This was just a beatdown from start to finish. I can’t remember many wins over BCS/power conference opponents where I was sure USF would win the game in the first quarter. But when the Bulls went up 14-0 with 6:02 left in the opening period, I knew it was over.
I think this also ranks very high on the list of USF’s most festive crowds ever. The Bulls were ranked for the first time ever leading into the game. No one thought UNC was going to pose any threat, especially with a new coach and a roster full of freshman. Plus USF had smashed the Tar Heels 37-20 in Chapel Hill the year before. Once the Bulls jumped out on top early and everyone figured out that UNC was hopeless, nothing was going to ruin the party mood.
There are a few things that we can talk about, though.
“Grothe > Tebow”
Ah yes, the first ever “Grothe > Tebow” T-shirt. Of course it seems ridiculous now, since Tebow has a Heisman and two national titles and Grothe... doesn’t. But at this point in September 2007? It wasn’t crazy! Tebow was more like a running back on Florida’s 2006 title team. He threw a mere 33 passes. It was only the week before this game that Tebow claimed his first big win as the starting QB when the Gators hammered Tennessee 59-20. On the other hand, Grothe had an entire season as starter under his belt, and his team was ranked and had just knocked off Auburn. The window for this argument didn’t stay open forever, but this game fell right in the middle of it. (The idea really kicked into another gear the next week when Florida itself lost to Auburn.)
George Selvie, man possessed
There’s a strong case that this was the best game George Selvie ever played. He was pretty much unblockable with five tackles for loss and three sacks. Whoever was playing left tackle for North Carolina didn’t have a chance. Watching the tape, I’m not sure if Selvie figured out the snap count early, or if he simply had a real bead on UNC’s timing. There was one play on the Tar Heels’ first possession where he started moving the instant the ball was snapped. He got to T.J. Yates before he was finished setting up and sacked him to kill a drive.
It was a fantastic performance by Team Logo’s George Selvie.
The student section hits a new level
At the end of the third quarter, UNC was threatening after USF muffed a punt deep in their territory. Suddenly the Tar Heels had their first legitimate scoring chance of the day. However, they let the clock run out on the third quarter before finishing their drive, and that meant they had to turn around and face...
Whoa, USF suddenly has an intimidating student section now! I don’t know if anything like this had ever happened before. The student section was nearly full, the rain didn’t chase any of them away, and even up 30-3 they were still there and into the game. They got REALLY loud during the timeout before the fourth quarter started. UNC immediately false started and they got even louder. Then Selvie broke through completely unblocked for a sack and they went up another level. Finally on 4th and forever, Yates threw one up for grabs into double coverage that was knocked down.
There was no way in hell that UNC was getting points on that drive once they had to finish in front of the students.
Now let me ask you this: Do you think that could ever happen now?
Nope, still waiting.
Next time: USF plays West Virginia. I seem to remember that being a pretty good game!