South Florida routs Wofford 40-7 after slow start

Sep 6, 2009 - 3:44 AM By FRED GOODALL AP Sports Writer

TAMPA, Fla.(AP) -- Moise Plancher ran for two touchdowns and Matt Grothe moved closer to becoming the Big East's career total offense leader Saturday night, leading South Florida to a season-opening 40-7 rout of Wofford.

Plancher scored on runs of 4 and 9 yards and finished with 78 yards rushing on 12 carries. Grothe threw a second-quarter touchdown pass to Theo Wilson and had 155 yards passing and 44 rushing to increase his four-year total to 10,441 yards - 88 shy of Pat White's Big East record.

USF overcame a slow start, snapping a 7-7 tie on Grothe's touchdown pass to Theo Wilson and adding a safety to make it 16-7 before halftime. Plancher scored his second touchdown early in the third quarter, and the Bulls rolled from there.

Wofford's wingbone offense was effective early, and the Terriers wound up rushing for 177 yards on 50 attempts. Fullback Eric Breitenstein gained 121 yards on 13 carries and scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter.

USF coach Jim Leavitt insisted that opening against Wofford, which won nine games and participated in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs each of the past two years, would be a good test for a young, but talented team that expects to contend for the Bulls' first Big East title.

Wofford played South Carolina tough a year ago, losing 23-13 but drawing a glowing review from Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier, who saluted the team's effort level. For most of the first half, the Terriers gave USF all it could handle, too.

Sophomore quarterback Mitch Allen, making his first college start, answered Grothe's game-opening touchdown drive with an impressive march of his own. The Terriers moved 69 yards in 13 plays, tying the game 7-all on Breitenstein's 2-yard run.

Wofford turned back one USF threat with Tommy Irvin's end zone interception of Grothe, whose 39-yard run got the Bulls inside the 10-yard line. Four plays later, the Terriers began unraveling.

An errant snap on a punt set up Grothe's 6-yard scoring pass to Theo Wilson with 36 seconds left in the opening half. A second bad snap that sailed over Chris Tommie's head resulted in a safety, making it 16-7, when the Wofford punter ran down the loose ball and kicked it through the end zone with one second remaining.

If Tommie had picked up the ball - instead of kicking it intentionally - just inside the 20, the final seconds of the half likely would have run out.

Plancher's second TD run and Delbert Alvarado's 30-yard field goal extended USF's lead to 26-7 in the third quarter.

Lindsey Lamar scored on a 13-yard run and Grothe's backup, B.J. Daniel, threw a 22-yard TD pass to Jeffrey Wilson in the fourth quarter.

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