TAMPA, Fla. -- No. 15 Miami scored on its first three possessions, cruising to a 49-21 win Saturday against struggling South Florida at Raymond James Stadium.
The Hurricanes (4-0) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, piling up 251 yards on their first three drives. Quarterback Stephen Morris was 8-for-11 for 188 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, hitting Herb Waters for a 19-yard score and freshman Stacy Coley for a 34-yard score.
USF's offense answered initially, with Marcus Shaw breaking loose for a 44-yard gain on the first drive and capping it with a 3-yard touchdown run for a 7-7 tie.
After gaining 75 yards on that initial drive, the Bulls totaled just 50 (with one first down) the rest of the half. The game drew an announced crowd of 47,562, down about 10,000 from the same game two years ago.
The score could have been more lopsided -- a kickoff-return touchdown by Duke Johnson was negated by penalty, as was a punt return of more than 60 yards.
Johnson, who rushed for 84 yards and a score in the game, also lost two fumbles inside the USF 3-yard line, with both fumbles forced by USF linebacker DeDe Lattimore. Miami got to the USF 6-yard line at the end of the half, only to miss a 23-yard kick.
Morris left the game in the second quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and backup Ryan Williams played well, throwing for another 153 yards and a touchdown.
USF (0-4) remains winless under first-year coach Willie Taggart.
The Bulls scored twice in the fourth quarter -- on Julius Forte's 11-yard interception return and Steven Bench's 16-yard pass to Derrick Hopkins with two seconds left. The offense has scored four touchdowns in its last six games against FBS opponents.
The final score showed how divergent the two schools have been in the last two years. In the 2011 meeting in Tampa, Miami escaped with a 6-3 win on a last-second field goal. Since then, USF has a 3-15 record, while Miami is 11-6.
Miami returns home to face Georgia Tech (3-1) in its ACC opener, while USF stays home next week to face Cincinnati (3-1) in its first game in the American Athletic Conference.