Bulls open conference play with 2OT win

It took a hurricane to stop the USF football team this weekend.

Fresh off a 45-44 double overtime win at TCU on Saturday, the Bulls were forced to stay an extra day and a half in Arlington, Texas while Hurricane Jeanne moved through the state Sunday.

Even more important than improving to 2-1 and getting the first conference win of the season was that the USF offense finally showed up after two lackluster performances.

“We were very fortunate to pull it out,” coach Jim Leavitt said. “These were two teams that really wanted to win awfully bad.”

After TCU matched a USF touchdown in the second overtime, it looked like the game would go on to a third overtime.

But the Horned Frogs mishandled the snap on the extra-point attempt, giving the Bulls their fifth consecutive double-overtime win and their fourth in 11 games.

USF took a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by sophomore Pat Julmiste on the second drive of the game.

Three drives later, TCU had a 10-7 lead.

Playing from behind the rest of the game, impressive performances by Andre Hall, Julmiste, and a pair of receivers lifted the Bulls offense.

Each time TCU scored, USF had an answer.

Junior Joe Bain caught a career-high four passes for 110 yards. S.J. Green caught 10 passes, more than double what he had all of last season, for a total of 119 yards.

Hall had four touchdowns on the night.

The Bulls got some sweet revenge from the Horned Frogs, who ended USF’s 21-game home win streak a year ago. The loss snapped TCU’s 15-game regular-season home-game win streak.

“They had come into our place and ended our streak,” Leavitt said. “We made a million mistakes. But we needed our offense tonight and they really came through.”

Julmiste had his best game of his career, throwing for a touchdown and running for one.

“He’s finally being consistent,” quarterback coach Rod Smith said. “It’s what we’ve been preaching to him. He showed signs of that in practice.”

Julmiste was 22 of 33 for 324 yards and no interceptions. It was the fifth most any USF quarterback has thrown for in a game.

“He’s a pretty level-headed kid anyway,” Smith said. “He doesn’t get big headed, and he doesn’t seem to get rattled, either, when things get bad. He kind of stays on an even keel. I’m sure it helps his confidence. He feels good, obviously, but I don’t think it’s going to get to the point where he takes things for granted.”

Hall scored touchdowns from one and 13 yards in both overtimes and senior Clenton Crossley had a three-yard run with 1:26 left in the game to tie the score at 31 and sent the game into overtime, although USF played from behind for most of the game.

Running back Andre Hall had touchdowns from 8 yards (run) and 18 yards (catch) to tie the game in the second half.