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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Bulls DBs take air out of Heels
The secondary shuts down UNC's highly touted - and boastful - receivers.
By BRENDAN GALELLA, Times Correspondent
Published September 23, 2007
[DANIEL WALLACE | Times]
Louis Gachette snags one of the Bulls' four interceptions. Gachette also made a teeth-rattling hit on a tackle.
TAMPA - It all started with a few quotes in the newspaper.
North Carolina receiver Hakeem Nicks boasted that no secondary in the nation could stop the Tar Heels passing attack, telling the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer, "Just be ready. Because we're coming."
When the Tar Heels came to No. 23 South Florida, the Bulls were determined to prove they were ready and used those comments as motivation.
"We were just concentrating on what he said," said USF safety Louis Gachette, who had one of four Bulls interceptions. "We just wanted to make him regret what he said."
Entering Saturday, North Carolina ranked second in the ACC in passing with 303.3 yards per game. The receiver trio of Nicks, Brooks Foster and Brandon Tate averaged 224.6 yards per game and caught eight touchdowns through three games.
Friday, safeties coach Troy Douglas posted Nicks' comments in the locker of every player in the secondary, giving the Bulls an extra boost before their 37-10 victory.
"Mike (Jenkins) and I took it as a personal attack because he plays outside receiver and he knew we were guarding him today," cornerback Trae Williams said. "I think that really got us fired up. You can always talk trash, but you better back it up."
Freshman quarterback T.J. Yates threw a career-high four interceptions and finished with 85 yards passing. North Carolina's big three receivers totaled six receptions and 60 yards.
With his 11th career interception, Williams moved past Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Henry into second place in team history.
"It feels good to hear that you had more than someone in the NFL," Williams, a senior, said. "Hopefully I can get some more because I have a lot to catch up to J.R. Reed."
Reed, of the Philadelphia Eagles, had 18 interceptions during four seasons at USF.
Along with the interception totals, the Bulls secondary wanted to show it could handle the challenge physically.
Gachette had one of the plays of the game when he knocked tailback Anthony Elzy into the sideline for his only tackle. The junior said he wanted to send a message with the stop.
"I was coming down on the play and I saw the hit," safety Nate Allen said. "He just laid into him and it sounded awful. I just stopped for a minute because that was really a big hit and that got the defense going."
For Gachette, who is used primarily as a backup for Allen or Carlton Williams, providing a spark to the defense is nothing new.
"He's always been involved in one big play when he's out there," defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said. "He had that big hit on the sideline and cut his lip. That goes to show you what kind of player he is."
As the Bulls improved to 3-0, Gachette is welcoming any other challengers to USF's defense.
"We held North Carolina to (164) yards of total offense today," Gachette said. "So I think we made him swallow those words."