Game Notes: USF vs. UT Martin

The number 19 ranked USF Bulls got out to an impressive start on Saturday night beating UT Martin 56-7. Read on to get the inside slant to USF's commanding win in their 2008 season opener.

The 19th ranked USF Bulls opened their season in grand fashion with a 56-7 victory over Tennessee-Martin on Saturday night in front of an energized crowd of 48,058. Coach Leavitt's goal heading into the game was to establish the run and that is exactly what they did. In the first quarter alone, USF rushed the ball 14 times for 113 yards and three touchdowns. From there, the rout was on and by the end of the game the Bulls had rushed the ball 52 times for 300 yards and five touchdowns.

Offense

 

  • Center Jake Griffin and RB Ben Williams were the official offensive team captains for USF.
  • WR A.J. Love started his first career games at USF.
  • USF scored its most points in an opening quarter with 28 after a 13 yard rushing TD by Benjamin Williams … The previous high of 21 came against Rutgers in 2005 and Austin Peay in 2000.
  • Nine of the first ten offensive plays for the Bulls were rushes while the lone pass was 18-yard score from Grothe to Jesse Hester Jr.
  • RB Ben Williams scored the 11th rushing TD of his career on a 13-yard rush at the end of the first quarter.
  • RB Moise Plancher's first TD in the fourth quarter was also the first TD of his career.
  • Matt Grothe's second TD pass to Jessie Hester was the 31st touchdown pass of his career while Hester caught his sixth career score.
  • While many expected Benjamin Williams or Mike Ford to start at running back, Jamar Taylor ended up being the starter.
  • The Bulls offense gained 520 yards including 300 yards on the ground.

 

Defense

 

  • LB Tyrone McKenzie and LB Brouce Mompremier were the defensive team captains for USF
  • CB Tyller Roberts and CB Jerome Murphy started their second career games at USF
  • LB Tyrone McKenzie's sack of QB Cade Thompson was his 4.5 of his career.
  • MLB Kion Wilson started his first career game at USF and even recorded the first tackle when UT-Martin's offense took the field.
  • The Bulls held the Skyhawks to only 97 yards of offense and would have recorded a shutout if not for a fumble by B.J. Daniels that was caused by his own lineman.
  • Carlton William's interception at the beginning of the third quarter was the third of his career.

 

Special Teams

 

  • Marcus Edwards' first punt return of the night - a 39-yard return – was longer then any return last season. Amarri Jackson had last year's longest return for 37 yards.
  • Theo Wilson made a splash in his first career game after returning a deflected punt 67 yards for a touchdown
  • Marcus Edwards set a school record for punt return yards in a single game with 124 yards on 7 returns. The previous high was 123 yards held by Ean Randolph 

 

Odd Balls

 

  • 48,058 attended Saturday's game, which is the second biggest crowd to ever attend the first game of the season and the sixth largest ever to attend a USF game.
  • This was the first ever meeting between the two teams and most likely the last for a little while.
  • QB Grant Gregory recorded his first career tackle when he brought down UT-Martin safety D.J. Martin following an interception.
  • Former Bulls Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams were on the sideline for Saturday's opener. Williams was cut Saturday by the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • The game lasted 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  • The Bulls are now 11-0 against teams from the NCAA Football Bowl Series, formerly Division 1-AA
  • The biggest injury off the field was suffered by Rocky, the Bulls mascot, who fell and hurt his groin after landing on the top of the fence while attempting to get closer to the fans.
  • The Bulls are now 8-0 in season openers at home.

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