And to think the South Florida coaching staff almost redshirted senior RB Lindsey Lamar this season.
Imagine what we would've missed.
Lamar was spectacular for USF in Saturday night's game against the Syracuse Orange at Raymond James Stadium. In the first half alone, Lamar had six carries for 110 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run that tied for the second-longest in school history (the best was Rafael Williams' 86-yard TD in 1998).
Lamar, who finished with 145 rushing yards on 10 carries, became the fifth USF player with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games (he had 110 at Louisville on Oct. 20). Also on the list: RB Andre Hall in 2004 (who had a school-record four straight), RB Dyral McMillan in 1999; QB Marquel Blackwell in 2000; and QB B.J. Daniels in 2009 (his first two starts).
Lamar (110) and Daniels (100) became the first USF duo with 100-yard rushing performances in the first half.
Other USF 100-yard rushing tandems for an entire game were: Ben Williams (186) and Matt Grothe (120) against Florida Atlantic in 2007; Rafael Williams (126) and LaFann Williams (117) against Valparaiso in 1998; LaFann Williams (122) and Rafael Williams (119) against Morehead State in 1998; and Mike Ford (134) and Aston Samuels (101) against Syracuse in 2007.
Daniels hits 10,000
With a 19-yard scramble in the first quarter, Daniels became the eighth Football Bowl Subdivision player in state of Florida history to surpass the 10,000-yard career mark in total offense.
Daniels, who accounted for 317 total yards against Syracuse, is in eighth place with 10,279. He trails UCF's Daunte Culpepper (12,432); Florida's Tim Tebow (12,232); Florida's Chris Leak (11,350); Grothe (10,875); UCF's Ryan Schneider (10,703); Florida's Danny Wuerffel (10,500); and USF's Marquel Blackwell (10,343).
Daniels, Grothe and West Virginia's Pat White are the only Big East players to surpass the 10,000-yard mark.
Anywhere but Rutgers
USF freshman OLB Tashon Whitehurst said he believed he was going to Syracuse — until about a week before National Signing Day in February. Whitehurst, from Gainesville High, favored staying close to home.
"I was like 90 percent (going to Syracuse),'' Whitehurst said. "But it was a big family matter. Being close to home was a big factor. My parents are at all the games, even if I'm not on the field.''
Whitehurst said he gained great respect for Syracuse coach Doug Marrone when calling to deliver his decision.
"He was excited and happy for me,'' Whitehurst said. "He thought I was going to say (I was going to) Rutgers and he didn't want me to go to Rutgers. He said it (USF) was a great decision. He asked, 'Are you sure that's what you want to do?' I said it was and that was pretty much it.''
USF led 10-3 after the first quarter. The Bulls hadn't scored double digits in the first quarter of a Big East game since getting 14 against Louisville on Nov. 21, 2009, when Jim Leavitt was USF's coach. … True freshman DE Eric Lee made his first start for USF. … To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, USF players wore pink cleats, sweatbands, gloves and undershirts with their green-on-green uniforms. … Lightning coach Guy Boucher attended the game as a guest of USF athletics. … USF offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said Syracuse senior SS Shamarko Thomas is the best hitter in the Big East. "He's like a missile,'' Fitch said. … Former Tampa Catholic High standout Jeremi Wilkes, a junior free safety, started his eighth game this season for Syracuse. Wilkes appeared to score on a 33-yard fumble recovery in the second quarter, but the play was overturned when officials ruled that USF RB Marcus Shaw was down on the play. … USF continues its homestand Saturday night at 7 against Connecticut (3-5, 0-3, idle Saturday) on ESPNU. The Bulls are 4-5 against the Huskies, but 3-1 at Raymond James Stadium with the only defeat (19-16 in 2010) coming on a final-play field goal. It's the first Tampa appearance for UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni since Jan. 1, 1992, when his Syracuse team defeated Ohio State in the Hall of Fame Bowl.