Bulls’ performance a mixed bag

ORLANDO — The USF football team improved to 7-0 all-time in overtime games with Saturday’s 31-24 win against the UCF Knights. The Bulls, however, had serious problems on special teams.

Junior Delbert Alvarado was 1-of-3 kicking field goals, and UCF’s senior cornerback Joe Burnett had 206 all-purpose yards, including a 91-yard kick return for a touchdown.

USF coach Jim Leavitt said special teams is a problem that needs to be fixed soon.

“We have to do something with our kickoff team. I am incredibly disappointed with that,” Leavitt said. “I am terribly disappointed with our punt team and punt coverage.”

Leavitt also said he was disappointed in the field goal team and that he has to “look at different things.”

Career night
During the offseason, Leavitt said senior tight end Cedric Hill was a very important player for the Bulls. With Saturday’s game tied at 10 going into the third quarter, Hill played like one.

He had three catches for 54 yards and a career-high two touchdowns. Going into Saturday’s game, Hill had two touchdowns in his USF career.

“It was a great night for me and that’s what I set my goals to be this year — be better than I was last year,” Hill said.  “This is my last year so it really means a lot to me.”

Despite his personal success, Hill said he only wants to help the team win.

“I’m not trying to do any of this for myself,” Hill said. “I’m doing this for my teammates. When my name is called, I’ve got to do whatever I can to help my team win, and those were two big touchdowns.”

Missing in action
Several regulars in the Bulls’ lineup saw little or no action Saturday — most notably sophomore running back Mike Ford.

Ford injured his ankle during the Bulls’ week one win against Tennessee-Martin.

“We wanted his ankle to be fine because Mike’s an awfully good running back,” Leavitt said. “He couldn’t get up on his toes. He could have helped a little bit, but it wasn’t going to help playing him.”

Sophomore tight end Trent Pupello and senior running back Ben Williams saw limited action as they were also recovering from ankle injuries suffered in the Bulls’ season-opener.