS
  NO. YDS AVG TD
C Francis 1 14 14.0 0
K Jackson 1 13 13.0 0

PUNT RETURNS
  NO. YDS AVG TD
E Randolph 2 33 16.5 0

PUNT RETURNS
  NO. YDS AVG TD
B Carter 0 31 Infinity 0
J Richards 1 22 22.0 0
J Burnett 1 16 16.0 0

INTERCEPTIONS
  NO. YDS AVG TD
T Williams 2 -4 -2.0 0

INTERCEPTIONS
  NO. YDS AVG TD
S Rashad 1 15 15.0 0

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