USF's record streak of scoring in the opening four minutes of the game ended at four Thursday night, but the Bulls still managed a notable feat the first time they punched it into the end zone.
Junior QB B.J. Daniels scored on a 12-yard touchdown run to cap USF's first offensive drive at the 8:46 mark of the opening quarter, marking the first time the Pittsburgh defense had allowed points in the first 15 minutes. The Panthers had outscored the opposition 29-0 entering the game.
The Bulls have scored first in each of their five games this season, and their first touchdown Thursday was set up by a big play from the defense.
The Panthers had driven to the USF 33 on their opening series, but sophomore DE Ryne Giddins, an Armwood High product, caused a fumble with a hit on freshman WR Darius Patton, which junior LB Mike Jeune recovered at the USF 48. It was the first career caused fumble and recovery for Giddins and Jeune, respectively.
Long time coming
When Pittsburgh K Kevin Harper nailed a career-best 47-yard field goal with 2:11 to play in the opening quarter, it marked the first time the Bulls had trailed all season.
Dating to last season's bowl game win against Clemson, USF had not trailed for 5 hours, 3 minutes and 19 seconds before the Panthers went in front 10-7.
Hine recognized for work in classroom
USF senior C Chaz Hine has been named one of 127 candidates for the 2011 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Awards, as well as a semifinalist for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the best scholar-athlete in the nation.
Hine, a Newsome High product, has been a valuable asset on the field for USF and made his 30th career start Thursday, but he has been just as impressive off it.
He completed his undergraduate degree in business management during the spring semester and is working toward a master's degree in business management. He is a two-time member of the Big East's All-Academic team and a four-time member of the USF College of Business dean's list.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and they will be announced Oct. 26. Each will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and be recognized during the 54th NFF annual awards dinner on Dec. 6 in New York City.
The Mobile Press-Register reported that Daphne (Ala.) High defensive end Eric Lee (6-4, 235) has given a verbal commitment to USF, becoming the 11th member of the Bulls' 2012 recruiting class. … Daniels' first-quarter touchdown run was the 17th of his career, moving him into a tie for sixth all-time in program history. It also was the third consecutive game he has rushed for a touchdown. … USF punted in the first quarter for the first time this season. … Freshman DT Elkino Watson recorded his first career sack on the final play of the first half. … Sophomore WR Sterling Griffin's 42-yard reception in the second quarter was USF's seventh play of 40 yards or longer this season. … The Bulls had 127 rushing yards in the first half, marking the third consecutive game they've rushed for at least 100 yards before halftime.