It looked as if USF was positioning itself to upset the Michigan State Spartans well into the third quarter on Saturday afternoon in a game that eventually resulted in a 21-6 shutdown for USF.
The Bulls trailed 7-3 with 29 seconds left in the first half when USF redshirt junior linebacker Hans Louis stripped the ball from MSU punt returner Andre Sims and recovered it at the MSU 22-yard-line, giving the Bulls a prime opportunity to score.
After a 15-yard pass interference penalty on MSU advanced USF to the 7-yard-line, USF had an even more prime opportunity to score a touchdown.
As was the case all afternoon, senior USF quarterback Bobby Eveld, under heavy pressure from the Spartan defensive front, failed to connect with receivers on first and second down.
Coach Willie Taggart called on senior running back Marcus Shaw on third down, who gained five yards on a rushing attempt but failed to reach the endzone.
Taggart then elected to kick a field goal, making it 7-6 heading into halftime, instead of going for the two yards needed to reach the endzone and score a touchdown on fourth down.
It was the closest that USF got to an offensive touchdown, as they didn’t advance past the MSU 30-yard-line for the rest of the game.
Michigan State defensive end Shillique Calhoun scored two touchdowns for the Spartans in the game, one off of a fumble recovery and one off of an interception of Eveld and single-handedly swung the game in favor of the Spartans, 21-6.
Eveld was 6-of-25 for 66 yards with one interception, and sophomore quarterback Steven Bench saw action for one series while Eveld was on the sidelines.
The Bulls defense held the Spartans to seven points on the afternoon, while the Spartan defensive touchdowns won their team a game for the second week in a row.
Other bright spots for Bulls fans included redshirt senior linebacker DeDe Lattimore, who was constantly near the ball and recorded a career-best and team-high 15 tackles.
The Spartans, in a four-man quarterback battle heading into the season, decided to play three different quarterbacks in the game and were held to only 94 yards passing by the USF defense.
Shaw had an impressive game for the second consecutive week, rushing for 94 yards on 23 carries.
USF will play Florida Atlantic University at home next Saturday.