Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bulls are bowl victors.

A first for the young football program of my alma mater, South Florida: a bowl game win. They defeated East Carolina 24-7, largely by dint of a superb defense. Freshman QB Matt Grothe played very well in the first half, but was forced out by a blow to the shin late in the second quarter. Senior Pat Julmiste, whom Grothe had dislodged as starter early in the season, did yeoman service in the second half. Though the Bulls did not add to the 24 points they had gotten early, Julmiste directed an effective ball control game, relying largely on the running of Benjamin Williams. This meant the defense could get some rest, which paid off when the Pirates failed to score either, despite several incursions of the USF red zone.

One of the commentators remarked that some publication has already put together a pre-season college fotball top 25 for 2007, and that South Florida is its number 25. I probably put less stock in this than most people would. Still, it's possible to imagine them going to something a bit more prestigious than the Papa John's Bowl next year.

Update: Todd Wright of Sporting News has a piece on the "worst bowl names ever", and Papa John's is the first mentioned (though with the observation that it is far from the worst). Wright saves my favorite, the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl, for the final graf of his article.