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Grothe, South Florida rebound to drill hapless Syracuse

Oct 18, 2008 - 8:55 PM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- After a disappointing loss to Pittsburgh, South Florida faced the perfect opponent to regain some of its swagger.

Matt Grothe tossed three touchdown passes and rushed for another score as 20th-ranked South Florida routed Syracuse, 45-13, on Saturday in a Big East Conference mismatch.

After allowing the Orange to stay in the game in the first half, the Bulls (6-1, 1-1 Big East) imposed their will after the intermission, blowing open the contest behind a dominant defense and ball-control offense.

Relying on the effective running of Curtis Brinkley, who rushed for 112 yards in the first half, including a 24-yard touchdown, the Orange only trailed, 21-13, at halftime.

"They were able to keep the ball away from our offense," South Florida coach Jim Leavitt said. "They moved the chains with the short passing game and the running game. They were doing a good job of it."

But Syracuse (1-6, 0-3) unraveled in the second half, getting outgained, 273-9. The Orange had no first downs on six second-half possessions, going three-and-out five times and fumbling inside their 5-yard line.

"In the second half, we must have controlled the clock 80 percent of the time," Leavitt said.

Coming off a 16-day layoff following their 26-21 defeat to Pittsburgh on October 2, the Bulls showed no signs of rust, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions to build an early 14-3 lead.

Grothe completed 19-of-26 passes for 248 yards and also rushed for 72 yards on 10 carries.

"I thought the offensive staff and (offensive coordinator) Greg (Gregory) did a great job of game planning," Leavitt said. "We did have a little more time to game plan. We didn't spend as much time as you would think on Syracuse. We spent more time on the University of South Florida. We really felt that we played poorly the week before. We tried to get ourselves together."

The Bulls were not happy with their defense in the first half, but they took control in the second against an opponent that has now lost 22 of its last 24 Big East games.

On Syracuse's second possession of the third quarter, quarterback Cameron Dantley fumbled after a 7-yard loss, with South Florida's Craig Marshall returning it two yards to the 2-yard line.

The Bulls caught the Orange napping, as Grothe hit a wide-open A.J. Love in the end zone on the next play to start the rout. No Syracuse defender was even near Love.

After Syracuse's third punt of the quarter, Grothe tossed a 9-yard TD pass to Taurus Johnson to make it 38-3 with 12 seconds remaining in the period.

"(Grothe's) a good football player and good players make good plays," Syracuse middle linebacker Jake Flaherty said. "He's tricky because when he gets out of the pocket he can throw, too, which is tough to defend."

Following a field goal by Maikon Bonani, South Florida put the finishing touches on the rout with a 13-play, 69-yard drive that consumed nearly eight minutes.

Sophomore running back Richard Kelly capped the march with a 2-yard TD run, the first score of his career.

In the second half, Brinkley was held to no yards on five carries. Dantley finished 11-of-27 for 129 yards.








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SYRACUSE 3 10 0 0 13
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 14 7 14 10 45 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SOUTH FLORIDA - TD, BENJAMIN WILLIAMS 1 YD RUN
    (MAIKON BONANI KICK), 6:00.
    SOUTH FLORIDA 7-0
    SYRACUSE - FG, PATRICK SHADLE 43 YD, 9:24.
    SOUTH FLORIDA 7-3
    SOUTH FLORIDA - TD, TAURUS JOHNSON 7 YD PASS FR

    Oct 18 3:17 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SOUTH FLORIDA
    RICHARD KELLY 2 YD RUN
    (MAIKON BONANI KICK)
    SYRACUSE 13
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 45 1:39 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Syracuse 13, South Florida(19) 45  4th - 1:39Oct 18 3:08 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG SOUTH FLORIDA
    MAIKON BONANI 31 YD
    SYRACUSE 13
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 38 10:39 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Syracuse 13, South Florida(19) 38  4th - 10:39Oct 18 2:45 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SYRACUSE 3 10 0 13
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 14 7 14 35 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SOUTH FLORIDA - TD, BENJAMIN WILLIAMS 1 YD RUN
    (MAIKON BONANI KICK), 6:00.
    SOUTH FLORIDA 7-0
    SYRACUSE - FG, PATRICK SHADLE 43 YD, 9:24.
    SOUTH FLORIDA 7-3
    SOUTH FLORIDA - TD, TAURUS JOHN

    Oct 18 2:37 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SOUTH FLORIDA
    TAURUS JOHNSON 9 YD PASS FROM MATT GROTHE
    (MAIKON BONANI KICK)
    SYRACUSE 13
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 35 0:12 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Syracuse 13, South Florida(19) 35  3rd - 0:12Oct 18 2:34 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SOUTH FLORIDA
    A.J. LOVE 2 YD PASS FROM MATT GROTHE
    (MAIKON BONANI KICK)
    SYRACUSE 13
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 28 5:53 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Syracuse 13, South Florida(19) 28  3rd - 5:53Oct 18 2:20 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SYRACUSE 3 10 13
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 14 7 21 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SOUTH FLORIDA - TD, BENJAMIN WILLIAMS 1 YD RUN
    (MAIKON BONANI KICK), 6:00.
    SOUTH FLORIDA 7-0
    SYRACUSE - FG, PATRICK SHADLE 43 YD, 9:24.
    SOUTH FLORIDA 7-3
    SOUTH FLORIDA - TD, TAURUS JOHNSON 7 YD

    Oct 18 1:34 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG SYRACUSE
    PATRICK SHADLE 24 YD
    SYRACUSE 13
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 21 0:08 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Syracuse 13, South Florida(19) 21  2nd - 0:08Oct 18 1:31 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SOUTH FLORIDA
    MATT GROTHE 11 YD RUN
    (MAIKON BONANI KICK)
    SYRACUSE 10
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 21 3:24 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Syracuse 10, South Florida(19) 21  2nd - 3:24Oct 18 1:21 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SYRACUSE
    CURTIS BRINKLEY 24 YD RUN
    (PATRICK SHADLE KICK)
    SYRACUSE 10
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 14 14:54 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Syracuse 10, South Florida(19) 14  2nd - 14:54Oct 18 12:55 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SOUTH FLORIDA
    TAURUS JOHNSON 7 YD PASS FROM MATT GROTHE
    (MAIKON BONANI KICK)
    SYRACUSE 3
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 14 2:09 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Syracuse 3, South Florida(19) 14  1st - 2:09Oct 18 12:48 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG SYRACUSE
    PATRICK SHADLE 43 YD
    SYRACUSE 3
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 7 5:36 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Syracuse 3, South Florida(19) 7  1st - 5:36Oct 18 12:35 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD SOUTH FLORIDA
    BENJAMIN WILLIAMS 1 YD RUN
    (MAIKON BONANI KICK)
    SYRACUSE 0
    SOUTH FLORIDA (19) 7 9:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Syracuse 0, South Florida(19) 7  1st - 9:00Oct 18 12:26 PM