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Florida Today: South Florida sacks UCF

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You know O'Liar is beggining to feel the pressure when he starts knocking his players in public. See bold print below. Notice how he refuses to give any credit....which means he knows that he got out coached and out talented.

Link: South Florida sacks UCF



First, Mike Walker's right hand went into the air, signifying he was behind the defense and open in the end zone for the potential game-tying touchdown.

Soon a second hand followed, only this time it was palms up and tinged with disgust.

When University of Central Florida quarterback Steven Moffett was hit from behind with 22 seconds remaining Saturday, the University of Central Florida missed out on a golden opportunity to tie the game and instead had to settle for a dispiriting 24-17 loss to rival South Florida.

A Citrus Bowl crowd of 46,708 -- third-largest in UCF history -- saw the Golden Knights methodically drive the length of the field in the final two minutes only to be stopped on fourth-and-five from the 9.

Walker, who had 12 catches for 133 yards in the game, got behind USF cornerback Mike Jenkins, but the ball never came after Moffett was plowed under by the Bulls' Chris Robinson. UCF coach George O'Leary was more disappointed that the ball wasn't delivered on time than the protection breaking down.

"It's wide-open and (Moffett) is sitting there pumping the ball," O'Leary said. "The tight end lost his protection. (Walker) was wide open . . . one more second and if that ball's gone . . . this is a great game to coach."

UCF (1-2) was forced to scramble in the final minutes after Bulls quarterback Matt Grothe threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Ean Randolph with 3:20 remaining. Making matters worse for UCF was the fact that USF pulled off the winning score on a third-and-14 situation.

"This is the best feeling in the world," said Grothe, who passed for 302 yards, ran for 73 more yards and accounted for three scores. "Maybe this will finally shut some of these fans up."

The two schools met Saturday for just the second time, and already the series is filled with acrimony. They will play again in 2007 and '08, but only because Conference USA forced the Bulls (3-0) to continue the series as part of their exit agreement. USF has made no secret it has little desire to continue playing UCF in the future.

Coach Jim Leavitt, architect of USF's swift rise to prominence, said his team took offense to being labeled "renegades" in the days leading up to the game. USF suspended three players before the season because of drug problems and also had nine recruits who were academic nonqualifiers.

"Sometimes they take a lot of hits, which is unfair," Leavitt said of his players. "I wish the truth would always be told about our players. I'm tired of people attacking our guys. . . . They're not a bunch of renegades."

O'Leary's frustration stemmed from a UCF defense that continues to be a sore spot that undermines an efficient offense. UCF's secondary was tricked on a 31-yard reverse pass early in the fourth quarter that put USF up 17-10.

UCF tied the game at 17-all when Blake Carter returned a blocked punt 31 yards for a touchdown. It was redemption for Carter, who roughed the punter in the first half and cost UCF some valuable field position.

USF won the game in the fourth quarter by driving 90 yards in nine plays. Grothe, who led USF to a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter last week against Florida International, set up the game-winning pass beautifully by holding UCF safety Sha' Reff Rashad in the middle of the field. The Lakeland native then hit a streaking Randolph on the backside for the game-winning points with 3:20 to play.

"We had some situations where kids have to make plays. Safeties have to play with their eyes," O'Leary said. "A couple of those balls looked like they were punted. The safety has to be a factor on those plays."

UCF was without standout tailback Kevin Smith, suspended for one game for what O'Leary termed "a violation of team rules." His backup, Jason Peters, ran for 98 yards.

Moffett struggled with his accuracy most of the day, completing just 19 of 44. He was intercepted twice, UCF's first turnovers of the season, and he was sacked three times. The one that will stay with him for the next 10 days -- UCF next hosts Southern Miss on Sept. 26 -- will be the final play when he had Walker open.

"It looked like Mike got behind them, but when I got ready to throw the ball I got hit," said Moffett, who fumbled on the play. "I didn't see the guy coming from behind, and he stripped the ball from me. It was there, and if I would have had one more second, I might have been able to get the ball out there to Mike."

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"Maybe this will finally shut some of these fans up."

Love this GrothE quote  8-)

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pressure is on GOL

usf should separate itself further from   ftu/ou/oc after another better year of recruiting

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