Horrocious. That's the word that Skip Holtz had to make up in order to describe the special teams performance against Rutgers Saturday.
In the 20-17 overtime loss, USF had a muffed punt that led to a field goal, and the Bulls kicker missed two field goals. After being up 17-3, USF gave up a 98 yard kick return to help Rutgers cut the lead to 17-10. In the end the special teams proved the difference as USF fell 20-17 in OT.
When asked about the special teams, Holtz said "The biggest thing that shows up going back watching that film, our special teams were horrocious, they were awful. They were bad. When you play that well as an offense and that well as a defense, you're not supposed to lose a game like that, or even to be in overtime. Our special teams was a difference of 16 points in that game in four plays".
Poor special teams play is the only way to explain the loss when you take a look at the stat sheet. USF out gained Rutgers by over 150 yards, and the defense held Rutgers' starting running back to 15 carries for 12 yards (.8 yards per carry) and -7 rushing yards on the ground as a team.
USF had started off hot, but has now dropped 4 straight. They will have a short week to prepare for Syracuse on Friday at 8 on ESPN2.