USF quarterback B.J. Daniels used 10 wide receivers in the Bulls’ 37-34 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday, with redshirt freshman Deonte Welch standing out. In his second career start, he stepped up in a major way, catching five passes for a team-high 130 yards.
Welch was relied on after sophomore Sterling Griffin injured his right ankle in the third quarter. Griffin injured the same ankle in the offseason that caused him to miss the entire season last year.
“It was an opportunity to step up and make big plays because there were a couple of receivers out, so I just played my role by stepping up,” Welch said.
Welch credited USF’s offensive system for his ability to make plays against the Bearcats.
“It was just the play calls, we practice this everyday, we go out and work hard,” he said. “So it was just something that happened. It was all a team thing. It’s not just about me. Everybody worked, and because of the team I made some big plays.”
With success on short and medium length crossing routes, Welch proved himself to be a weapon in the open field.
Penalties were again an issue for USF in Saturday’s loss.
The Bulls were flagged 10 times for 109 yards and, for the second week in a row, amassed the most yards in Coach Skip Holtz’s tenure with the team.
Holtz hesitated to call his team undisciplined and instead said he needed a chance to take a closer look at the penalties on film.
“(Last week) we had nine, and I sent a bunch of them into the (Big East) office and they agreed they shouldn’t have been penalties,” he said. “So I will reserve my judgment on getting upset over penalties and getting mad at players until I have the opportunity to watch the film. I made that mistake last week. I made the mistake of getting on a bunch of players for penalties that were thrown, and I put on the film and I couldn’t find the penalties.”