Jump to content
What's New
  • USF Bulls fans join us at The Bulls Pen

    It's simple, free and connects you to other South Florida Bulls fans!

real good read about Delbert


Recommended Posts


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  958
  • Reputation:   35
  • Days Won:  0
  • Joined:  09/02/2006

could not find this story posted so.... it really shows just how close are team is

AUBURN, Ala.

On another night, you might attribute the outcome to the difference in quarterbacks.

In another situation, you might argue one team beat another because it declined to panic and refused to bow.

As for me, I will always believe South Florida beat Auburn on a warm September night because of faith. The kind of faith that is difficult to explain and impossible to fabricate.

Like the family huddled together in the top of the bleachers, above the band, at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The family with heads bowed in prayer as the 80,000 around them made a stadium feel as if it were shaking loose from its foundation.

Like the coach standing on the sideline, sensing the accusatory stares of players as he sent the field-goal unit out in the final minute. Two yards from the end zone, he was putting his trust in a young man who already had missed four field goals.

Like the 18-year-old placekicker staring at the ground and trying to focus on the job at hand. "Head down, follow through," he said. "Head down, follow through, head down ... God help me, please."

The kick was a chip shot. Nothing more than an extra point, really. It didn't win the game, it only sent it to overtime where Matt Grothe and Jessie Hester would become USF's heroes for the night.

But what this kick did - this field goal of 18 yards by sophomore Delbert Alvarado with 55 seconds remaining in regulation - was confirm a family's faith in their prayers, justify a coach's trust in his player, and vindicate a young man's belief in himself.

"One day, I'm going to tell my kids about this game," Alvarado said. "I'm going to teach them what this taught me. That if you believe in something, if you are willing to fight for something, you can accomplish anything."

And so it happened on what could have been the worst night of Alvarado's football career. Flirting with an upset of major proportions, the Bulls were hanging by a thread. They could barely run the ball, they were struggling to contain Auburn's backs, and they were coming from behind in the second half.

And every time they had a chance to tie the score, Alvarado failed to come through.

He pushed a 37-yard field goal wide left early in the third quarter. A few minutes later, he had a 45-yard field partially deflected. And a few minutes after that, a 37-yard field goal was batted back in his face.

His heart was breaking, but not for himself. He could handle his own disappointment. It was what he was doing to his teammates that ate at him. They were playing the game of their lives, and he was threatening to ruin it all.

When Alvarado came off the field after one of his misses, his head was drooped low and his spirit was seemingly dragging behind. Coach Jim Leavitt grabbed him before Alvarado could reach the bench.

"You've got to get your head up because you're going to have a chance to win this game before it's all over," Leavitt shouted.

"I've let the team down," Alvarado said.

"You're going to let them down more if you're not ready to kick a field goal at the end of this game," Leavitt replied.

As he stood waiting on the sideline, Alvarado's teammates began coming by. One after another, they told him they believed in him. They trusted him. They loved him.

"We're a family, and you always stick by your family," linebacker Ben Moffitt said. "Win or lose, we were in this together."

Alvarado has known disappointment before. He was USF's punter as a true freshman before losing the job at midseason in 2006. He later became the placekicker - and booted a Big East record 56-yarder against Syracuse - before putting in his claim for both jobs this preseason.

After the three consecutive misses Saturday night, Alvarado came out in the middle of the fourth quarter and put a wobbly 38-yarder through the uprights to tie. But when Auburn regained the lead, Alvarado missed badly on a 21-yard field goal with 6:13 remaining.

That's why it was so shocking to see Alvarado again in the final minute. The Bulls were trailing 20-17 and had the ball at the Auburn 2 on fourth down. Given Alvarado's 1-for-5 night, it seemed USF's odds would be better with the ball in Grothe's hands.

But Leavitt did not hesitate. He was sending Alvarado back out.

"I couldn't even watch," said Alvarado's sister, Nisa, who was in the bleachers with her parents. "I was praying for God to give him strength because I couldn't imagine what he was going through."

On the field, Auburn called timeout.

"Man, that was a long time," said Hester, who caught the winning touchdown in overtime. "A real long time."

If the wait bothered Leavitt, he didn't let it show. He called the field-goal unit together near the sideline and gathered them in a circle. Looking around at the linemen, he told them to block their butts off.

And then he looked Alvarado in the eye and said ... nothing.

Leavitt simply smiled.

Moments later, a teenager from Honduras named Delbert Alvarado calmly kicked an 18-yard field goal that tied a score and, perhaps, changed his perception of faith.

John Romano can be reached at romano@sptimes.com or 727 893-8811.

[Last modified September 9, 2007, 20:58:21]

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  10,369
  • Reputation:   92
  • Days Won:  7
  • Joined:  11/19/2005

Greg linked to this on his blog but I think a lot of people missed it.  Great article

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  1,528
  • Reputation:   1
  • Days Won:  0
  • Joined:  10/17/2003

SUPER artice. I'm so happy for him that he made that last kick. I can't imagine what he was feeling going out there. I was really proud of our guys the way I saw them pumping him up after every bad kick. MAJOR props to Ammari who I saw over there constantly with Delbert. He showed to be a leader with his support of the guy when he was so down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  3,058
  • Reputation:   304
  • Days Won:  2
  • Joined:  12/10/2006

Hopefully making that last kick in the clutch will instill some confidence, and I really believe he'll be a better kicker from here on out because of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Moderator
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  69,237
  • Reputation:   8,410
  • Days Won:  375
  • Joined:  11/25/2005

could not find this story posted so.... it really shows just how close are team is

It got pushed back 4 pages but the article touched me, too .....

http://thebullspen.com/index.php?topic=37207.0

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  5,827
  • Reputation:   605
  • Days Won:  5
  • Joined:  09/02/2007

Too bad there is so much bad press about the FGs, Delbert had a phenomenal night in his first action punting since UCF last season. His worst punt was when he out-kicked the coverage. He is only a soph, I think he will get better and be ready to make some big kicks for us this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  848
  • Reputation:   6
  • Days Won:  0
  • Joined:  06/19/2007

I hope he's putting in extra work in practice. The most important thing for a kicker is for him to get his mind in check.

Kicker's need to have short term memory, they have to be able to put the past behind them. Hopefully he rebounds and has great year from now on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Moderator
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  18,378
  • Reputation:   1,158
  • Days Won:  36
  • Joined:  07/17/2003

I knew one was blocked-- didn't realize another was deflected. Those two kicks aren't as much his fault as the unit itself. The other two that missed-- well- yeah-- bad night.

It was amazing to see him go through that rough ride.

IMG_1255.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  9,038
  • Reputation:   101
  • Days Won:  1
  • Joined:  12/18/2006

Delbert is awesome!  I talked to him for like 10 minutes at the FanFest, and got him to autograph a picture I took of him at the UNC game.

He is a great guy, and his dad was cracking jokes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  0
  • Content Count:  4,642
  • Reputation:   9
  • Days Won:  0
  • Joined:  02/09/2006

he should be ready for anything now.  after that night anyone would!  great article and great night by delbert, coming through when we needed him the most!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...