University of South Florida (U.S.F.) forced five turnovers, including a 96 yard fumble return for a touchdown, by junior cornerback Kayvon Webster, for the Bulls first touchdown. Webster’s return is the longest defensive touchdown in the history of South Florida football. It came after Notre Dame had taken the opening kickoff to the U.S.F. 1 yard line. South Florida stunned the #16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 23-20, who will drop out of the top 25 and the Bulls with this win, will join the top 25.
Not only did the Bulls beat Notre Dame, they also survived two weather delays. The first weather delay lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes, which occured at halftime, with the Bulls leading 16-0. The second weather delay lasted nearly 45 minutes and South Florida was leading 23-13 with 4:21 left in regulation. It was the first weather delay in Notre Dame’s 123 year history. Twice Notre Dame had third down and goal and each time it resulted into a turnover.
Notre Dame’s starting quarterback, Dayne Crist, who got benched at halftime (7/15 95 yards and 1 interception) got picked off in the endzone by Sophomore linebacker, DeDe Lattimore. The victory gave second year head coach Skip Holtz an emotional victory in his return to Notre Dame, where he went to school, and his father won a national title back in 1988. While coaching at Notre Dame with his legendary father, Lou Holtz, the Fighting Irish went 40-8-1. Holtz also became the first alumnus to beat Notre Dame at home, when Iowa head coach, Eddie Anderson, accomplished that feat back in 1940. Anderson’s Hawkeyes shutout Notre Dame in November of that year.
With Crist being benched at halftime for poor play, Notre Dame’s head coach Brian Kelly, also in his second year, turned to sophomore Tommy Rees who started four games for the Irish last season. Rees was clearly the right choice. He went 24 for 34, 296 yards with 2 TD’s, but was also picked off twice. Rees did hook up twice with Michael Floyd (12 receptions for 154 yards). The first was Notre Dame’s first touchdown of the season, and the other touchdown came with under a half minute left in the game. South Florida’s quarterback B.J. Daniels went 18 for 30 128 yards, 1 TD but no interceptions. Daniels’ only TD pass put the Bulls up 23-7 when he hit Evan Landi early in the 4th quarter, and that was the dagger.
This day and night belonged to the Bulls and Skip Holtz. It took over six hours to finish, but the wait was well worth it for Holtz and the Bulls.
Next up for the Bulls: The first of three consecutive home games. The Ball State Cardinals fly into Tampa next Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. The Bulls don’t hit the road until they travel to Pittsburgh in late September and that will be their Big East opener.
About the Author
Written by Brian Joyce
Hi my name is Brian and I currently reside in the Sarasota area. I'm currently an online student with Southern New Hampshire University going for my Bachelor's in Communications. New Hampshire is close to my heart because I got married there in October of 2011. I was an intern with the local ABC station here in Sarasota last summer and it lasted until the winter. I had a blast and loved putting together highlights for the live sportscasts. I have also interned at WSRQ radio in Sarasota. Currently working for State College of Florida with their hoops team and softball team. I was at Tropicana Field, back in October of 2008 when the Rays won the AL. David Price came out of the bullpen that night and got Jed Lowrie to ground out and the dome went nuts! TB had a losing season every year until 2008, it was a magical season for the Rays.