South Florida ends season with 6-game skid

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm •  Published: December 7, 2013
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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Linebacker DeDe Lattimore's 18 tackles in his final game at South Florida was very impressive.

The problem for coach Willie Taggart was that he didn't have a lot of guys performing at the same level.

The Bulls (2-10, 2-6 American Athletic Conference) finished their first season under Taggart with a 31-6 loss to Rutgers on Saturday night, their sixth straight setback.

How bad was it?

Lattimore's 18 tackles were eight more than the number of yards the Bulls gained rushing.

"He told me before the game he was going to get 20 tackles and he came up just short," Taggart said. "I told him during the game how impressed I was that he set a goal like that. We need more DeDes on our football team."

Lattimore had come out for warmups bare-chested to show that the New Jersey weather wouldn't bother him. Then he made sure everyone would notice his jersey number during the game. In addition to his 18 tackles, Lattimore also forced a fumble on the goal line that prevented a Rutgers' touchdown.

Lattimore finished the season with four forced fumbles, three recovered fumbles and an interception. His career-best 18 tackles gave him 98 for the season.

"I have a lot of different emotions after this game," Lattimore said. "I gave it everything I had. Coach T (Taggart) knows what he's doing. If they follow his lead, USF will be back on top, I can guarantee that."

Rutgers was just a better team this night as Chas Dodd threw two touchdowns and Paul James ran for two in helping the Scarlet Knights nail down their eighth bowl bid in nine years.

The win snapped a three-game losing slide for Rutgers (6-6, 3-5), and set up a game with Notre Dame (8-4) in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 28.

James ran for 113 yards, scoring on runs of 5 and 1 yards. Dodd threw for 179 yards, connecting on scoring passes of 12 yards to Andre Patton and 2 yards to Michael Burton.



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