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USF routs Connecticut 38-16

Matt Grothe ran for three touchdowns and threw for another, leading South Florida to a 38-16 rout of Connecticut on Saturday.

By ap
Published October 7, 2006


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Matt Grothe ran for three touchdowns and threw for another, leading South Florida to a 38-16 rout of Connecticut on Saturday.

The rushing TDs gave Grothe seven. The most productive freshman quarterback in the nation threw his eighth TD pass of the season to Amarri Jackson in the fourth quarter, equaling the number South Florida had all of last season.

A master of the second-half comeback in his first five games, Grothe ensured the Bulls (4-2, 1-1) wouldn't need any late heroics by building a 14-9 halftime lead, then running for TDs on USF's first two possessions of the third quarter.

Connecticut (2-3, 0-1) had a punt blocked, missed a short field goal and had a 55-yard run that could have helped the Huskies to a fast start nullified by a penalty - all in the first quarter.

The misfortune continued in the second quarter when Matt Nuzie missed an extra point.

Grothe, who left briefly in the first half with an ankle injury, completed 12 of 15 passes for 146 yards. He ran for 82 yards on 15 carries and scored on jaunts of 16, 8 and 6 yards.

Benjamin Williams rushed for 108 yards and one TD for South Florida.

Both teams were coming off disappointing losses, South Florida losing 22-20 to Rutgers when Amp Hill dropped a 2-point conversion pass with 15 seconds remaining and Connecticut giving up 464 yards rushing to Navy in a 41-17 rout.

The Huskies spent much of the first half digging a hole they were never able to escape. The blocked punt set up Grothe's TD run on South Florida's first play from scrimmage and Nuzie missed a 24-yard field goal after Connecticut marched from its 44 to the Bulls' 7 late in the opening quarter.

Grothe set up Williams' 13-yard scoring run with a 31-yard completion to S.J. Green, however South Florida's offense sputtered the rest of the half, especially after the redshirt freshman was shaken up on the first play of the second quarter.

The quarterback sat out four plays, returning on the Bulls' next possession after getting his right ankle taped. UConn cut into a two-touchdown deficit with Matt Bonislawski's 10-yard TD pass to Deon Anderson and trailed 14-9 at the half after Graig Vicidomino kicked a 19-yard field goal.

The Huskies got a 1-yard TD run from Lou Allen to make it 38-16.