MIAMI (AP) -- Tyrone Moss matched a career-high with three
touchdowns and No. 9 Miami ended South Florida's hopes of springing
a second straight upset with a sloppy 27-7 win on Saturday.
Moss ran for 89 yards and had scoring runs of 1 and 19 yards in
the first quarter, when Miami (3-1) took advantage of three South
Florida turnovers to build an early 17-0 lead.
Miami scored on four of its first five possessions, then didn't
add to the total until Moss' 1-yard, fourth-down plunge with 8:25
left. South Florida avoided the shutout -- which would have been the
first in its 93-game history -- with 5:56 left, when Johnny Peyton
caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Pat Julmiste.
The teams combined for nine turnovers, with South Florida having
all five of its giveaways before halftime.
South Florida, which came in with soaring confidence from its
45-14 win over then-No. 9 Louisville last weekend, sputtered early
and often against the Hurricanes. The Bulls (3-2) finished with a
season-low 174 total yards, more than half of them in the fourth
quarter with the outcome long decided.
In short, they looked nothing like the team that stunned the
Andre Hall, who came in averaging 117 yards per game and cracked
the 138-yard plateau in six of his previous nine starts, managed 53
yards on 19 carries. Amarri Jackson, who ran for two scores and
threw for another against Louisville, was a non-factor and finished
with only 7 yards receiving.
Kyle Wright completed 13 of 26 for 173 yards for the Hurricanes.
Lovon Ponder had two of Miami's four interceptions, with Devin
Hester and Brandon Meriweather each picking off a pass.
Julmiste completed 8 of 25 passes for 47 yards and three
interceptions for South Florida.
The entire first quarter -- sans four Miami kickoffs and Ponder's
first interception near the midfield stripe -- was played in South
Florida territory. The Bulls never penetrated their own 40, and
fumbled the ball away on the one play they had taking them that
South Florida crossed midfield for the first time with 2:48 left
in the half, when backup quarterback Courtney Denson evaded a sack
and scrambled 10 yards to the Hurricanes' 48. By then, the margin
was 20-0 -- and could easily have been worse, if not for two Miami
Late in the first quarter, Wright fumbled a snap on
second-and-goal from the Bulls' 7, and South Florida recovered. And
midway through the second, Wright hooked up with tight end Greg
Olsen for a 57-yard catch-and-run play, but South Florida
cornerback Mike Jenkins made a touchdown-saving play.
Jenkins -- one of five Bulls chasing Olsen, who was sprinting
down the center of the field -- punched the ball from Olsen's arm at
the 6, and it bounced out of the end zone for a touchback.
Miami is 12-1 in its last 13 meetings with in-state rivals.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Miami turned three South Florida turnovers into a 17-0 first-half lead.
Gameball goes to... Miami's defense, which limited the Bulls to 176 yards of total offense.
Stat of the game... 12-1: The Canes are 12-1 in their last 13 games with in-state rivals.