Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Long TD plays fire Bulls early
By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published November 4, 2007
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
TAMPA - Before things turned Cincinnati's way, USF got two huge touchdowns from senior cornerbacks Trae Williams and Mike Jenkins, who put 14 points on the scoreboard in the first five minutes before the Bulls offense even took the field on Saturday.
Williams intercepted a Ben Mauk pass and returned it 73 yards for his first touchdown since his freshman year. And after Cincinnati answered with a long touchdown pass, Jenkins lined up for his first kickoff return since high school and took it 100 yards for the longest play in USF's 11-year history.
"This was my first time getting back there in my college career," Jenkins said. "They called me into the office, asked me if I wanted to do it. I said, 'Yeah, put me back there.' I tried to get used to catching balls early in the week."
Jenkins broke loose up the left sideline, getting key blocks from Jerome Murphy, Ben Moffitt and Chris Robinson. It surpasses a 96-yard kickoff return by J.R. Reed in 2003 as the longest play in USF history.
"I've never played in a game like that in my whole career playing football," said Jenkins, who had 192 yards on five returns, setting a USF record by 45 yards. "It was just crazy. I definitely thought we had the momentum starting off the game, and it slowly changed as the game went on."
Williams has 14 career interceptions, but the return yardage is something new. On his previous 13 picks, he totaled 61 return yards.
BIG EAST RECORD: Defensive end George Selvie was held without a sack but had four tackles for loss, giving him 27.5 this season, setting a Big East record.
Pittsburgh's Bryan Knight had 26 in 2000. Selvie now has at least three games to go after the NCAA record of 32, set by Western Michigan's Jason Babin in 2003.
HOMEGOING CROWD: USF'shomecoming drew an announced 57,379 fans, short of the sellouts in the Bulls' previous two home games but more than 12,000 above any Raymond James Stadium crowd before those two games.
There were an unusually high amount of no-shows, however, as the actual attendance was 45,172, according to the Tampa Sports Authority. Plenty of those, seeing the Bulls trailing by 18 points in the second half, didn't stick around for the exciting finish.
THIS AND THAT: Freshman Carlton Mitchell, who made his first start, had 110 receiving yards. He's the only Bulls receiver to have a 100-yard game in the past 12 games, and he has done it twice. ... Nickelback Tyller Roberts also made his first career start, and defensive tackle Allen Cray made his first start of the season. ... USF's running backs combined for 20 rushing yards on 14 carries, though junior Ben Williams had a team-high eight catches for 63 yards. ... USF last lost three games in a row at the end of the 2005 season. The Bulls have lost three straight conference games just once, in 2004 during their final season in Conference USA.