USFNation Game Grades: USF vs.Syracuse

The Bulls won in impressive fashion over Syracuse on Saturday's senior day 27-10. USFNation.com hands out game grades position-by-position. Read on to see how they graded out. Also included in this week's grades are the average grades from the message board. Only on USFNation.com!

Quarterbacks: It did not take too long to claim a Bulls record a USF passing record on Saturday. On the Bulls' first offensive play, Grothe completed a 24 yard pass to S.J. Green that broke Marquel Blackwell's freshman passing record for yards thrown in a season. Grothe would later end that drive with a six yard touchdown pass to Green. At the end of the first half, Grothe completed two consecutive pass that were key in setting up Alvarado's 56 yard field goal attempt. Late in the third quarter, Grothe faced third and nine before hitting Taurus Johnson, who broke free for a 79 yard touchdown. Prior to being replaced in the game by senior Pat Julmiste, Grothe accumulated a career high 409 yards. He achieved this by completing 25 of 35 passes for 364 yards including two touchdowns and an interception while carrying the ball eight times for 45 yards. Although Julmiste did not throw the ball, he did rush the ball three times for ten yards including a three yard touchdown.
USFNation Staff Grade: A
Message Board Avg. Grade: A


Wide Receivers: Overall the receiver had a great performance minus a few drops. Taurus Johnson had one of his best games of the year with five catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. The score came on a 79 yard completion from Grothe late in the third quarter. The other touchdown came courtesy of a six yard pass to S.J. Green who caught fours passes for 53 yards in total. Marcus Edwards had four receptions for 52 yards while five other players registered two catches. Overall ten players had at least one catch against Syracuse.
USFNation Staff Grade: A-

Message Board Avg. Grade: B

Running backs: On a day where so much seemed to go right for the Bulls' offense, the running backs still struggle. The leading rusher was yet again Matt Grothe who had eight carries for 45 yards. Ricky Ponton and Benjamin Williams split time but neither stood out. Ponton had the better performance with 10 carries for 41 yards while Williams carried the ball 12 times for 23 yards. Pat Julmiste, in relief of Grothe, scored the only rushing touchdown from 3 yards away.
USFNation Staff Grade: C
Message Board Avg. Grade:
C-

Offensive line: The Bulls' offensive line did exactly what is necessary for the team to score points. They did not allow a sack all game, and gave Grothe great protection. This was a key reason why Grothe ended up having a career performance. The running game is still struggling, but Grothe's agility has helped immensely. USF ran the ball 40 times for 150 yards and one score. 
USFNation Staff Grade: B
Message Board Avg. Grade:
B

Defensive backs: The Secondary of the Bulls allowed 174 yards in passing on Saturday and played a pretty solid game overall. The lone Syracuse score came in the fourth quarter when quarterback Perry Patterson threw a 27 yard touchdown to Mike Williams. This was the longest completion given up by the Bulls on the day. Tyller Roberts had four tackles and one sack while Jeremy Burnett added six tackles. In a game that is defensively dominated on the line of scrimmage, defensive backs should not have very many tackles. This might explain why Trae Williams only had three tackles and Mike Jenkins registered two on the game.
USFNation Staff Grade: B+
Message Board Avg. Grade: A

Linebackers: Senior day was especially special for USF fans because this was their last opportunity to watch Stephen Nicholas and Patrick St. Louis to play at Raymond James Stadium, at least as members of the Bulls. Ben Moffitt's celebration will have to wait another year, but he had a heck of a good time against Syracuse. Moffitt led the team in tackles with 10 including one sack and three tackles for a loss. Second on the team was Nicholas with seven tackles, a sack, and an interception. St. Louis played a great game as usual and added four tackles and on tackle for a loss.   
USFNation Staff Grade: A+
Message Board Avg. Grade: A

D-line: The front four for the Bulls put forth their best performance of the season. By the end of the game, the entire defense had tied a school record by registering seven sacks. The previous high came in 2002 against Florida Atlantic. The bottom line is the key to the constant pressure on Syracuse quarterback Perry Patterson was the defensive line, who opened up holes all day long. Chris Robinson and George Selvie led the way and seemed to temporarily claim the offensive backfield as their home. By the end of the day, Robinson had three tackles, one forced fumble, and two sacks for a loss of 20 yards. Selvie added three tackles and a sack while Josh Julmiste also registered a sack. They were a key part as well in stuffing the Syracuse running backs who only rushed for 76 yards on 39 carries.
USFNation Staff Grade: A+
Message Board Avg. Grade: A
 
Special teams: Freshman kicker Delbert Alvarado had a career day on Saturday after nailing a 56 yard field goal at the end of the first half to put the Bulls on top 13-3. His kick not only broke the Big East record of 54 yards, but was also the second longest field goal in USF history. For Alvarado, it was a personal accomplishment in itself since his previous long occurred earlier in the quarter from 47 yards away. His lone miss was from 30 yards.  Justin Teachey only had to punts twice with a 34.5 average. Taurus Johnson also added two kick returns for 54 yards while Ean Randolph had two punt returns for 16 yards.
USFNation Staff Grade: A-
Message Board Avg. Grade:
 B





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