Bullrush tramples Orange on Homecoming

Mistakes on offense proved deadly for Syracuse Saturday, as the Orange fell to undefeated South Florida in the Big East opener for both teams.

Plenty of Homecoming and Big East talk filled the Carrier Dome with the air of expectation on Saturday, only to see the turnover-prone football team leave the door open and the South Florida Bulls ran right on through.  USF (5-0, 1-0 Big East) defeated Syracuse, 34-20, getting two rushing touchdown from Mike Ford while freshman B.J. Daniels accounted for two passing scores. The Orange fall to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the Big East.

SLIPPERY WHEN NOT WET: Cold rain fell in Onondaga County this week and the poor field conditions in the Dome produced five total turnovers in the opening four minutes (considerable tongue-in-cheek there, folks).  The Bulls shored up their issues, but SU continued to give up possession:  the Orange accounted for seven turnovers (two fumbles and five interceptions, tying a program record established vs. Pitt in 1981); the Duece made his first mark in the SU record book, tying Todd Norley who also tossed a quintet, at Penn State in 1982.

MIKE WILLIAMS: The SU senior again a main player on the big stage:  13 catches for 186 yards with two touchdowns.  Williams extended streak to 25 consecutive games with a pass reception (fourth all-time at Syracuse; Scott Schwedes holds the record at 40).  M-Dubz showed the ability to make plays:  an adjustment to come back for underthrown ball in first quarter set up SU field goal, lowered helmet to get first down resulting in another Orange score, and rose up between two USF defenders to snare a touchdown at the end of half.  His stop-and-go route in the fourth quarter created enough space for Williams snag his second acrobatic touchdown reception.  Williams has 19 career touchdown catches, third all-time behind NFL receivers Rob Moore ’89 (record 22 TD receptions) and Marvin Harrison ’95.

DON’T GET DEFENSIVE:  NFL scouts again dotted the Carrier Dome press box, feverishly following the play of Orange defensive tackler Arthur Jones and South Florida All-American George Selvie.  Representatives from the New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans witnessed Jones recover two fumbles in the first half (an obviously banged-up Jones was ineffective in the second half). Selvie, widely considered the top pass-rusher in college football, was held in check until the third quarter when he nearly ripped the Duece’s arm off, forcing a jump ball that ended up in the arms of a South Florida defender for the interception.

Mike WilliamsDONNIE DITTO:  USF redshirt freshman B.J. Daniels, like PSU’s Daryll Clark, makes SU fans long for the days of Donovan McNabb.  Like Super Five, Daniels can move the pocket, throw a long ball yet struggles to make touch passes.  Daniels came into Saturday’s game with a ton of hype after dismantling then No.17 Florida State, 17-7, in his first collegiate start.  Daniels, also a member of the USF basketball team, burned the Seminoles with 126 rushing yards on 23 carries.  Daniels showed he possessed a strong arm as well, connecting on an 85-yard bomb to Carlton Mitchell with USF’s first possession of the second half.

THEY SAID IT:  “It is an incredible number and we needed all of them for us to win that game,”  -- South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt when asked about SU’s seven turnovers.
    “Give me one-on-one, I’m gonna exploit it,” – Mike Williams, Orange wide receiver


Syracuse senior Mike Williams (Photo: Mitchell Franz/TheNewsHouse.com)

Saw bits and pieces of the

Saw bits and pieces of the game on TV. The last two minutes was a disaster.USF could have been beaten if the orange could have come up with a couple of good plays.The Syracuse coach appears too laid back,he needs to project some intensity in the game. Harry

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