Posted on: November 4, 2010 10:11 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 10:13 am

South Florida reaches program milestone with win

Posted by Chip Patterson

With four straight seasons of at least eight wins and a 3-1 bowl record in that span, a shortsighted college football fan can forget at times just how new the South Florida program is to college football.  Started in 1997, the Bulls are the nation's youngest BCS program.  In just 14 seasons, South Florida has jumped from Division I-AA, to I-A Independence, to Conference USA, and now a member of the BCS automatic qualifying Big East.  

On Thursday night, South Florida defeated Rutgers 28-27 for the program's 100th victory.  Interesting that it came against one of the competing teams in the first college football game ever.  Rutgers defeated Princeton 6-4, and the 141st anniversary of that game will be on Saturday.  But Thursday night would be an evening for the youth.  For first-year head coach Skip Holtz, it was a win that also put the Bulls just a game away from their sixth straight season of bowl eligibility.  After a rocky 3-3 start,  there was some doubt in Tampa if the streak would make continue into Holtz' tenure.

So it is only fitting that on the historic night for the South Florida program, the Bulls were led by one of their oldest players.  Sixth-year senior running back Moise Plancher rushed 21 times for a career high 135 yards, ending a four-game losing streak against the Scarlet Knights.  Plancher has suffered through a torn ACL, dislocated elbow, and shoulder surgery since enrolling at South Florida, making Thursday night a special night for the 23 year-old senior as well.  

South Florida is likely out of the Big East title hunt, but after turning around an 0-2 conference start with two straight wins the Bulls have a chance (though it is a long shot) to match the 8-win seasons of 2008 and 2009.  The Bulls now have a long week ahead before traveling to Louisville to face the Cardinals November 13.
Posted on: September 17, 2010 12:32 pm

Princeton back overcomes rare blood disorder

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Jordan Culbreath was having a pretty nice collegiate career as a running back at Princeton .  After joining the team as a walk-on in 2006 Culbreath worked his way up the depth chart to find himself as the starter in 2008, when he finished the season with 1,206 yards rushing to lead the Ivy League.  Then a bright future turned dark.

During training camp before the 2009 season Culbreath began feeling fatigued, was suffering from headaches and had sores in his mouth.  He figured it was from football, but after dealing with it for several weeks it wasn't until he sprained his ankle that he let the team's doctor know about it.  It's a good thing he did or else Culbreath may not be alive today.

After running some tests it was determined that Culbreath had a rare genetic blood disorder called aplastic anemia.   It's a disorder that could have killed Culbreath, but now, a year later, he's preparing to start at running back in Princeton's opener on Saturday.

After enduring 12 blood transfusions, 20 platelet transfusions and a 28-pill a day regimen of immune suppressants, anti-viral, anti-fungal and high-blood pressure medications, the former Ivy League rushing champion is set to return to the Tigers’ lineup for tomorrow’s football season opener against Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“You can’t feel sorry for yourself because you won’t make it,” Culbreath said in an interview at the school’s football field in Princeton, New Jersey. “You have to be strong, you have to be positive and you have to tell yourself to keep moving forward no matter what you face.”

Things were so bad for Culbreath at one time that while undergoing treatment a hospital administrator came to his room to see if he wanted assistance writing a will, or if he wanted to speak to a member of the clergy.  Culbreath sent her away and kept on fighting.

Now he'll be taking that fight back to the football field.

Photo courtesy of Bloomberg

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