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Mitchell makes impact running this time

By PETE YOUNG and SCOTT PURKS
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 3, 2002

TAMPA -- This time it counted.

South Florida senior linebacker Kawika Mitchell scored his first touchdown Saturday on a 56-yard fake punt in the first quarter, putting the Bulls up 14-0 in their 56-6 win over Charleston Southern.

It was the same play Mitchell, the up back who received the snap, pulled off Sept.14 at Arkansas, but his 69-yard run to the 4-yard line in Little Rock was called back because the Bulls didn't have enough men on the line of scrimmage.

BRAIN CRAMP: On USF's first two kickoffs, CSU kick returner Mike Washington took Justin Geisler's kickoff out of his end zone instead of downing them for touchbacks. He got to his 8-yard line the first time, the 14 the next.

WINNER: USF safety J.R. Reed is one of three ex-Hillsborough High defensive backs playing for teams having superb seasons. Reed's Bulls improved to 6-2 and the others were on unbeaten teams until Saturday. Former Terriers cornerback Preston Jackson was part of an 8-0 start at Notre Dame, which fell 14-7 to Boston College. Former Hillsborough safety Garnell Wilds is on Virginia Tech, unbeaten until losing 28-21 to Pittsburgh.

LONERS: USF's Jim Leavitt and Charleston Southern's David Dowd are the only coaches in their schools' history. Leavitt, in his sixth season, improved to 41-22. Dowd, in his 12th, fell to 34-91.

COLLISION COURSE: No.21 Bowling Green remained unbeaten with a 45-14 win over Kent State. If the Falcons win Saturday at Northern Illinois they will be the first ranked team to play USF in Tampa when they visit Nov.16.

WHATEVER WORKS: Asked before the game what his team needed to do to slow USF's offense, Dowd said, "Kidnap about 50 of them."

WHIFF: With Charleston Southern punting from its end zone in the first half, the Bulls rushed 10 men at punter Adam Resnick. Kevin Verpaele came in cleanly but missed the ball and roughed Resnick, resulting in a penalty and a first down.

TIDBITS: USF offensive lineman Frank Davis earned the first start of his career. Davis, a redshirt freshman from Panama who has been the top reserve at both tackle spots, started at left guard for Shelly Houston. ... Vince Brewer led USF with 234 rushing yards coming in but didn't have a rushing touchdown until his 2-yarder in the second quarter put the Bulls up 21-0. ... Marquel Blackwell's first-quarter pooch punt from the CSU 36 was downed at the 1, the second time in four attempts this season he has punted to the 1.

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