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Bulls remain on course for BCS berth
After beating Cincinnati 31-16, USF needs two more wins against Connecticut and West Virginia to earn the automatic bid and at least a share in the league championship.
Published November 19, 2005
Surprising South Florida remained in contention for a BCS bowl berth Saturday, pulling away in the second half to beat Cincinnati 31-16 for the Bulls' third straight Big East win.
Conference rushing leader Andre Hall went over 1,000 yards for the season and scored his 15th touchdown, and USF (6-3, 4-1) forced two third-quarter turnovers to transform a close game into a rout.
In addition to becoming bowl eligible with its sixth victory, USF stayed on course for a possible showdown with No. 13 West Virginia for the Big East's automatic spot in the lucrative Bowl Championship Series.
If the Bulls win at Connecticut next Saturday and defeat West Virginia at home on Dec. 3, USF would be assured of at least a tie for the conference title and represent the league in the BCS.
D'Juan Brown returned an interception 26 yards for a TD that made it 17-7 midway through the third quarter. Four minutes later, Cincinnati quarterback Dustin Grutza fumbled at his own 22 to leave the Bulls in position to take a commanding lead.
Receiver Amarri Jackson, the star of the 45-14 upset of Louisville that opened BCS possibilities for the Bulls in September, scored on the next play after mishandling a handoff on a reverse.
Jackson picked up the ball on the bounce and headed around right end before cutting back to the left and weaving his way through the Cincinnati defense for his third rushing TD of the season.
The 6-foot-5 sophomore ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third in USF's defeat of then-No. 9 Louisville.
A week after rushing for 222 yards and three TDs in a 27-0 shutout at Syracuse, Hall ran for 101 on 29 carries against Cincinnati (4-6, 2-4), which angered the running back last season by continuing to throw the ball late in a lopsided victory over the Bulls.
Hall expressed his dislike for the Bearcats in pregame interviews and said he'd liked to run up the score if USF got a chance Saturday.
It didn't happen.
Pat Julmiste put USF up 31-7 with a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, but Bulls couldn't get into the end zone again.
Grutza completed 19 of 30 passes for 240 yards for Cincinnati, including TD throws of 25 yards to Dominick Goodman and 6 yards to Butler Benton. The Bearcats outgained the Bulls 366 yards to 345.