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Improved’ #1 Cougars overwhelm Fighting Saints

USF racks up 48 points in 1st half to take suspense out of USF vs. USF (IL) clash

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The Cougars led 14-3 after 15 minutes, then took any doubt about the outcome out of the equation scoring 34 second-half points on the way to a 68-23 win in Game 2 of the 20th season on a beautiful afternoon for college football in near northwest Fort Wayne. Senior quarterback Nick Ferrer threw five touchdown passes and piled up 301 yards passing in THE FIRST HALF, USF running back Justin Green finished with 120 yards rushing and two TDs. And the USF defense knocked the hope out of the Fighting Saints in the second quarter when Ryan Johnsonblocked a field goal attempt from the USF 36, then scooped it up and made a beeline for the end zone — a 67-yard touchdown dash for a 34-9 lead with 5:47 to play in the first half. USF scored twice after Johnson’s scintillating sprint for a 48-9 halftime lead.

“We played hard and eliminated a lot of mistakes from last week,” Donley said assessing the Cougars’ third win in as many meeting with the Saints. “We got them frustrated, took them out of their game a little bit. We made a few more mistakes, so we’ve still got some improving to do.”

After setting a USF (IL) record for passing yards in the Saints opening-game loss to fourth-ranked Morningside on Aug. 26 with 520 yards, the USF defense and an injury combined to limit QB Don Butkus, the great nephew of Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears NFL Hall of Fame linebacker, to 66 yards passing. Blake Schumacher and Wilmer Cole picked off his replacement and Stan Jacksonand Lee Stewart III had fumble recoveries to add to the Saints’ frustration.

Green gave USF the lead for good when he scored from the USF IL 2-yard line at 9:46 in the first quarter — 11 plays, 90 yards for the Cougars. A Green fumble left the Saints great position to score, but the USF defense only yielded a field goal. On USF’s next two possessions, Ferrer found Green for scores — once from the Saints 33 and next time from the USF (IL) six-yard line. Butkus connected from the USF 4-yard line with Don Petrzak trimming the USF lead to 11 — 20-9. The Saints botched the point after attempt and the Cougars scored the next 41 points.