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College football: USF 45-Louisville 14

D takes its cues from Moffitt's hustle

USF linebacker makes impact plays all over the field despite being briefly sidelined with cramps.

By MIKE CAMUNAS
Published September 25, 2005

TAMPA - Louisville's Elvis Dumervil was expected to be the dominant defensive player on the field Saturday night.

But USF linebacker Ben Moffitt stole the show.

Against the No. 9 team in the nation, the redshirt sophomore helped the Bulls to their biggest upset in school history.

Moffitt led the team with 14 tackles, had a fumble recovery, broke up a pass by Brian Brohm and had a sack for a 13-yard loss. On top of that, he needed an IV during the third quarter to alleviate cramps.

After the IV co-defensive coordinator Rick Kravitz said, "He came right to me and said, "I've got to go back in. I've got to go back in.' I mean, what can you say about a guy who doesn't want to leave the field?

"It was such a difficult offense to play against, and he did a great job of keeping everyone under control. Middle linebacker has a lot of responsibility and Ben Moffitt did a great job. I mean, he's the one who has to make the calls."

While Dumervil, who leads the NCAA with nine sacks, was held sackless, Moffitt piled up the stats before deflecting credit.

"Always room for improvement," said Moffitt, who leads the team with 29 tackles after having 23 last season. "We played a good game; I'm glad we won, but I hated that they scored. And that happens to the best of them.

"Everybody played good. I don't want to be boastful or anything. I just want to be a humble guy."

Moffitt said the upset "was something you dream up since you're a little kid, like my son's (Trevor) age (2). You grow up playing touch football and tag football and this (game) is a Cinderella story. You're the underdogs and you come out and win."

Moffitt's teammates were full of praise. Defensive end Terrence Royal expects a strong game every week from Moffitt.

"I'm not surprised that Ben (had a game like that)," said Royal, who had a fumble recovery. "I expect that from him. We and Ben can be a suffocating defense. He comes ready every day. That's why I love him."

[Last modified September 25, 2005, 02:15:40]


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