Grothe has Record, but Wants Big East Title

USF QB Matt Grothe talks about the offense in the 35-13 win over WKU. The senior QB also talks about Carlton Mitchell & the WR's, the running game, breaking the BE conference total offense record, and still wanting that elusive Big East Title.

USF QB Matt Grothe


Q: With Florida State two weeks away, are you guys looking to clear a lot of things up on Saturday?

A: Offensively, I think we have played well the last two weeks. This past week, I think we had nine possessions and we scored five touchdowns. We had an opportunity for seven. We missed the two field goals so we were seven out of nine. We had a lot of penalties that killed us on numerous drives. We are definitely moving the ball and scoring some points but at the same time, we have got to clean up the penalties and take care of that. If we can do that, it's a lot easier than other mistakes that could be out there, I think we will be fine.


Q: What areas do you think Carlton Mitchell has improved from last year?

A: I think the biggest thing is his confidence is up honestly. He has always had the tools to play. He just gets down on himself sometimes. He has done a good job of making plays this year so far. He is doing a really good job when he gets the ball in his hands out in space and he shows what kind of speed he has.


Q: Can you talk about Theo Wilson who has two touchdowns in two games?

A: I think everybody knows that Theo is a good athlete. He has shown that the past two years when he has the opportunity to return punts. He is a quick and fast receiver that does a good job of getting open. This past week, the touchdown that he caught was just a man beater hat he did a good job of getting open, and he made a good catch in the back of the end zone. Theo is going to be out there making catches all game long.


Q: What happened on the touchdown thrown to Ben Busbee late in the game?

A: (Dontavia) Bogan is probably the most pissed off person about that one. I was actually throwing the ball to Bogan. Ben was on a corner route and I got flushed out to the right. Bogan was coming back to the end zone wide open. When I threw it, Ben decided to wheel around and go for the ball. If you watch it slowly on film, you can see Bogan's eyes light up like the fourth of July as he is fitting to catch the ball, and Ben jumps right in front of him and catches it. Ben was excited to get a touchdown pass. After the game, he told me that he knew I wasn't throwing the ball to him so I had to make it up to him and actually throw him a touchdown pass. He is my roommate so I hear it from him all the time. 


Q: Since Bogan did not score and actually had no catches, did you scrap it out after the game?

A: Bogan was a little disappointed. Everyone is giving him a hard time about not getting any catches. You just have to know our wide receivers to understand. They are always messing with somebody each and every week, and this past week, it was Bogan's turn to get messed with. I am sure he will make up for it plenty of times this year.


Q: With Mike Ford back this week, is he just another weapon for this offense?

A: Definitely. Our offensive line has been blocking very well our running backs, and it showed on the film. Mo (Plancher) rushed for 100 yards while Lindsey (Lamar) and Aston (Samuels) gashed for some big runs this year so one more weapon is not going to hurt us at all. We all know what Mike can do. We have seen it in the past so it is going to be another tool we can use out there on the field.


Q: What was it like to be on the field with Evan (Landi) and B.J. (Daniels) t the same time?

A: It forces defenses to think about us. I know the first time we shifted to that formation, Western Kentucky was screaming out all kinds of checks and stuff. It will give everyone else a little time to prepare for it. At the same time, you never know what is going to come off of it. I am sure we will see plenty of that formation this year.


Q: Are you going to take any reps at receiver or work with the jugs machine?

A: No I don't think I am going to work with the jugs machine, but I might get a catch or two this year hopefully.


Q: How did you feel lining up wide?

A: Lost. I get made fun of by all the receivers about my stance all the time. I am trying to work on that little bit, but I told them to throw me the ball and I will show them how a real receiver runs with the ball.


Q: What do you think of the name of the formation?

A: Toro Loco. It is just a formation. I guess everyone was expecting something, like how everybody has their special name for it. It is just the wildcat formation basically if you want to call it that.


Q: What did you feel the first time running the formation and the possibilities for the future?

A: We did a god job with it. I know we scored on one of the plays. (Lindsey) Lamar had a big run and B.J. (Daniels) had a really big run on two of the others. I was involved on the touchdown because I had a pretty good block for B.J. There is plenty of stuff we can do out of it. When we have three quarterbacks on the field, anything can happen. We all know that Evan (Landi) can catch the ball too and we know what B.J. can do back there. It will be interesting to see what we end up doing offensively.


Q: How do you like running these different types of formations?

A: I like it a lot. It takes a little bit of pressure off me. At the same time, it makes defenses think and have to wonder what's coming next.


Q: When Zach Hermann got the 15 yard penalty, was that as fired up as you have been in a while?

A: Yeah I wasn't too excited to see the penalty flag go flying in the air. I ended up finding out after the game that they didn't even throw the flag on him. Apparently, it was on Theo (Wilson) for smacking him on top of the helmet twenty times. I just told him to use his head and that we don't need that especially when we are down in the red zone.


Q: How did it feel to score right after that penalty pushed you back?

A: Good. We kind of dug ourselves a little hole and gout out of it there. We had to do that a few times that night because of penalties. They hurt us all night. I think if you take all those penalties away, we score at least 45 or 50 points. We were moving the ball all night. We just couldn't get away from the flags.


Q: How did it feel to finally break the Big East record for total offense?

A: It is just another game and another day. I have been here long enough. I should break some records I guess. At the same time, I want to get a Big East championship, keep playing well, and get better each and every week. I think we have a really good chance of doing that this year.


Q: Are you not overly impressed with having the record right now?

A: I'm sure it will hit me later on down the road when I am not playing football anymore. Right now, I am just worried about continuing to get better each and every week and playing well.


Q: Did it ever come into your mind that you broke the record after gaining so many yards throughout the game?

A: I knew how many yards I needed going into the game. I knew that I did it sometime in the first half. I just didn't know when or where. It popped up in my head once or twice.


Q: Did anyone come up to you and tell you after you broke the record?

A: No. After the game, I was told and then I found out which play it was. I don't think anybody really knew when it was going to happen except for the announcers. After I watched the TV film, they said that I needed five yards to break the record and that is when I knew.


Q: You don't get many chances to compare your team to the Florida Gators. Since they played CSU two weeks ago, do you think about what they were able to do against Charleston Southern and how the two offenses compare?

A: We watched a lot of it on film. They struggled at times to get anything going. Like Florida has always done, they depend a lot on their big name players to make plays and that is what happened. They took a five or ten yard catch and took it for 40 for a touchdown. We just got to come out, take what they give us, and make plays. Hopefully, we can put ourselves in the same situation.


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