USF’s struggles with Rutgers have been reflective of the team and the program as a whole.
And in order to exorcise that demon from Piscataway, New Jersey it was going to take legendary efforts.
Enter Moise Plancher.
The sixth-year senior has always been a sentimental favorite among Bulls fans. We love Mo. We want Mo to find great success in life and always be a strong representative of the South Florida football program.
On the field sometimes Mo can be a bit frustrating and many of the same fans that respect Plancher would also like to see the younger backs (like Marcus Shaw for example) get more opportunities.
But on Wednesday night USF needed Mo more than ever.
And Mo delivered.
With 135 rushing yards on 21 carries and three receptions for 45 yards, Plancher made the 100th victory in program history one of the sweetest as the Bulls finally upended Rutgers, 28-27, in front a slightly over exaggerated but raucous crowd over 39,000.
“In order to win games like these you need your seniors to play the best games of their careers,” USF head coach Skip Holtz said. “And Mo Plancher played the best game of his career.”
It’s been a long time coming for Plancher. His history is well documented at USF. He suffered an ACL injury during his first game as a Bull in 2006. He dealt with the sudden and tragic death of his cousin Erick Plancher, a player at UCF. More injuries and adversity followed.
He eventually became a reliable but not spectacular backfield presence. Not as talented or explosive as a Mike Ford or Jamar Taylor, but he always came to work and never embarrassed the program.
“Everyone knows what Mo has been through and even this season he was injured in the spring and had a tough time getting back in the rotation,” Holtz said. “But he just continued to work hard and he never complained.”
Most likely Plancher’s football career will come to an end after his days at USF are done. He’ll never be the player we hoped he would have developed into.
But from this day forward Moise Plancher will always be one of the symbolic figures in the USF program. He is a man of character and heart and a teammate that can inspire the next group of South Florida players to help this program reach new heights.
And he finally beat Rutgers.