USF Game Grades: UCF

The Bulls played their most heated game of the season Saturday against UCF. The game was close to the end, but thanks to a great game by quarterback Matt Grothe, WR Ean Randolph, and the always solid Bulls defense they came back and won 24-17. USFnation.com hands out game grades position-by-position. Read on to see how they graded out.

QB: In only his third game, this was Matt Grothe's most impressive performance of his young career. He avoided costly mistakes, and showed poise as he completed 21 of 31 passes for 302 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He was also the leading rusher for the Bulls with 73 yards on 21 carries. On USF's first drive of the game following an interception by Trae Williams Grothe led the Bulls on a 79 yard drive in only seven plays. The drive ended with a seven yard touchdown pass to Marcus Edwards on third and goal from the seven yard line. His next touchdown came during the Bulls' first drive of the fourth quarter. Facing second and goal from the two yard line, Grothe hit Ben Williams for a two yard touchdown which gave USF a 17-10 lead. After the Knights returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, the Bulls once again turned to their young quarterback with the scored tied. On the following series, the offense drove 90 yards in nine plays. On third and 14, Grothe threw a perfect pass to Ean Randolph for the 27 yard winning touchdown. Grothe was rewarded for his performance by being named the Big East offensive player of the week.
Grade: A

WR: Overall, the Bull's receivers had an average game. Eleven different receivers caught a pass on Saturday, but there were many drops. One by Ean Randolph on third down was a sure touchdown. Besides that drop Randolph was the one Bulls receiver that stepped up his game. He caught five passes for 126 yards including the game winning 27 yard touchdown reception with 3:20 remaining in the game. On the Bulls first drive Marcus Edwards caught the games first touchdown on a seven yard touchdown pass on third and goal. The Bulls also got creative with a double reverse pass from Amarri Jackson to Amp hill that went for 31 yards and put the Bulls on the two-yard line, setting up a two-yard touchdown. The Bulls were led by Ean Randolph, who caught 5 passes for 126 yards with 1 TD (25.2avg.). Amp Hill had 3 receptions for 52 yards (17.3avg,), Taurus Johnson caught 3 passes for 40 yards (13.3avg.), and Colby Erskin caught only 1 ball for a 29 yard gain.(29.0avg.). Also, Marcus Edwards added 3 receptions for 28 yards with 1 TD (9.3avg).
Grade C+

RB: Matt Grothe was the leading rusher for the Bulls with 73 yards on 21 carries, but the Bulls running backs were dismal at best. Ben Williams carried the ball the most for the Bulls but was a measly 8 for 5 yards (0.6avg.). However he did score a two yard touchdown which gave USF a 17-10 lead. Walt Smith chipped in 4 rushes for 14 yards (3.5avg.), and Keeley Dorsey had 1 carry for 2 yards (2.0avg.).
Grade D

Offensive line: With all the injuries, the Bulls have been rotating players on the offensive line all season, and after Jake Griffin went out with a leg injury, the Bulls streak of giving up zero sacks was broken. They finished the game allowing 5 sacks and had trouble opening up running lanes. When it mattered most, and the game was on the line, they held their own and allowed Matt Grothe to throw for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns, including the 27 yard winning toss to Ean Randolph with 3:20 left.
Grade: C

DB's: The defense backs set the tone on the opening drive of the game. On 2nd and 28 Trae Williams intercepted Steve Moffett at the Bulls 21 yard line, which led to a Bulls score. On the Golden Knights very next drive Trae Williams made his second of the day on the nine yard line. On top of the two picks, Williams also had six tackles. Jeremy Burnett was the game leader in tackles with nine, and delivered monster hits as. Mike Jenkins had four tackles, forced a fumble, and had two key breakups to preserve the victory. The Bulls had trouble containing Mike Walker who had 133 yards on 12 catches, and they gave up 219 yards passing, but only 67 in the second half.
Grade A-

LB: The linebackers played solid, and were led by Pat St. Louis with 7 tackles while breaking up one pass. Ben Moffitt had 5 tackles and 1 hit on the quarterback, while Stephen Nicholas was relatively quiet with only 1 QB hit. They were a big part in posting a second half shutout by the defense for the third week in a row. The only score came off of a blocked punt.
Grade C+

D-line: Freshman defensive end Chris Robinson looked very impressive and sacked UCF quarterback Steven Moffet on a fourth and six from the USF 10 with just 22 seconds remaining to preserve a 24-17 Bulls win. On the same play, Robinson forced a fumble that Richard Clebert quickly jumped on. Robinson finished the game with 3 tackles, 2 for a loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 2 QB hits. Allen Cray had 5 tackles, 2 for a loss, a sack and 1 QB hit. Richard Clebert had 3 tackles and a fumble recovery, while George Selvie also had 3 tackles, Jariett Buie had 1 tackle, 1 for a loss, with 1 sack. The defensive line needs to pressure opposing quarterbacks more but overall played excaellent against the Golden Knights. The only downside was that UCF rushed for 140 yards.
Grade: B

Special teams: Mike Benzer made his first career field goal from 30 yards on the final play of the quarter to tie the game at 10-10. After a fumbled snap, USF punter Delbert Alvarado attempted to elude a tackler and punt the ball, but it was blocked and returned 31 yards for a touchdown by Blake Carter to tie the game again at 17-17. Benzer finally answered the call but the blocked punt nearly killed the Bulls.
Grade: C


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