Oct. 23, 2010
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CINCINNATI - Zach Collaros (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) threw three touchdown passes, going 30 of 53--both career highs--for 463 yards but it was not enough as a late UC rally came up short and UC fell 38-30 to USF on Friday.
South Florida (4-3, 1-2) hadn't scored a touchdown on offense in its two Big East losses, done in by B.J. Daniels' five interceptions. The sophomore quarterback had 10 interceptions overall.
He got the Bulls going by completing one long pass after another against Cincinnati's inexperienced defense. The Bearcats (3-4, 1-1) have the youngest defense in the BCS.
Daniels' 64-yard completion to Dontavia Bogan set up a third-quarter touchdown, and his 70-yard pass to Faron Hornes put the Bulls up 31-16 late in the third quarter.
The Bearcats had won 13 straight Big East games, tied for third-longest streak in league history. They hadn't lost at Nippert Stadium since 2008.
Daniels was a dual-threat quarterback as a freshman, leading the Bulls in rushing. He had struggled this season in a transition to pocket passer, forcing throws while under pressure.
He was cool against Cincinnati, going 13 of 16 for 286 yards without an interception. He also ran for their first touchdown and their final one with 9:32 for a 38-23 lead.
The Bearcats put themselves in position for one final shot to pull it out.
Collaros took a hard hit and was on the sideline with a leg injury for Cincinnati's final drive, which ended with Chazz Anderson's (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) incompletion from the Bulls 15-yard line with 7 seconds remaining.
The Bearcats self-destructed with dropped throws and 12 penalties for 115 yards.
Cincinnati's inexperienced defense--eight sophomore starters, no seniors-- had only two interceptions all season and was looking for a breakout game against Daniels. Sophomore safety Drew Frey (Wilmington, Ohio/Clinton-Massie) stepped in front of a receiver on Daniels' first pass, but lost the ball as he hit the ground.
Given a reprieve, Daniels got his act together.
He directed a 13-play, 86-yard drive that ended the touchdown drought, going 3 yards on a draw for a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter. Daniels threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Evan Landis on his next play, then went to the sideline and waved a white towel to cheer on South Florida's senior-laden defense.
South Florida's defense made a pivotal stop, stopping Collaros on a fourth-and-1 from the Bulls 30-yard line late in the third quarter. Daniels then connected with Hornes, who weaved through the defense for his 70-yard reception and the 31-16 lead.
Collaros' 15-yard touchdown pass to Armon Binns (Pasadena, Calif./Pasadena) cut it to 38-30 with 5:35 left, but the quarterback was hit hard and went to be evaluated for a leg injury. The Bearcats got the ball back at their 29-yard line with 3:25 remaining and drove to the 15, where Anderson threw one away while getting sacked on fourth down.