September 9, 2007

Grothe believed in game-winning play

AUBURN, Ala. - All week long, Matt Grothe talked to his teammates about finishing. The USF quarterback believed the Auburn game was going to come down to the final minutes and he wanted his team mentally ready.

As those final minutes came, he had faith his Bulls would be able to overcome numerous blown opportunities and not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by frustration. And when the final play was sent in from the sidelines, he liked the call.

When he hit Jessie Hester Jr. with a 14-yard pass in overtime on the last play of the game to give the Bulls their 26-23 victory over Auburn on Saturday night, Grothe was not surprised. Only the magnitude of the victory took awhile to sink in.

"That last play was awesome. It was so emotional when he caught it, it took me a couple of seconds to realize what we just did," Grothe said. "It was like, all right, we scored and then it hit me that we just won the game. We had run that play a couple of times earlier in the game and were hoping they were in man coverage, but they weren't. They would give us the underneath stuff, but took away the corner.

"This time, they were in cover one and we knew we had the chance to make a move one-on-one. Jessie made a good move, the offensive line gave me time and we executed well."

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