Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - B.J. Daniels threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns, as South Florida held on to edge Clemson, 31-26, in the 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Daniels finished 20-of-27 passing with an interception and also rushed for a score for South Florida (8-5), which has won three straight bowl games. The Bulls downed Northern Illinois 27-3 in last year's International Bowl, and in 2008, they dispatched Memphis, 41-14, in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
Moise Plancher rushed for 50 yards, including a two-yard touchdown, while Demetri Murray and Dontavia Bogan each caught a TD pass in the victory.
Tajh Boyd passed for 112 yards on 13-of-23 efficiency with two touchdowns -- both to Brandon Ford -- and one pick for Clemson (6-7), which ended its season by losing three of four.
Clemson starting quarterback Kyle Parker completed 11-of-17 throws for 134 yards and one interception, but suffered broken ribs late in the first half and did not return. Jamie Harper added a one-yard scoring run in defeat.
Ahead 17-13, South Florida tacked on seven more on its opening drive of the second half. Starting at the 17, Daniels quickly moved the offense into Tigers territory. After converting a 3rd-and-6 to the 27, two short runs by Plancher coupled with a pass interference penalty, had the Bulls in a 1st-and-goal situation from the two. Plancher banged in from two yards out to finish off the drive.
In the fourth, JaQuez Jenkins' interception on the first play of the quarter led to Daniels' eight-yard scoring run, giving USF a commanding 31-13 advantage.
A Boyd-to-Ford six-yard TD connection with 1:47 remaining made it 31-19. The two-point attempt failed. Clemson then recovered the ensuing on-side kick and Boyd again spotted Ford, this time for a 10-yard score. The play was initially ruled incomplete, but was overturned by the replay booth. The extra point made it 31-26 with 43 seconds to play.
Clemson was whistled for an illegal touching penalty on the on-side kick attempt and USF took a knee to run out the clock.
"First of all, I'd just like to congratulate South Florida, they were well prepared and played well," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "They took advantage of some turnovers and capitalized well and you have to give them all the credit. The only thing really positive to say on our end is that we didn't quit. They kept battling and kept competing until the end."
Byron Maxwell's interception led to Chandler Catanzaro's 27-yard field goal and a 3-0 Clemson lead with 5:30 left in the first quarter.
South Florida then answered with 10 quick points to go in front. Daniels' 25- yard touchdown pass to Murray with 39 seconds remaining in the opening quarter finished off a six-play, 82-yard drive.
Parker was picked off by Quenton Washington on the first play of the Tigers' ensuing possession and returned 45 yards to the Clemson 10-yard line, which led to a Maikon Bonani 27-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
After a three-and-out by the Tigers with Parker at the controls, USF put another seven on the board. Daniels completed all four of his passes to help his squad get down to the Clemson 15. Then facing a 3rd-and-5, the signal- caller hit Bogan, who pulled in a short pass, shook off a defender and waltzed into the end zone for a 17-3 game with 7:19 before the half.
Catanzaro answered with a 44-yard effort with 3:55 left.
Murray's fumble at the Bulls' 43-yard line led to a one-yard touchdown run by Harper with 30 seconds left in the half that drew the Tigers to within 17-13 at the break. The big play of the drive came when Parker hit Marquan Jones for a 38-yard pass on 4th-and-7 from the 40.
This was the first-ever meeting between South Florida and Clemson on the gridiron...Clemson fell to 16-17 in 34 career bowl games... DeAndre Hopkins had eight catches for 94 yards for the Tigers.