St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

USF seniors finish the way they began

A 59-0 win over Austin Peay is similar to the rout in the first game in 1997.


© St. Petersburg Times, published November 19, 2000

TAMPA -- Twenty-two seniors who were in uniform as freshmen when the South Florida football program began playing games four seasons ago ended their careers Saturday nearly identically to the way they began.

In 1997, they helped commence the program with an 80-3 win over Kentucky Wesleyan. Saturday, they ended their tenure with a 59-0 victory over Austin Peay, closing out their college football experience exactly the way they had hoped.

"To start the game, we just kept telling ourselves we wanted to finish like we started," senior center Joey Sipp said. "We didn't want to let the emotion get in the way of that."

South Florida (7-4) said goodbye to its seniors and Division I-AA football Saturday in front of an announced 23,390 at Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls become a I-A independent next season.

The senior class, 14 of whom had been with the program since its inception, leaves the school with an 18-2 record at Raymond James Stadium, having gone undefeated at home this season.

"I don't know if there is a group of seniors around that could have done what these guys did," South Florida coach Jim Leavitt said.

The Bulls dominated Saturday's game from the opening possession, earning a 21-point lead after the first quarter and scoring on every possession but one in the first half.

By halftime, South Florida led 38-0 and it didn't get any better for Austin Peay (2-9). The Bulls were so in control of the game that backup quarterback Mike Usry was in the lineup before halftime. By the end, the Bulls had used three quarterbacks, including starter Marquel Blackwell and backup Kevin Patullo.

Saturday's game included record-breaking performances by three seniors. Kicker Bill Gramatica set a school record and tied an NCAA Division I-AA mark with a 63-yard field goal, wide receiver Scott McCready became the school single-season reception leader with 37, and defensive back Anthony Henry intercepted a pass from Austin Peay quarterback John Shephard with 4:39 left in the second quarter, tying teammate Roy Manns for single-season interceptions (5).

With the backups getting playing time, freshman running back Vince Brewer rushed for a game-high 105 yards on 14 carries, including a 5-yard touchdown run with 7:47 left to give the Bulls a 59-0 lead.

South Florida generated 540 yards of offense, including 298 rushing, while holding Austin Peay to 117 total yards. The Bulls began their scoring barrage three minutes into the game with a 15-yard touchdown run by senior Rafael Williams for a 7-0 lead.

South Florida scored on its next possession on a 3-yard run by senior Otis Dixon.

After the Governors went three and out on their next possession, South Florida struck quickly: 7 seconds, 41 yards, one play.

Blackwell hooked up with McCready for a touchdown to give the Bulls a 21-0 lead with 2:30 left in the first quarter.

A non-scholarship I-AA independent, Austin Peay just didn't have the manpower or the talent to hang with South Florida.

The Bulls opened the second-quarter scoring with Gramatica's 63-yard field goal, taking a 24-0 lead with 12:07 left.

"It was incredible," Gramatica said.

The Bulls scored twice more before the half ended: a 22-yard run by Leon Matthews and a 10-yard run by Williams (aided by Henry's interception).

The touchdowns came less frequently in the second half. South Florida scored on a 67-yard pass from Patullo to Hugh Smith with 3:02 left in the third quarter, the first touchdown for Patullo.

"I threw the ball and I didn't really see what happened," said Patullo, a redshirt freshman. "I got spun around and hit the ground laying face down so I couldn't see. I heard the crowd cheer ... I got up and looked at the replay board and I saw he scored so I ran down there to him. When I got into the end zone, it hit me that I had my first touchdown pass."

The Bulls closed out the game with two more touchdowns. Freshman cornerback Kenny Robinson intercepted a pass with 13:38 left and returned it 64 yards for a touchdown and Brewer scored with 7:47 left.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

Gary Shelton
  • Legendary
  • Random thoughts

  • Hubert Mizell
  • FSU best; UM gets this vote

  • Bucs
  • Anthony on the rebound
  • NFL game day: week 12
  • Bucs can put their cold streak on ice
  • NFL briefs
  • Buccaneers best and worst: game 11
  • Bucs chat
  • 'I'm just one of the lucky ones'
  • Buccaneers by the numbers
  • Buccaneers quick hits
  • Analysis: Sean Salisbury (ESPN)
  • Bears not laughing vs. Bucs
  • Johnson faces tough return for Bills

  • College football
  • FSU unstoppable
  • USF seniors finish the way they began
  • FSU is turning the series tide
  • From Orangemen to Orange Bowl?
  • College football this week on TV
  • College football briefs
  • Fine game; you had to be there
  • Troutman is nearly enough
  • Nunnally, others catch NFL scouts' eyes
  • FAMU survives classic Classic
  • USF sideliners
  • Bulls can see the (natural) light
  • Gramatica goes out with a huge bang
  • UF-FSU sideliners
  • Four years added to annual battle
  • FSU quotebook
  • UF quotebook
  • Minnis making most of senior season
  • With its running attack stifled, Florida offense falls flat again

  • Lightning
  • Players want just 1 thing from refs
  • Sens lose one of their top scorers
  • Slap shots
  • Still no doubt in Dallas about The Goal

  • Devil Rays
  • 'Q' may be facing last days as a Ray

  • Sports Etc.
  • Clubs: $200,000 Game: still stinks
  • 'Angels' accept great risks to protect boaters
  • Highs and lows
  • The week in sports
  • Sports briefs
  • Paterno a champ; Bowden?
  • Bears schedule
  • College basketball this week on TV
  • Raising Cain races off with the F1 title
  • Super Cats move to front of race scene
  • A perfect season in many ways
  • Second chance pays off
  • Women's basketball roundup
  • Sixers rule East partly on merit
  • Tampa wins Division II region volleyball title
  • Captain's corner
  • Tennis briefs
  • In 10K, the late shall finish first
  • Avoid chilling prospects
  • Gaffney starts day with top-20 finish
  • Jesuit proves too much for Hurricanes
  • Young Jaguars finish fourth
  • Top five propel Jesuit to 2A title
  • Hurricane wins after near miss
  • Warhawks finally get second
  • Hard work lifts Buc freshman
  • Keswick star wins her third state title
  • Youth served at state meet

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts