USF Player's Reaction to Winning TD at Auburn

Practically the whole college football world knows that USF beat Auburn 26-23 in OT last Saturday. That is unless you were in coma or living under a rock. USFNation takes you back to the winning TD in overtime and gets the reaction from the players and Head Coach Jim Leavitt. Only on - Get It first, Get it Fast!

The Bulls had a roller coaster of a ride Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium. First jumping out to a 14-3 lead, and then going into halftime down 17-14. The second half was even more gut wrenching as the Bulls forced four second half turnovers, with zero points to show for it after three missed field goals. The Bulls finally tied the game with 7:46 left on a Delbert Alvarado FG., and then had a chance to take the lead after an INT, but Alvarado missed the 21 yard attempt. On the next series the Tigers drove 51 yards and took a 20-17 lead on a Byrum 46 yard FG with 2:54 left in the game.

Then lightning struck in the form of a Jerome Murphy 59 yard kick-off return followed by a 6 play 30 yard drive to the two. Instead of going for it Leavitt put his faith in the kicking game that was 1 of 4 on the night, and Alvarado hit the tying FG as time ran out. In overtime the Tigers settled for a 39 yard field goal, and the Bulls won the game on a 14 yard touchdown by Jessie Hester from Matt Grothe.

"There's a moment of ‘what happened' to everybody, almost like lightning hit, and you pause and you freeze. Then you react, and you react with great excitement or despair, and that certainly happened." Head Coach Jim Leavitt

"I was so emotional with everything that had happened in the last five minutes of the football game. When he caught it, it took me a few seconds to realize what happened. I was like, all right we have got another play, and then I was just like, wait, we won the game! It was really cool looking up and seeing all those people in the stands with there orange and blue pom-poms, throwing them at us. Then looking on the other side and seeing our fans going berserk. Then walking off the field looking at the big ole TV screen showing all the fans with there hands over their face and then showing our fans all smiling. It's something that I'll always remember." Quarterback Matt Grothe

"On that play, I got past the defenders and saw the ball in the air, and thought just catch the ball. After the score I was like Thank God it's over! After that I ran around the field, and celebrated with my teammates, and then went into the locker room" Receiver Jessie Hester Jr.

"When it happened, I was sitting on the bench. It was me and Carlton Williams, we were just sitting there, I actually didn't even look, I had my head down. As soon as I looked up, I saw that we had scored and I just took off across the field, I was yelling and screaming it was really amazing."
Free Safety Nate Allen.

"Oh Man, I knew the routes they were running on that play and I knew what time it was. That play was going to be pretty much impossible to stop because they were in man and didn't have a safety over top. Jessie as a player one on one, I'm going to go with Jessie all day. He can run and he can catch, and is a great receiver. I just ran on to the middle of the field, I didn't know where I was running, I was just stunned. Then I noticed the whole team was on one side, and I was the only person running towards the fans. Then I caught myself and said I‘ll go celebrate with the team first then go over to the fans. It was crazy, it was awesome, just a fantastic feeling." Corner Back Mike Jenkins

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