No. 15 Miami routs USF to improve to 4-0 - WFLA News Channel 8

No. 15 Miami routs USF to improve to 4-0

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Miami's first road test was a breeze.
    
The 15th-ranked Hurricanes scored on their first three possessions and dominated defensively during a 49-21 rout of winless South Florida on Saturday.
    
Miami (4-0) has yet to trail this season, but coach Al Golden felt USF was much better than its record and posed a different challenge for his team in its final tuneup for Atlantic Coast Conference play.
    
Stephen Morris and a talented group of speedy receivers set the tone for an impressive offensive display, and the Hurricanes played stifling defense before giving up a long touchdown drive at the end.
    
"I think we were ready to go," Golden said.
    
"Our whole game plan was to continue to push the ball and continue to play smart," Morris added. "Offensively, the receivers had a great game."
    
Morris threw for two touchdowns before limping off with an ankle injury that's not considered serious, and Duke Johnson scored a TD in his eighth consecutive game for the Hurricanes, who are off to their best start since 2004, when they opened the season with six straight wins.
    
At 0-4 under first-year coach Willie Taggart, USF is off to the worst start in school history and has dropped 13 of 14 dating to last season.
    
"That's a really good football team, and we've got to play so much better in order to have a chance ... because of where we're at right now," Taggart said. "Until we get to where we want to be, we've got to play perfect football in order to compete with a team like Miami."
    
Morris threw for 222 yards, moving ahead of Steve Walsh and into ninth place on Miami's career passing list. He tossed TD passes of 19 yards to Herb Waters and 34 yards to Stacy Coley as the Hurricanes scored on their first three possessions and amassed 251 yards of offense in the first quarter alone.
    
Johnson had a 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and finished with 84 yards on 14 carries. Miami's defense also scored, with Shayon Green sacking Penn State transfer Steven Bench and forcing a fumble that Jimmy Gaines recovered for the sixth defensive TD scored against USF in four games.
    
USF's offense has six touchdowns all season, including Marcus Shaw's 3-yard run that made it 7-7. Shaw wound up with 127 yards rushing, but the Bulls' offense didn't come close to scoring again until Bench - their third starting quarterback in four weeks - threw a 16-yard TD pass to Derrick Hopkins with two seconds remaining.
    
Bench was 13-of-27 passing for 189 yards. He was intercepted once and lost two fumbles.
    
"Like I told our guys, we're 0-4, no one is going to say anything positive," Taggart said. "It's the reality of it, so let's not get caught up in that. Keep working, and let's find a way to make plays."
    
Morris was limited in practice early in the week after being hit on his right ankle during Miami's 77-7 rout of Savannah State. He limped off the field early in the second quarter with the Hurricanes up 21-7 and did not return, spending the rest of the afternoon watching backups Ryan Williams and Gray Crow finish up.
    
"We protected him well. He started to get hit a little bit there, the last touchdown, and it was time to get him out and move on to Ryan," Golden said. "He kept saying that he was good, but we had enough lead, I thought, that we could move on."
    
Williams completed 8 of 14 passes for 153 yards and one TD before being replaced by redshirt freshman Crow, who threw a fourth-quarter interception that defensive end Julius Forte returned 11 yards for USF's second touchdown.
    
Despite USF's struggles, Golden entered the game wary of the Bulls coming off a bye week that gave them extra time to prepare for the Hurricanes. And it was the first road game of the season for Miami.
    
Golden felt the first 15 plays of the game would be critical because USF figured to make some adjustments during the Bulls' open date, and it was incumbent upon Miami to respond to those changes quickly.
    
And that's exactly what Morris did against a defense that had been solid in USF's first three games. Miami moved 77 yards in seven plays to score after the opening kickoff and drove 91 and 83 yards to add TDs on their next two possessions after having two long kick returns wiped out by penalties.
    
"Stephen did an unbelievable job for the lack of practice that he had," Golden said. "I thought he was efficient. I thought we ran the ball really well. I thought we called a good game early on, and I thought the (USF) defense settled down after that first 15, which I was concerned about coming off the bye week."
    
Miami gained 251 yards on its first three possessions, more than USF had ever allowed in a single quarter. It was 35-7 at the half - and could have been worse.
    
The Hurricanes lost two fumbles inside the Bulls 5 and also missed a 23-yard field goal.
    
As he's been all season, Shaw was the bright spot for USF. He had his third 100-yard game for the Bulls, who sputtered offensively after Shaw's 44-yard run to the Miami 14 set up his second TD of the season.
  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Clashes in east Ukraine leave at least 2 dead

    Clashes in east Ukraine leave at least 2 dead

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:35 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:35:26 GMT
    Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says police have cleared the city hall in a southeastern city of pro-Russian protesters who had been occupying it for over a week.
    Ukrainian government troops moved against pro-Russia forces in the east of the country on Thursday and killed at least two of them in clashes at checkpoints manned by the insurgents, the government and insurgents said....
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors

    Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:25 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:25:41 GMT
    Police in Afghanistan say a security guard has opened fire in a Kabul hospital, killing three foreigners and wounding one other person.
    An Afghan security guard opened fire on a group of foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital on Thursday morning, killing three American physicians and wounding a U.S. nurse, officials said.
  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:45:39 GMT
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
  • Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:08:20 GMT
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.