By PETE YOUNG and ROB BRANNON
Published November 23, 2003
TAMPA - Fourteen South Florida seniors played their final home game at Raymond James Stadium Saturday.
Vince Brewer, Quinton Callum, Casey Cobb, Courtney Davenport, DeJuan Green, Ron Hemingway, Elgin Hicks, Chris Iskra, Julian Johnson, Maurice Jones, Jason Lehman, J.R. Reed, Kevin Verpaele and Huey Whittaker were honored in a pregame ceremony in which they presented red roses to their families.
The senior class has a record of 30-13. The seniors inherited USF's 21-game home streak, losing it on Oct.10 against TCU. After Saturday, it had two home losses.
Only one of the seniors, Cobb, did not dress for the game.
PENALIZED: USF has averaged about eight penalties and 80 penalty yards this season. In the first half Saturday, the Bulls committed 10 penalties for 85 yards. There was a personal foul, face mask and roughing the passer on two of UAB's three scoring drives. The Bulls have committed 17 penalties in a game three times, the last against North Texas in 2002.
RUNNING WILD: Three times this season UAB has rushed more than 40 times. Six times, the Blazers ran more than 35 times. All four of their wins came after rushing more than 35 times.
In the first half, UAB ran 21 times, ten more rushes than pass attempts. As a result, the Blazers dominated time of possession by seven minutes.
BOWL SCENARIO: The loss effectively ends USF's chances of going to a bowl, pending an anticipated appeal to the NCAA to have one of its two I-AA wins (over Nicholls State and Charleston Southern) count toward its overall total. With four I-A wins and one game remaining next week at Memphis, USF will come up shy of the minimum six I-A wins to be bowl eligible. A team can count a I-AA win toward its total once every four years. But Charleston Southern and Nicholls State do not meet the scholarship requirements to count.
BOO BIRDS: With the USF offense struggling in the first half, a chorus of boos descended from the stands.
NOVEMBER MEN: With Fresno State's loss Friday to Boise State, USF entered Saturday tied with Southern Cal for the nation's longest November win streak at nine games. The Trojans defeated UCLA in the afternoon to move ahead of the Bulls.
HIGH JUMPERS: USF defensive back Javan Camon blocked a kick for the second straight game. Camon, who blocked a field-goal attempt in the first half of the Nov.8 game at East Carolina, blocked the extra point after UAB took a 13-3 lead in the second quarter. Whittaker blocked an extra point in the second overtime to beat ECU and a field-goal attempt at the end of regulation Oct.31 vs. Cincinnati.
GREEN & GOLD SHOWDOWN: Both schools' primary colors are green and gold. The Bulls opted for green jerseys and pants; UAB had white jerseys and gold pants.
POST-THANKSGIVING: USF plays a game after the holiday for the first time Saturday at Memphis. The latest the Bulls have played in a season was Nov.24, 2001, a 34-13 home win over Utah State.
GOOD LEG: Santiago Gramatica's 43-yard first quarter field goal put USF up 3-0 and was the second-longest of his career.
TURNABOUT: USF has effectively used receiver Brian Fisher as an option quarterback, and UAB did the same with Lance Rhodes late in the first quarter. He lined up under center and rolled right for the first down.