Just before Rutgers wide-receiver Kenny Britt danced across the goal line on a 93-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter on Saturday, it started to rain at Raymond James Stadium.
And when it rains, it pours.
“We had a guy on him,” USF coach Jim Leavitt said. “We just didn’t make the play.”
That fourth-quarter touchdown reception— which was the second- longest in Rutgers history — put the Scarlet Knights up 42-16, and added insult to an already injured home crowd of 47,216 that saw the Scarlet Knights dominate the Bulls 49-16. The “boos” began to rain, as well.
“We’ve done things like that in the fourth quarter all year,” USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said. “It’s a mystery to me. We just have to try to correct things.”
If there is one thing the Bulls need to correct, it’s a defensive secondary that’s given up more than 210 passing yards in each of the past three losses, including 294 yards given up to Rutgers on Saturday.
With the win, Britt — who had eight receptions for 173 yards — became the Rutgers all-time leader in career-receiving yards, earning 2,666.
“(That record) means a lot to me right now,” Britt said. “After the hard work that I’ve done — and that we’ve done as a team all season — seeing the results on the field feels good.”
He broke the record on a 36-yard reception in the second quarter. He was the only receiver downfield for the USF secondary to cover, but still no one could guard him.
“They ran a lot of max-protection type schemes at us,” Burnham said. “They would block everyone, and just send a receiver out in the open.”
Giving up big plays has been a constant problem for the Bulls’ defense. USF has given up over 15 yards, per reception, to opponents in its four Big East losses this season.
“We didn’t play very well, that’s obvious,” Leavitt said. “Our defense just couldn’t stop them. We just couldn’t stop them at all today.”
Britt said it wasn’t only the poor USF defense that helped him have a big day.
“The fire we had to come out and play here, and approach each week as a one-game season, was good,” he said. “Everyone is focused. “