USF used 24 second-half points to pull away from pesky Wofford and cruise to a 40-7 victory in the Bulls’ season opener Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.
In front an announced crowd of 40,360, the Bulls were tied with the Terriers just minutes before halftime. However, a strong second half allowed USFto pull away.
“I really hope I don’t see that again,” saidUSFcoach Jim Leavitt. “That was one of the most difficult preparations I’ve ever been at part of.”
On USF’s opening drive, senior running back Mo Plancher capped of a 12-play scoring drive with a 4-yard touchdown run – his first of two in the game.
Wofford came right back with a 69-yard scoring drive that ended with an Eric Breitenstein touchdown run.
In the second quarter, USF running back Aston Samuels fumbled on his first carry of the game, and Wofford drove it deep into USF territory but missed a field goal.
On the following drive and with the game tied, senior quarterback Matt Grothe threw an interception in the end zone, as the Bulls failed to capitalize on a scoring opportunity.
“It was a good play by their safety not to bite on the play action,” Grothe said. “It was a hit or miss. I missed.”
Grothe would redeem himself, however, connecting with senior Theo Wilson on a six yard touchdown to for a 14-7 lead. On the next Wofford possession, the Terriers botched an attempted punt, resulting in a USF safety and a 16-7 halftime advantage.
Grothe went 19-for-23 with 155 yards passing and 44 yards rushing. Grothe needs just 88 yards to surpass former West Virginia quarterback Pat White for the all-time Big East yardage mark.
Bulls senior running back Mo Plancher scored his second touchdown to give the Bulls a 23-7 lead and put the game out of reach. Plancher finished with a career-high 78 yards.
For more on this story, check out Tuesday’s Oracle.