Edwards Sets Record - Before Halftime
TAMPA - University of South Florida senior Marcus Edwards broke the school record for punt return yards in a game Saturday night - before halftime. Edwards had seven first-half returns for 124 yards, including a career long of 39. The previous record was 123 yards by Ean Randolph against Florida International in 2006. NOT BLINDED BY THE LIGHT: New DE coach Kevin Patrick wasn't the first Bull out of the tunnel before the game like he wanted, but he was a close second behind Coach Jim Leavitt.Patrick, who was at USF from 1996-98, led the Bulls onto the field for the inaugural game in 1997. He almost was blinded when a sparkler shot in his eye. Before Saturday's game, Patrick said he wanted to lead the team out of the tunnel. "I love it," Patrick said. "If there was fire out there, I'd run through fire, smoke, it doesn't matter." SECOND-BEST: Saturday's attendance of 48,058 was the second-most for a home opener behind USF's inaugural game in 1997 (49,212). MOVING UP: With his two first-quarter touchdown runs, sophomore RB Mike Ford tied former QB Pat Julmiste for seventh on the school's career rushing touchdown list with 14. GIVEN A BREAK: After engineering four touchdown drives on USF's first four possessions, junior QB Matt Grothe was pulled after the first quarter. But after backup Grant Gregory threw an interception on his first drive, Grothe returned for the next two series before leaving for good. FIRST-TIMERS: Freshman LB Kion Wilson and two sophomores, NT Sampson Genus and WR A.J. Love, made their first career starts. CB Theo Wilson scored his first career touchdown on a 67-yard punt return. WENT DOWN: Senior RT Ryan Schmidt (right knee) and sophomore TE Trent Pupello (right foot) were injured and did not return. The severity of the injuries was not immediately known. ODDS AND ENDS: Highly touted freshman QB B.J. Daniels made his debut late in the third quarter. ... Former CBs Trae Williams, who was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, and Mike Jenkins watched the game from the Bulls sideline. ... It's probably time to update the CGM Services advertisement. The company's video ad included highlights of several USF coaches, including former men's basketball coach Robert McCullum. ... Because of technical problems, Catch 47's television broadcast missed two USF touchdowns. ... A trivia answer on the videoboard incorrectly indicated that Leavitt started at USF in 1996. Leavitt was hired Dec. 12, 1995. ... USF scored a school-record 28 first-quarter points. The previous high was 21, set in 2000 and 2005. The outburst also tied the school record for points in a quarter. Gregg Becnel
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