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School, Big East records fall as USF eases past Syracuse

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Matt Grothe threw for a school-record 364 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, leading South Florida to a 27-10 rout of struggling Syracuse, which has lost five straight and has yet to win a Big East game under second-year coach Greg Robinson.

Grothe, one of the most productive freshman quarterbacks in the nation, tossed a 6-yard TD pass to S.J. Green in the first quarter and teamed with Taurus Johnson on a 79-yard scoring play in the third quarter.

Delbert Alvarado kicked a Big East-record 56-yard field goal for South Florida (7-3, 3-2), which has won four of five since a heartbreaking two-point loss to unbeaten Rutgers. Syracuse (3-7, 0-5) has lost 12 straight conference games and hasn't scored more than 17 points in any of the losses.

South Florida beat Pittsburgh the previous week to become bowl eligible, but the Bulls felt they needed at least one more victory to assure themselves a postseason berth for the second time in the program's 10-year history.

With road dates remaining against Top 10 opponents Louisville and West Virginia, Saturday's game against a team that hasn't won a league matchup since 2004 figured to be the best shot at a seventh victory.

The Bulls dominated despite having four turnovers. They might have beaten Syracuse more handily if not for two fumbles -- one stopping a drive near the Orange goal line -- and Grothe throwing his 11th interception of the season.

Syracuse, which hasn't won since beating Wyoming in double overtime Sept. 30, has been outscored 134-54 during its five-game slide, which also includes losses to Pitt, West Virginia, Louisville and Cincinnati.

The Orange were outgained 514 yards to 250 and didn't get into the end zone until Perry Patterson threw a 27-yard TD pass to Mike Williams early in the fourth quarter.

Patrick Shadle also kicked a 29-yard field goal for Syracuse, but saw his streak of 13 consecutive successful attempts -- longest for the Orange since Nate Trout made 16 in a row from 1998-99 -- end when his 45-yard try hit the upright in the second quarter.

Alvarado made his long field goal on the last play of the first half.

West Virginia's Brad Cooper (2004) and Pittsburgh's David Merrick (1994) shared the previous record for the longest field goal in conference history, 54 yards. Alvarado's kick gave South Florida a 13-3 lead less than four minutes after the kicker hooked a 30-yard attempt wide left.