St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
 tampabay.com
Print storySubscribe to the Times

Colleges: USF 31, UCF 14

Bulls' defense grows up to the task

By MIKE CAMUNAS
Published September 18, 2005

TAMPA - USF's defense was written off before the season began.

But the Bulls came into Saturday's game with Central Florida with the No. 1 passing defense in the nation. They were eighth in total defense.

South Florida had allowed 26 points and 439 yards in two games, having held Penn State's Michael Robinson to 85 passing yards, then FAMU to 85 total.

On Saturday, the Bulls limited the Golden Knights to 253 yards (45 rushing and 208 passing).

This is essentially the same unit as last year, which was ranked 77th in nation, giving up an average of 398 yards a game and 4,383 yards for the 2004 season.

"Last year was last year," said sophomore linebacker Ben Moffitt, who had four tackles against UCF, for a season total of 15. "We really don't want to worry about that. We learned from our mistakes last year, and we made a lot of them.

"We've been really focused this year, and really try to come out and do something."

The Bulls kept UCF's running game throttled through three quarters as Golden Knights running backs Kevin Smith and Dontavius Wilcox together had just 4 yards.

"We're really seeing some different things," coach Jim Leavitt said. "Last year sometimes, I really just wanted to kick myself. All the linebackers are back, and our corners are playing much better."

Last season saw the departure of Lee Roy Selmon Jr. and Javan Camon, but, Leavitt said, returning linebackers Moffitt and juniors Stephen Nicholas and Patrick St. Louis, as well as Johnnie Jones in the secondary, "really hold together back there."

Also back is defensive end Terrence Royal, who has combined with Tim Jones to rack up 20 tackles and 21/2 sacks.

"It's not just about me and Johnnie returning," said Jones, who redshirted last season. "But I think a lot of the guys matured a lot more. We had a very young team. They matured and that's why they seem like a different defense."

The Big East opener against No. 11 Louisville this week will bring about a new test. Louisville brings a potent offense carried by Michael Bush and Brian Brohm (18-for-22 passing with 368 yards and five touchdowns Saturday against Oregon State).

"That's just another team coming in," Tim Jones said.

[Last modified September 18, 2005, 06:09:04]


Baseball

  • Tigers' heads are everywhere but in the game
  • 1969 World Series MVP Clendenon dies at 70
  • AL: Sox slump: stymied by Santana
  • Boston's Ramirez does it again
  • NL: Marlins bad news in ninth

  • College football
  • Big 10: Michigan unloads on EMU
  • Big 12: Huskers block winning field goal
  • ND can't solve MSU
  • PAC-10: UCLA capitalizes on Sooners' bumbling
  • 'Canes offense starts to jell
  • ACC: Emergency QB sparks W. Virginia
  • Big East: QB's elusiveness gives Virginia a late victory
  • Not much special in Wyoming victory
  • Rattlers give their new coach his first victory
  • SEC: Vandy holds off Ole Miss, gets to 3-0

  • Colleges: FSU 28, BC 17
  • Weatherford takes command
  • B.C. a Davis family favorite
  • Game balls

  • Colleges: UF 16, UT 7
  • Ironic revenge
  • Junior kicker makes good impression
  • Gators lose key receiver, lineman to injury

  • Colleges: USF 31, UCF 14
  • Hall shows the door to UCF in Bulls' win
  • Timely instant replay goes the Bulls' way
  • Bulls' defense grows up to the task
  • Game balls

  • Commentary
  • Faceoff
  • The Buzz

  • Golf
  • Gore up by 2 over party of 5

  • In brief
  • Boxer in surgery with head trauma

  • Martial arts
  • Life filled with focus and fight

  • Motorsports
  • Momentum intangible needed in the Chase
  • Gordon, Earnhardt steal the spotlight
  • Pit box holds much more than tools of the trade

  • NFL
  • Brodeur not handling rule well
  • On the sideline
  • Today's games
  • Saints player helps with engagement

  • Outdoors
  • Put down the video game, pick up a rod

  • Preps
  • Bounced coaches, bouncing back
  • CCC stops Sickles
  • Crystal River falls short of title
  • Gator outdistances the field
  • Home course favors Brandon
  • No home cooking for 'Canes
  • Pinellas football roundup
  • Vikings hire ex-Eckerd player

  • Sunday Extra
  • Young & bold
  • The young Americans

  • Tennis
  • Kickin' back: He's still Ilie after all these years
  • France, Russia tied 1-1 in Fed Cup final
  • Letters to the Editor: Respect for Bulls
  • Rays
  • Brazelton's 'nightmare'
  • Crawford hits his mark
  • Got a minute? Carl Crawford
  • Hollins: Just let it happen, be ready
  • Miscommunications hounding Rays
  • Bucs
  • Bucs' offense overpower Bills
  • Lest you forgot about him
  • Williams, Bucs real competitors
  • Cadillac ready to carry workload
  • Bucs ready for home spark
  • Lightning
  • Duo will alternate in goal during preseason
  • Evolution of a new superstar
  •  


    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111