By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published September 18, 2005
TAMPA - USF's first encounter with instant replay was an encouraging one Saturday night.
The Big East's new replay system was called into play in the second quarter on a deflected pass that was caught - or not - by UCF's Brandon Marshall for a first down.
Before the Knights could continue their drive, replay official Nick Trainer called for a review in his press-box booth, and after a few minutes referee Randy Smith, leading a crew of Conference USA officials, announced a reversal after the review showed Marshall had lost control of the ball. UCF quarterback Steven Moffett threw an incompletion on the next play and the Knights, who could have tied it, punted. USF scored twice in the final 3:02 of the half for a 21-0 lead.
USF coach Jim Leavitt tried to get officials to review an onside kick in the season opener at Penn State, even taking a timeout to give officials a few extra minutes to consider it.
The Big East's replay system does not allow coaches to challenge plays. All decisions to review calls come from a replay official, who has the final authority to make any reversal.
PLAY AGAIN? USF athletic director Doug Woolard said after the win that he and UCF athletic director Steve Orsini will talk this week about extending the rivalry beyond its two scheduled games.
"We're pleased with the amount of interest in the game," Woolard said. "Steve and I talked last week and said we'd let this game happen and not let anything take away from it. Certainly this was an event that was well-attended and well-supported, so we'll have a chance to talk next week."
HALL SECOND: Senior running back Andre Hall, playing in his 14th game with the Bulls, moved past Clenton Crossley into second place on USF's career rushing list.
Hall, who entered the game with 1,585 yards, still has eight games remaining to catch Rafael Williams, who rushed for 2,253 yards from 1997-2000. All of those yards came when USF was playing in Division I-AA.
Hall was sidelined twice by a painful injury to his right hand, though he returned to the game both times. Hall injured his hand early in the season-opening loss at Penn State but played through the injury then as well.
Hall had X-rays on his right hand after the game and was optimistic he would be able to play Saturday against Louisville.
MORE KICKING WOES: The Bulls' kicking problems continued when freshman walk-on Kyle Bronson's 24-yard attempt was blocked by UCF's 6-foot-7 Paul Carrington in the second quarter.
Bronson, who took over for freshman Mike Benzer midway through last week's win against Florida A&M, went 3-for-3 on extra points in the first half.
For the second week in a row USF saw a shutout spoiled in the second half by special-teams problems. Three penalties on special teams led to Florida A&M's field goal last week, and UCF scored its first points on a 4-yard run by Moffett after a 60-yard punt return by freshman defensive back Joe Burnett.
THIS AND THAT: Sophomore Walter Walker made his first start at right tackle, as did freshman Jessie Hester at receiver. ... Freshman walk-on Justin Teachey, who took over kickoff duties last week when Bronson took over place-kicking, had a tackle on the first-half kickoff, though it was canceled by a penalty against UCF.