Against UCF, Bulls receiver T.J. Johnson finally had the game that USF fans have been hoping for, finishing with 6 catches for 87 yards and two scores. The output was more then the last three games combined where T.J had only six catches for 61 yards.
"I'm glad the coaches called my number and I took advantage of it. Our whole offense and defense did a heck of a job. Our three quarterbacks did a heck of a job. We definitely wanted to come out with a purpose. We've been saying it all week. Last week we struggled just a little bit and this week, we came out with a bang."
The week before the game there was a lot of trash talk from UCF that was also in the media, with some of it crossing the line. Many fans were upset but did the players take it personally?
"We did take it personal. Coach Leavitt said that they are coming in our house and we want to run them out of the stadium; we did that. Sixty points felt really good."
Over the last couple of games before UCF the Bulls offense struggled some and had trouble executing and take advantage of opportunities they wee given. It even seemed that the offense was a bit asleep the last couple of weeks, but does T.J. think it woke up Saturday?
"It did, we kept talking about it during our meetings and the coaches kept saying that we need to do this and that. We took it as a [wake up call]. We came out there and executed."
The offense actually moved the ball but the last couple of weeks, but was plagued with turnovers, and didn't capitalize on strong play by the Bulls defense.
"We were struggling and the defense bailed us out a lot of the times. We were telling Coach that we can't let the defense do it all. We have to put up some points to help them out and give them a rest. We did today and we did good on both sides of the ball."
As the clocked ticked down at the end of the first half, the Bulls were only leading 22-10 and were faced with a first and goal on the 9 yard line with only .07 seconds left on the clock. The Bulls could have been conservative and gone for the field goal but instead Matt Grothe hit Johnson for the 9 yard score and a 29-10 lead. The score was the first of the season for Johnson, who walks us through the play.
"Coach Leavitt wanted to go for the field goal at first but we said that we wanted it. Matt [Grothe] was saying it and I was saying it. Coach Leavitt said, "Go out and score;" and we did. Matt threw the ball up and I caught it. They came out and were playing Cover-2 [defense], it was a man-to-man though. When Grothe made the check call, I said it's gotta' be six. It was going to either me or Marcus [Edwards], so when Grothe threw the ball in the end zone I just put up my hands and caught the ball."
USF had a 29-10 lead at halftime, which is usually cause for some celebration, but this years team is more focused and determined then ever before and as the Bulls entered the locker it was even more evident.
"It did but when we went into the locker room, we said that it's not over yet. We still have thirty minutes to go and anything could happen. We started clicking again, from the kickoff return we drove right down the field and scored a touchdown. It was extremely important to [score a touchdown]. We kept pressuring Coach let us throw the ball. He finally listened to us and we took advantage of it. It was a big statement."
The Bulls put up 543 yards of offense against the Knights, with everybody getting into the action, but what does the Bulls enigmatic receiver think of the teams offensive explosion?
"We've been waiting and waiting for this. I said to the guys whenever it happens; it happens. We have to be patient. We just exploded and went crazy today. It felt really good though"
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