TAMPA, Fla. -- Moise Plancher ran for two touchdowns and Matt Grothe moved closer to becoming the Big East's career total offense leader Saturday night, leading South Florida to a season-opening 40-7 rout of Wofford.
Plancher scored on runs of 4 and 9 yards and finished with 78 yards rushing on 12 carries. Grothe threw a second-quarter touchdown pass to Theo Wilson and had 155 yards passing and 44 rushing to increase his four-year total to 10,441 yards -- 88 shy of Pat White's Big East record.
USF overcame a slow start, snapping a 7-7 tie on Grothe's touchdown pass to Theo Wilson and adding a safety to make it 16-7 before halftime. Plancher scored his second touchdown early in the third quarter, and the Bulls rolled from there.
Wofford's wingbone offense was effective early, and the Terriers wound up rushing for 177 yards on 50 attempts. Fullback Eric Breitenstein gained 121 yards on 13 carries and scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter.
USF coach Jim Leavitt insisted that opening against Wofford, which won nine games and participated in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs each of the past two years, would be a good test for a young, but talented team that expects to contend for the Bulls' first Big East title.
Wofford played South Carolina tough a year ago, losing 23-13 but drawing a glowing review from Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier, who saluted the team's effort level. For most of the first half, the Terriers gave USF all it could handle, too.
Sophomore quarterback Mitch Allen, making his first college start, answered Grothe's game-opening touchdown drive with an impressive march of his own. The Terriers moved 69 yards in 13 plays, tying the game 7-all on Breitenstein's 2-yard run.
Wofford turned back one USF threat with Tommy Irvin's end zone interception of Grothe, whose 39-yard run got the Bulls inside the 10-yard line. Four plays later, the Terriers began unraveling.
An errant snap on a punt set up Grothe's 6-yard scoring pass to Theo Wilson with 36 seconds left in the opening half. A second bad snap that sailed over Chris Tommie's head resulted in a safety, making it 16-7, when the Wofford punter ran down the loose ball and kicked it through the end zone with one second remaining.
If Tommie had picked up the ball -- instead of kicking it intentionally -- just inside the 20, the final seconds of the half likely would have run out.
Plancher's second TD run and Delbert Alvarado's 30-yard field goal extended USF's lead to 26-7 in the third quarter.
Under Armour Youth South Florida Bulls #14 Green Replica Football JerseyPrice: $32.99 Shop
Baylor University outlines an external review it has commissioned to investigate how the school handled sexual assault cases.
Former Blinn College coach Brad Franchione describes Panthers star Cam Newton's transformation from playing at the junior college in 2009 to playing in Super Bowl 50.
North Carolina inked the No. 34-ranked recruiting class in the 2016 cycle with one ESPN 300 (Tomon Fox) and four more four-stars. The class of 2017 is well on the way to besting the 2016 class with four ESPN Jr300 verbals less than one week after signing day with the most recent being in state receiver Ryan Jones Friday.
Oregon running back Thomas Tyner has decided to take a medical retirement after sitting out all of last season because of a shoulder injury.
It hasn't been an easy road at USC for Pat Haden, the former Trojans quarterback turned athletic director, but at 63, he's earned the right to relax.
Readers want to know about all "downer" material, Iowa cutting ties with Stanford and an inherent southern bias in recruiting rankings.