Greg Auman's request for the top five Points in USF history had me think back to my own personal top five. While I can't talk about the first half of the program's history, these five points are still engraved in my head.
5. B.J. Daniels to Sterling Griffin: With the Bulls up 7-0 against Florida State, the Bulls had the ball on their own 29 yard line after Kion Wilson recovered Sabbath Joseph's forced fumble of Taiwan Easterling. With only 2:42 left in the half, Jim Leavitt wanted to take a shot down the field and had Sterling Griffin run a 9 route down the sidelines. FSU's safeties bit hard on a play fake and the secondary completely forgot about Griffin streaking up the field. Daniels hit Griffin in stride with the nearest Seminole 20 yards away. The 71-yard touchdown gave the Bulls a 14-0 lead, and with the way the defense was playing that day, that was all they needed. (The play is about 1:50 in, but I won't blame you if you just watched the whole thing.)
4. Grothe's Run Through The Kansas Defense: Yes, Maikon Bonani's game winning field goal is probably more popular, but Grothe's 28-yard scamper knifing through the Kansas defense will be more important at least to me. The Bulls were sluggish out of the gate, and Todd Reesing was making a mockery of our secondary for the whole game. The Bulls were down 20-3 with 2:30 left in the half and needed a spark. Like always, Matt provided it.
There were six Jayhawks within a yard of Grothe on that run, but none were able to bring him down. The comeback was alive and it didn't stop until Bonani's kick to win the game.
3. Chad Simpson's Kickoff Return: Louisville came into their game against USF in 2005 ranked 9th in the country. Stewart Mandel was in town to write about Louisville's rise to national prominence, and the Cardinals came down to Tampa expecting the Bulls to roll over in each team's first Big East conference game. The Bulls decided to throw the kitchen sink at UL, breaking out something called the Voodoo package and running it to perfection. Amarri Jackson was all over the place, catching a long pass to set up a score and running for two more. But Louisville started to march down the field late in the second quarter, and even though the Bulls took a 24-7 lead to the locker room, you could feel the Cardinals gaining momentum.
Chad Simpson changed all of that with one run to start the second half. Go to around 1:00 into the video.
That increased USF's lead to 31-7, and the rout was on after that. I was coming back down to the student section and he was running straight at me after he made his cut. Just a great moment to see him throw the ball up in the air in celebration (before he crossed the goal line, but they forgot to call that). The final score was 45-14, the rare upset blowout win.
Numbers 2 & 1 after the jump.
2. Ben Moffitt's Pick-Six: West Virginia visited in September 2007 and it's still the biggest home game in USF history. Both teams had some chances offensively in the first quarter, but they had problems holding onto the ball. With 1:30 left in the first quarter, Pat White's throw was altered thanks to Jarriett Buie, and the rest was history.
I've never seen Raymond James that alive (note from Voodoo: I've been there during Monday Night Football games where everyone is raging drunk, and even I haven't seen anything like that). This isn't a glorified high school stadium bouncing up and down, but a 67,000 seat concrete stadium bouncing up and down from everyone going apeshit. Still, as good as that moment was, it will never pass Number 1.
1. Grothe to Hester: Anyone who was at Jordan-Hare Stadium or watching the game on TV that night can still remember watching that moment. Seeing Jesse Hester break on the flag route and getting the separation needed for Matt Grothe to place it to where only Hester can catch it still gives me goosebumps. In case you forgot, here it is:
That will never get old.
What are your Top 5? Let us know in the comments.