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Blackwell strong on the run again

By SHARON GINN

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 1, 2000


TAMPA -- South Florida's starting quarterback, Marquel Blackwell, also may end up as one of South Florida's most successful running backs.

For the second week in a row, Blackwell rushed for more than 100 yards. He had 132 yards on 12 carries against Baylor on Sept. 23, and Saturday rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries.

He became the second player in USF history to rush for more than 100 yards in back-to-back games. Fullback Dyral McMillan had consecutive 200-yard games last season.

"He's a special player," coach Jim Leavitt said of Blackwell. "He can throw, he can run. He's got both dimensions. ... He's developed more composure."

Blackwell's string of 99 consecutive passes without an interception ended in the third quarter, however, when he was picked off for the second time this season. It was the second longest such streak in school history; Chad Barnhardt went 110 in a row without an interception in 1997.

INJURY REPORT: Two starters, receiver DeAndrew Rubin and nose tackle Lee Roy Selmon Jr., left the game with ankle injuries. Rubin left in the first quarter; X-rays were negative but he did not return. Selmon, who had just returned from a shoulder injury, did not play the second half.

Starting free safety Jay Mize left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder stinger; his status was unknown.

PUNTBULLSKI: In the second quarter the Bulls attempted the first fake punt in school history. On fourth and 1 at USF's 29, reserve running back Derrick Rackard advanced the ball 6 yards for the first down. The drive ended eight plays later, though, with Blackwell's fumble into the end zone for a Troy State touchback.

SMITH A WEAPON: Hugh Smith continues to justify his switch from running back to receiver. The junior -- who had five catches for 70 yards a week ago -- had his two longest catches of the season, both 29 yarders. The first led to USF's first touchdown a play later.

ROSTER NOTES: Sophomore defensive tackle Tavares Jurineack got his first start, ahead of seniors Therrimann Edwards and Ron Johnson. Jurineack, in his first season for USF, entered with six tackles in four games.

Edwards, who had started 32 of USF's 37 games -- including all of 1999 -- was in the game by Troy State's second drive and sacked quarterback Brock Nutter for a loss of 6 yards. Also, Tchecoy Blount started at left end in place of Steve Hatley.

QUICK COMEBACK: Trojans running back Demontray Carter's 46-yard second-quarter touchdown run capped the quickest scoring drive against USF this season. Troy State made the 80-yard trip in five plays, using 1 minute, 24 seconds. The drive came after USF took a 7-0 lead with a 22-yard scoring pass from Blackwell to Scott McCready.

BULL BITS: It was USF's first live TV game this season. ... Troy State's 10 points were its lowest first-half total and final score this season.

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