If you feel like you are seeing the USF football team on rewind, you’re not; the Bulls have done a lot of backpeddling this season.
An offense has a hard time scoring points without moving forward. When you’re USF and lead the nation in penalties, you do a lot of walking backwards.
“Penalties hurt us again,” coach Jim Leavitt said. “We had had four holding calls and that was most visible. We had too many people on the field at one time, that’s on me.”
The Bulls did what they could Saturday against Southern Miss to hang on to the only stats for which they top the country — most penalties per game and most yards penalized per game.
The Bulls were penalized 10 times for 83 yards against the Golden Eagles and many were in critical situations.
The Bulls’ final penalty of the night ruined what would have given USF the ball back with time to tie the game.
Down a touchdown, Javan Camon intercepted a Dustin Almond pass but cornerback Bruce Gipson was called for pass interference. The Golden Eagles got the ball back and running back Anthony Harris took the next handoff to the house, putting Southern Miss up 14 points.
Six of the Bulls’ penalties came in the third quarter.
“The penalties killed us,” Pat Julmiste said. “We shot ourselves in the foot too many times, and playing a good team like that, we can’t do that.
“We just got to fix that as a whole team. — the whole coaching staff and football players, everybody. We just got to fix that.”
Hall’s door shut: Andre Hall entered Saturday’s game ranked No. 11 in the nation in all-purpose yards.
But one week after he had four touchdowns, rushed for 119 yards and caught four passes for 65 yards, he had limited success against Southern Miss.
“We knew they were a good defense,” quarterback Pat Julmiste said. “Obviously they see what Andre did against TCU. That’s going to be in their game plan — to stop the run. Obviously that happened and we just couldn’t get it together.”
Southern Miss held Hall to 56 yards rushing. He caught one ball in the backfield for a loss.
Hall doesn’t seem to be a selfish player, though, and said he was pleading with Leavitt to call passing plays after the Golden Eagles repeatedly brought up an extra defender to stop the run.
“It really doesn’t matter about me,” Hall said. “I told coach the run game didn’t really look like it was hitting right now, so throw the ball. I really care about myself, I just wanted to win.”
Hall returned two kickoffs for 53 yards in the loss.
Receiver firsts: One player caught his first pass and another scored the receiver corps’ first touchdown of the year against Southern Miss.
Johnnie Peyton caught his first collegiate pass and went on to catch three more. The true freshman led the Bulls with four catches for 55 yards.
S.J Green scored the first touchdown by a receiver this season on a 9-yard catch with 1:38 left in the game.
Green finished with 3 catches for 43 yards.