Several USF players and coaches joked this week about watching last week's West Virginia-Rutgers game at High Point Solutions Stadium, which was played in a snowstorm that rolled through the Northeast.
USF was lucky enough to dodge the October nor'easter that dumped record amounts of snow in the region and knocked out power to millions of homes, but Saturday night's matchup against the Scarlet Knights still provided some chilly conditions.
The temperature at kickoff was 45 degrees, marking the coldest game for the Bulls this season and tied for the sixth coldest game in program history. Entering the game, USF had won only once when the temperature was lower, a 2007 triumph at Pittsburgh when it was 35 degrees at kickoff.
It was the first Saturday night home game for Rutgers in more than four years, with the last one being played Oct. 6, 2007, against Cincinnati.
Long time coming
When USF quarterback B.J. Daniels connected with receiver Victor Marc on a 23-yard scoring pass with 6:11 to play in the second quarter, it brought to an end a five-quarter scoreless streak for the Bulls at Rutgers' home stadium.
The last time USF visited Rutgers, the Bulls lost 31-0, the only regular-season shutout in program history.
It was Marc's second touchdown reception of the season. USF has now scored first in every game this season.
Big plays for Giddins
USF sophomore defensive end Ryne Giddins had a huge first half, and he saved some of his best plays for last. Giddins recorded sacks on consecutive plays late in the second quarter, the last of which resulted in the game's first turnover.
After dropping Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova for a 6-yard loss to set up a third-and-long situation, Giddins came free off the edge on the next play and not only sacked Nova, but also knocked the ball loose and recovered the fumble.
The Bulls' offense later converted the turnover into a score, with kicker Maikon Bonani hitting a 43-yard field goal with 36 seconds left before halftime to put USF ahead 10-0.
With two sacks in the first half, it marked the third multi-sack game of Giddins' career and his second this season.
He also had eight total tackles in the opening half, including 2.5 for a loss, and helped contribute to a solid effort across the defensive line. USF held Rutgers to minus-4 yards rushing on 15 attempts in the first half.
Freshman receiver Andre Davis made his first career start Saturday, becoming the second member of the Bulls 2011 recruiting class to start a game this season. Defensive tackle Elkino Watson made his first career start at Connecticut. … Redshirt freshman linebacker Reshard Cliett (ankle) did not make the trip.