Scores

Final

UTEP 24

(2-2, 1-2 away)

(18) South Florida 52

(4-0, 3-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, September 24, 2011

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

1 2 3 4 T
UTEP 7 10 7 024
#18USF 21 10 7 1452

Top Performers

Passing: B. Daniels (USF) - 202 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: B. Daniels (USF) - 15 CAR, 130 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: L. Lamar (USF) - 4 REC, 85 YDS, 2 TD

USF piles it on against overmatched UTEP

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- UTEP is still on a streak of futility against Top 25 opponents, though Mike Price felt the Miners represented themselves well against No. 18 South Florida.

"We shouldn't be discouraged. They played better than we did, and maybe they're a better team than we are," Price said after Saturday night's 52-24 loss to the Bulls. "The score is that way because they were playing their guys quite a bit."

That's because the Miners (2-2) did enough offensively to remain within two touchdowns until USF (4-0) scored twice late.

"Their quarterback earns his scholarship, I tell you that. I think he's a tremendous player, a tremendous sportsman," Price said of the Bulls' B.J. Daniels. "I can tell that the way he never got rattled, even though we were hitting him pretty good at times. He's one tough player."

Daniels threw for 202 yards and ran for 130 as UTEP fell to 4-48 all-time against ranked opponents, including 1-31 on the road. They've lost 26 straight away from home against Top 25 teams since upsetting Arizona State in 1974. The Miners also fell to 0-21 against BCS conference members.

"We had some opportunities in the third quarter, and we didn't take advantage of it," Price said. "We didn't take advantage of the opportunities in the red zone offensively. We got athleted out in a couple of things, and then they're really good."

Daniels scored on a 71-yard run on the Bulls' second offensive play and threw touchdown passes of 54 and 18 yards to Lindsey Lamar in the second half. The junior's long TD burst was the fourth-longest in USF's relatively brief football history, and receiver Victor Marc's 67-yard scoring run later in the opening quarter was the fifth-longest.

"We put the ball in the end zone. That's the most important thing," Daniels said. "We have a lot of guys who can do different things."

Coach Skip Holtz had encouraging news on USF punt returner Terrence Mitchell, who was carted off the field in the fourth quarter after tackling UTEP punter Ian Campbell at the end of a 19-yard run on a fake.

The coach said Mitchell, who launched himself with head lowered and appeared to hit Campbell with his shoulder, did not suffer a neck injury.

"They're worried about a concussion. The injury doesn't appear to be as severe as it appeared on the field," Holtz said. "He's responding really positively right now."

Mitchell remained on the ground in front of the USF bench for several minutes while receiving medical attention. He was strapped to a stretcher as a precaution, carted off and taken to a nearby hospital.

"I definitely hope he's fine. ... I saw him. I wasn't going to try to juke him. I was just going to try to run right through him," Campbell said. "Unfortunately, I think he lowered his head a little too much and he caught my shoulder pad."

UTEP played without several key players sidelined with injuries, including starting quarterback Nick Lamaison, safety Travaun Nixon and defensive lineman Germard Reed.

Carson Meger, one of three quarterbacks who have started games for the Miners this season, completed 26 of 40 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore was intercepted three times, with the last returned 30 yards by linebacker Sam Barrington for the USF's final touchdown.

"Obviously, we came down here to play a game and win a game, and we didn't get that done. But they're a heck of a team," Meger said. "They're not ranked 18th in the nation for nothing. I thought we did some good things and some bad things. As a quarterback you always feel like you could do things a little bit better, but it just didn't happen for us."

Daniels, who completed 15 of 24 passes, led long TD drives on USF's first four possessions. Maikon Bonani kicked a 38-yard field goal the next time the Bulls got the ball, building a 31-14 lead.

UTEP wasn't quite as successful offensively, but the Miners did move the ball effectively against a USF defense that had been barely tested since yielding 508 yards during a 23-20 season-opening win at Notre Dame.

Leilyon Myers scored on a 4-yard run, Meger threw a 24-yard TD pass to Anthony McGhee to finish a nine-play, 88-yard march and Dakota Warren capped a 15-play, six-minute drive with a 24-yard field goal for UTEP, which gained 234 yards in the opening half and finished with 339.

Meger threw a 25-yard TD pass to Kevin Perry late in the third quarter.

"We hustled. We played very hard. We don't give up on our team, obviously," Price said. "I was very pleased with the job Carson Meger did for not having reps and being kind of our third-string guy going into the year."

A week after rolling up a Big East-record 745 yards of total offense during a 70-17 rout of Florida A&M, USA gained 575 -- 373 on the ground -- against UTEP, which expects Nixon (knee) and Reed (concussion) to return on defense for next week's Conference USA matchup against Houston.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
UTEP
USF
1st Downs1925
Total Yards339575
Passing244202
Rushing95373
Penalties6-518-67
3rd Down Conversions5-176-11
4th Down Conversions3-40-0
Turnovers30
Possession35:5824:02

Passing Leaders

UTEPC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Meger26/402406.023
South FloridaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Daniels15/242028.420

Rushing Leaders

UTEPCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jeffery6396.5025
Myers13352.719
South FloridaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Daniels151308.7171
Scott18874.8112

Receiving Leaders

UTEPRECYDSAVGTDLG
Leslie26432.0037
Perry55811.6125
South FloridaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Lamar48521.3254
Miller13232.0032

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUTEPUSF
TD12:00B.J. Daniels 71 Yd Run (Maikon Bonani Kick) 07
TD10:12Leilyon Myers 4 Yd Run (Dakota Warren Kick) 77
TD07:11Darrell Scott 3 Yd Run (Maikon Bonani Kick) 714
TD02:38Demetris Murray 1 Yd Run (Maikon Bonani Kick) 721
SECOND QUARTERUTEPUSF
TD13:41Anthony McGhee 24 Yd Pass From Carson Meger (Dakota Warren Kick) 1421
TD13:17Victor Marc 67 Yd Run (Maikon Bonani Kick) 1428
FG07:37Maikon Bonani 38 Yd 1431
FG01:12Dakota Warren 24 Yd 1731
THIRD QUARTERUTEPUSF
TD08:58Lindsey Lamar 54 Yd Pass From B.J. Daniels (Maikon Bonani Kick) 1738
TD04:21Kevin Perry 25 Yd Pass From Carson Meger (Dakota Warren Kick) 2438
FOURTH QUARTERUTEPUSF
TD06:46Lindsey Lamar 18 Yd Pass From B.J. Daniels (Maikon Bonani Kick) 2445
TD06:32Sam Barrington 30 Yd Interception Return (Maikon Bonani Kick) 2452