University of South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels scampered through the Connecticut defense early in the fourth quarter of Saturday night's 13-6 win over the Huskies.
After a 15-yard dash up the middle that put the Bulls inside UConn's 10-yard line, Daniels was tackled and stayed down on the field in obvious pain. He quickly took his helmet off as trainers rushed to his aid.
The senior was helped off the field without putting any weight on his left leg. On the trainer's table, Daniels placed a towel over his head and lowered it as teammates gathered around to check on him.
Soon, a cart came and transported Daniels down one of Raymond James Stadium's tunnels and away from the field. There, it was learned that Daniels' career was likely finished with a broken ankle.
"It is, from what I'm being told at this point, it is likely a broken ankle and B.J. will be done for the year," coach Skip Holtz said. "Half of you is jumping up and down really excited about the smiles in the locker room and the feeling those players get to have as hard as they've worked, but that comes with the other part of your heart is broken for a young man that's competed his tail off and given everything he's had to this university for the last four years."
Daniels was closing in on former West Virginia quarterback Pat White for second place on the all-time Big East yardage list at the time of the injury. With 10,279 career yards, he trailed White by 250 yards entering the game.
Before his injury, Daniels had racked up 199 yards through the air on 19-for-29 passing and ran for another 23 yards, leaving him 29 yards short of White. He also scored USF's only touchdown of the night on a 5-yard first-quarter run.
"It's just painful," Holtz said of realizing that Daniels' USF career ends with Saturday's game. "It's hard. I love the young man, the way he competes. He's a great person and I'm just really appreciative of everything he's given to this university."
Had he passed White, the only player ahead of him would have been his predecessor at USF, Matt Grothe.
Grothe's career ended in a 2009 game against Charleston Southern with an ACL tear in his left knee at the same end of the field as Daniels was injured. Daniels made his first career start the following week against Florida State.