SYRACUSE N.Y (CBS) B.J Daniels led the USF Bulls to their first conference win Friday night, beating the Syracuse Orange in front of a nationally televised audience to end their Big East drought.
Daniels went 23-for-34 with 254 yards and one touchdown, with a good chunk of those yards coming from his legs. He led the team in rushing with 117 yards, and racked up the second 250-plus passing, 100-plus rushing game of his collegiate career.
South Florida’s momentum boost came in the second quarter when Skip Holtz made the call to go for it on fourth-and-2 on the Syracuse 5-yard line. Demetris Murray picked up the short yardage and Marcus Shaw found the endzone on the very next play to put the Bulls up 10-0 early in the second.
Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib couldn’t find his rhythm early lacking any scoring in the first quarter, but he finally connected with his leading receiver Alec Lemon for a 10-yard touchdown to make it 10-7.
Nassib threw for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Lemon led the passing attack with 179 receiving yards and 2 touchdown grabs.
USF managed to increase their lead after half time with a field goal from Maikon Bonani to make it 23-10. Victor Marc nearly reached the pylon to put the game away, but he fumbled the ball and it rolled through the back of the endzone for a touchback to give it back to the Orange.
Syracuse had numerous chances to pull to within one score in the fourth quarter, but two trips to the Bulls’ redzone resulted in no points for the Orange. The Bulls’ defense played well to deny the Orange on two fourth down attempts, but two dropped passes in the endzone for Syracuse came back to haunt them, and they would never recover.
Daniels used his legs on the following drive to make a game-changing 30-yard run, which ended with a rushing touchdown by Murray to ice the game and snap the Bulls’ four-game losing streak.
It was a big win on the road, but now they will head home to prepare for a match up with the Miami Hurricanes next Saturday.