Category Archives: Football

USF Bulls Drop Third Straight Losing to Cincinnati 35-23 Saturday Night

(Cincinnati, OH) The USF Bulls were officially eliminated from any chance at an AAC title by losing a 35-23 decision to the Bearcats in sub-freezing Cincinnati Saturday night.

USF (7-3, 3-3 in AAC) dropped three straight conference games for the first time since 2013 after Cincinnati (9-1, 5-1 in AAC) seized the momentum with a 21-point third quarter.

Sophomore quarterback Chris Oladokun made his first career start in place of injured Blake Barnett, who suffered a shoulder injury in last week’s game against Tulane. Oladokun threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Ryeshene Bronson on his first attempt to give USF an early lead. Oladokun added a 25-touchdown pass to Tyre McCants in the third quarter and finished 10 of 22 through the air for 165 yards with no interceptions.

Junior Brett Kean also saw action at quarterback, throwing a 38-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Wilcox to help give the Bulls a 16-14 lead they took into halftime. Kean completed four of 10 passes for 67 yards with no turnovers in his first appearance since the season opener.

Junior Mitchell Wilcox became USF’s new career and season receiving yards leader and season receptions leader for a tight end, finishing with a team-high seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. Wilcox, a Mackey Award candidate, has racked up a record 468 receiving yards and 35 catches this season and improved his career receiving yards to a record total of 904 after missing last week’s game with an injury.

Freshman Johnny Ford led USF’s rushing attack with 10 carries for 63 yards while the Bulls gained 81 yards on the ground against the nation’s fifth-ranked defense.

USF didn’t let a 28-degree kickoff temperature, the coldest in program history, prevent it from heading into halftime with a 16-14 lead after getting solid play from both backup quarterbacks and three sacks from the defense that forced four punts.

Oladokun threw a deep strike on his first pass attempt to Bronson, who made a one-handed catch and raced to the end zone for a 72-yard touchdown. Oladokun had six career pass attempts for 37 yards before throwing the first touchdown of his career to give USF a 6-0 lead just over two minutes into the action.
The Bulls jumped back ahead, 9-7, on a 37-yard field goal by Coby Weiss six plays after a career long 62-yard kickoff return by Bentlee Sanders.

Kean entered the game in the second quarter and capped off his first drive with a career long 38-yard touchdown pass to Wilcox to help give USF a 16-14 lead with 11:34 remaining in the half. Wilcox had three catches for 63 yards on the 75-yard scoring drive.

Cincinnati scored 14 straight points to open the second half before the Bulls responded with Oladokun’s second touchdown pass of the night. McCants hauled in his 16th career scoring reception from 25 yards out as USF cut its deficit to 28-23 with 2:06 left in the third quarter.

USF didn’t find the end zone again while pursuing its fourth double-digit fourth quarter comeback of the season. Senior defensive back Ronnie Hoggins led the Bulls with a career-high 13 tackles while junior Greg Reaves finished with 10 tackles.

“The first half we played well, then the second half we come out and give up three touchdowns in the third quarter”, Head Coach Charlie Strong said. “We just were never able to put it together and sustain drives. We only scored one touchdown (in the second half). We’ve got to be able to play for 60 minutes and that’s what we didn’t do.”

USF lost three straight games for the first time since early in the 2015 season. USF lost three straight conference games for the first time since 2013.

The temperature at kickoff was 28 degrees, marking the lowest in program history and just the seventh game in USF history with a kickoff below 40 degrees. The previous lowest temperature a USF game had kicked off at was 29 degrees at West Virginia in 2008. USF lost that game, 13-7.

USF finishes up a two-game road stretch with a conference test at Temple on Saturday, Nov. 17 in a noon kickoff. Game broadcast on ESPN News.

USF returns to Raymond James Stadium to host rival UCF in a War on I-4 clash on Friday, Nov. 23 (time TBA).





Upper Deck Seats Released for USF vs. UCF Game in Tampa

(TAMPA, FL) With few lower bowl seats remaining and demand running high for the War on I-4 gridiron clash vs. unbeaten UCF on Friday, Nov. 23, USF Athletics has released tickets for purchase in the west upper deck (home side) of Raymond James Stadium. USF Athletics also announced a new partnership with Dunkin’ as the presenting sponsor of this year’s game.

“Excitement for the War on I-4 has been building since last season’s epic game watched by nearly five million people on ABC,” USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly said. “With ticket demand for the game continuing to build and remaining lower bowl seating inventory shrinking daily, we felt it was time to open tickets sales in the 300 level. We anticipate tickets moving quickly and a tremendous atmosphere in Raymond James Stadium on game day.”

The stadium’s 44,204 lower bowl seats and suite tickets have nearly sold-out for the game, with less than 700 prime seats remaining in various, dynamically-priced lower bowl sections. Upper deck tickets will begin priced between $29-$59.

USF leads the War on I-4 series, 6-3, and has won two of the last three meetings, but the Knights claimed a 49-42 victory in Orlando last season in a game that saw three touchdowns scored in the final 2:21. USF tied the game on an 83-yard touchdown pass from Quinton Flowers to Darnell Salomon with 1:41 left to play, but the Knights got a game-winning 95-yard kickoff return from Mike Hughes.

Senior Tyre McCants, the Bulls’ leading receiver in 2018, had a USF game record 227 yards receiving and a touchdown on nine catches in last season’s War on I-4 clash. The team’s combined to produce 1,186 yards of offense in the game.





USF Bulls Face Must Win Scenario in Next Two Road Games To Keep AAC Conference Championship Hopes Alive

(TAMPA, FL) Following a rare home loss and with its first two-game skid since dropping three straight early in the 2015 season, USF (7-2, 3-2) begins a two-game road swing against two teams above the Bulls in the AAC East Division standings. The Bulls have won the last three meetings vs. Cincinnati (8-1, 4-1) including a 45-20 win in their last trip to Nippert Stadium in 2016. The Bulls are 2-5 all-time at Cincinnati.

USF has lost back-to-back conference games for the first time since the last two games of 2014 (Memphis and UCF). The Bulls last three-game conference skid came in 2013. With possible temperatures in the 30’s at kickoff, it would mark the Bulls’ first kickoff below 40 degrees since falling 31-6 at Rutgers on Dec. 7, 2013.

USF will be facing its first ranked opponent since falling at No. 12 UCF (49-42) on Nov. 24, 2017. USF is 0-1 vs. ranked foes under Charlie Strong and 11-23 all-time. The Bulls’ last victory over a ranked team came vs. No. 22 Navy (52-45) in 2016. USF’s last road win vs. a ranked team came at No. 16 Notre Dame (23-20) on Sept. 3, 2011.

USF has gone 13-3 away from Tampa (10-3 in true road games) in the last three seasons and has won six of its last eight conference road games. The Bulls are averaging 40.5 ppg. in their last 16 games away from Tampa, failing to score at least 30 just twice.

Having passed for 322 yards in Saturday’s loss to Tulane, Blake Barnett enters this weekend’s game with 2,400 passing yards, 9th on the USF season charts, and closing quickly on the first 3,000-yard passing season in program history. Barnett ranks 19th nationally and third in The American passing for 267.2 yards per game and 16th nationally and third in The American in total offense (301.8 ypg).

Game Broadcast Information:
TV: ESPNU
• Play-by-Play: Bill Roth
• Analyst: Mike Golic Jr.

RADIO: USF Radio Network
• Play-by-Play: Jim Louk
• Analyst: Sam Barrington
• Sideline Reporter: Joey Johnston
• In Tampa: 820 AM / 96.7 FM
• Digital: iHeart Radio – Bulls Unlimited Channel





Bulls Conference Hopes Washed Away by Tulane’s Green Wave 41-15 in Tampa Saturday Night

(Tampa, FL) USF dropped consecutive conference games for the first time since the end of the 2014 season with a 41-15 setback against Tulane on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.

Tulane (4-5, 3-2 in AAC) took control of the game with 34 straight points after USF (7-2, 3-2 in AAC) started with a 3-0 lead. The Bulls’ nation-leading streak of consecutive 20-plus point games was snapped at 38.

Quarterback Blake Barnett completed 29 of 49 attempts for 332 yards and was the Bulls leading rusher in the game with 59 yards.

Tulane headed into halftime with a 27-3 lead after scoring 27 unanswered points, including 20 in the second quarter.

USF started the scoring in the middle of the opening quarter with a 27-yard field goal by Coby Weiss The 65-yard drive was sparked by Barnett’s career long 39-yard run on USF’s first offensive play of the game.

Following USF’s third turnover of the game, Darius Bradwell’s 73-yard touchdown run helped extend the Green Wave lead to 34-3 with 3:48 remaining in the third quarter. USF answered back about three minutes later with Ford’s eighth rushing touchdown run of the season from 5 yards out.

USF’s rally continued with a 1-yard touchdown run by Barnett that cut the deficit to 34-15 with 9:26 remaining. The touchdown was set up by a 31-yard reception by junior Darnell Salomon, who finished with three catches for 54 yards.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Andrew Mims recovered a fumble in USF territory on Tulane’s next drive, but the Bulls couldn’t complete their fourth double-digit fourth quarter comeback of the season.

USF returns to the road for a two-game stretch that begins with a test at Cincinnati on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7PM ET.

USF’s next home game is a War on I-4 clash with rival UCF in the Bulls’ regular season finale on Friday, Nov. 23 (time TBA).





USF Bulls Look to Rebound Saturday Against Tulane in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) Following its first loss since November of 2017, the Bulls return to Raymond James Stadium, where they have won 20 of their last 23 games, to face Tulane for the second time in program history. The Bulls won the first meeting, 34-28, last year in New Orleans in a game that saw a combined 920 yards of offense. The last time the Bulls lost back-to-back games was four seasons ago, losing three straight in September of 2015 to No. 8 Florida State, Maryland and Memphis (also the last time the Bulls lost more than one game in the same month). The Bulls have not lost back-to-back conference games since the last two games of 2014, falling to Memphis and UCF.

USF running backs coach Shaun King is one of the all-time greats in Tulane football history and was inducted into their Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. A four-year starter at QB, he led the Green Wave to a 12-0 record in 1998 and finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting. The school honored the 20th anniversary of that unbeaten team, which finished the season ranked No. 7 nationally, this past September. King played with a broken left wrist in a soft cast during that season and the Green Wave defeated BYU, 41-27, in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve. King was the first player in NCAA history to throw for 3,000+ and run for 500+ in the same season.

USF is one of 18 teams nationally with one loss or less on the year. Four of those teams reside in The American, tied with the SEC for the most nationally. USF plays the other three (Houston, Cincinnati & UCF) among its last five games.

USF has won 20 of its last 23 home games, with 15 wins coming by two touchdowns or more.

Jordan Cronkrite enters Saturday’s game needing just 67 yards to post the ninth 1,000-yard rushing season in program history and become the fifth USF player to achieve the mark.

Saturday will be USF’s annual Salute to Service game with the Bulls wearing helmet decals to honor those that have served in the nation’s armed forces and first responders. The pregame coin toss will be conducted by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Dennis Kelly (retired), a Vietnam veteran and father of USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly. The “Hero of the Game” will be Major Sergeant Marty Davenport, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), one of the last soldiers to leave Vietnam during the fall of Saigon.

Blake Barnett enters Saturday’s game with 2,078 passing yards and ranked 22nd nationally passing for 259.8 ypg. Barnett is well on pace to set a USF passing record and post the first 3,000-yard passing season in program history. The season passing mark is currently held by Quinton Flowers (2017) and Matt Grothe (2008) at 2,911 yards. Barnett has passed for 200-plus yards in 7-of-8 games on the year and is on pace to challenge the season record for 200-yard passing games set by Marquel Blackwell with 10 in 2001.

Barnett is completing 62.7 percent of his passes. The season completion percentage record is 63.7 percent posted by Matt Grothe in 2006.

Barnett has 160 completions and is averaging 20 per game. That puts him on pass to challenge the season pass completions record of 258 set by Marquel Blackwell in 2001.

USF is riding a program record-tying string of six straight games with a 100-yard rusher, equaling the mark set in 2016 by a combination of Quinton Flowers, Marlon Mack and Darius Tice.

USF ranks 6th nationally averaging 6.0 yards per rushing attempt, an improvement over last season’s 5.2 ypa, and is averaging 6.4 ypa over the last three games.

After averaging 174 ypg on the ground in the first four games of 2018, with a high of 215, the Bulls are averaging 291 ypg on the ground over the last four games, rushing for 250-plus in every game, and now rank 16th nationally in rushing (233.4 ypg).

The Bulls have posted six straight games with a 100-yard rusher, with Jordan Cronkrite posting a string of five straight that ended at Houston and Johnny Ford riding a current string of two straight.

Game broadcast information:

TV: CBS Sports Network
• Play-by-Play: Dave Ryan
• Analyst: Corey Chavous
• Sideline Reporter: –

RADIO: USF Radio Network
• Play-by-Play: Jim Louk
• Analyst: Sam Barrington
• Sideline Reporter: Joey Johnston
• In Tampa: 820 AM / 96.7 FM
• Digital: iHeart Radio – Bulls Unlimited Channel





USF Bulls Undefeated Run Ends in Houston Saturday

(Houston, TX) Freshman Johnny Ford registered his second straight 100-yard rushing game as USF’s undefeated run came to an end with a 57-36 loss at Houston on Saturday.

USF (7-1, 3-1 in AAC) entered the weekend as one of five remaining unbeaten FBS teams and fell for the first time since Nov. 24, 2017.

Ford rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries to help the Bulls run for at least 200 yards for the sixth time this season. Ford found the end zone twice during USF’s 21-point second quarter that started with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jordan Cronkrite. Seeking his sixth straight 100-yard game, Cronkrite finished with 73 rushing yards and needs 67 more yards to post USF’s ninth 1,000-yard season.

Quarterback Blake Barnett completed 26 of 39 passes for 263 yards. Barnett’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Deangelo Antoine made it a one-score game late in the third quarter, but the Bulls couldn’t put together their fourth double-digit fourth quarter comeback of the season.

Two of the nation’s top offenses took turns making plays during Saturday’s first half that saw Houston (7-1, 4-0 in AAC) take a 28-21 lead and USF rush for 176 yards. The Bulls scored 21 points in the second quarter with two touchdown runs by Ford in the period.

Scoring on its first two possessions, Houston jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first six minutes before USF tied things up with two touchdowns 13 seconds apart in the second quarter.

The Bulls cut their deficit in half with a 15-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that was capped by Cronkrite’s 1-yard run with 10:33 left in the half. Just two plays later, Ford sprinted to the end zone on a 32-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 14-14. The score was set-up by redshirt freshman safety Mekhi LaPointe’s first-career interception.

USF tied things back up at 21-21 after Antoine’s backside block helped Ford zoom around the Houston defense on a 17-yard touchdown run with 3:50 remaining in the half. Ford was well on his way to his second straight 100-yard rushing game with 85 yards on 10 carries in the first two quarters.

Key plays on defense and special teams helped the Bulls pull within two points of Houston in the first five minutes of the third quarter.

After Trent Schneider’s 62-yard punt to the Houston 1, defensive pressure in the end zone led to a safety on an intentional grounding call. Bentlee Sanders’ 41-yard return on the ensuing punt helped set up a 23-yard field goal by Coby Weiss with 10:47 to go in the third quarter.

Trailing 43-29, USF got back within a score of Houston on Barnett’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Antoine with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.

USF couldn’t manage to mount its fourth double-digit, fourth quarter comeback of the season despite finishing with at least 30 points for the 32nd time in the past 36 games dating back to 2015.

Greg Reaves led USF defensively with a career-high 12 tackles in his second straight start at middle linebacker. Senior linebacker Khalid McGee (Miami) finished with 10 tackles in his third double-digit effort of the season.

USF was looking to extend the program’s best-ever start to a season. The Bulls started the past two seasons at 7-0 and entered Saturday’s game as one of only five remaining FBS teams.

USF is now 35-7 (83.3 %) over its past 42 games. USF entered Saturday tied with Oklahoma (35-6) and Ohio State and bettered only by Alabama and Clemson for the best record in a team’s past 41 games.

USF has scored at least 20 points in 38 straight games, the longest streak in the nation. USF has scored at least 30 points 32 of its past 36 games dating back to the 2015 season.

USF returns to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 3 to host Tulane. The Bulls’ Salute to Service game is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.





USF Bulls vs. Houston Cougars Post Game Report 10/27/18

Doug Miles recaps the USF Bulls vs. Houston Cougars American Athletic Conference game in Houston, TX 10/27/18.





Undefeated Bulls Travel to Houston to Play Cougars Saturday Afternoon in Nationally Televised Game

(Tampa, FL) USF (7-0, 3-0) faces its most important game of the season so far as the Bulls travel to Houston Saturday afternoon to play the Cougars (6-1, 3-0) in a game to be televised nationally on ABC-TV (3:30 PM EDT).

One of five remaining unbeaten teams in FBS football, two unbeaten and ranked in the AAC East Division, USF entered last season’s Oct. 28 game vs. Houston at 7-0 and ranked No. 17/14 before suffering a 28-24 setback in Tampa when D’Eriq King ran in for a 20-yard TD with 11 seconds to play. The teams’ combined record of 13-1 is the best among all college football matchups this week. The Bulls have lost their last three games vs. Houston and will be looking for their first win over the Cougars since a 32-14 victory in Houston in 2002. USF fell, 35-23, in its last trip to Houston in 2013. This will be the Bulls’ first ever game in TDECU Stadium.

In addition to the television broadcast, the game can be heard on the USF Radio Network on 820 AM/96.7 FM and online over the iHeart Radio Bulls Unlimited Channel.





USF Bulls Hang on for 38-30 Win Over UConn to Stay Unbeaten at 7-0

(Tampa, FL) Johnny Ford and Jordan Cronkrite both rushed for 100-plus yards as USF posted the program’s second straight 7-0 start to a season with a 38-30 victory over UConn before a homecoming crowd of 41,127 at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night.

One of just five remaining unbeaten teams in FBS football, No. 21/20 USF (7-0, 3-0 in The American) seized the momentum with a 17-point third quarter and totaled 611 yards on the way to matching the program’s best-ever start to a season. After heading into halftime tied at 7-7, USF registered 199 of its 346 total rushing yards during a 31-point outburst in the second half.

USF finished with two 100-yard rushers for the 15th time in program history. Ford scored three times on seven carries and finished with 164 yards in his first career 100-yard game. The freshman from Miami set a USF game record (minimum five carries) with 23.4 yards per attempt and now owns USF’s longest non-scoring run after breaking off a 78-yarder in the third quarter.

Cronkrite extended his 100-yard rushing streak to five games with 103 yards on 16 carries. The junior’s five straight 100-yard rushing games match the program record also held by Quinton Flowers (2016) and Marlon Mack (2015).

Quarterback Blake Barnett rushed for 78 yards on 10 carries and scored his team-leading seventh touchdown on the ground from 20 yards out during USF’s 17-point third quarter. Barnett also shook off two early interceptions to complete 20 of 28 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown.

Redshirt freshman Randall St. Felix caught two passes for a game-high 123 yards and ignited USF’s 17-point third quarter with a 75-yard touchdown reception on the Bulls’ first offensive play of the second half.

In the 16th meeting between the programs, UConn (1-6, 0-4 in AAC) grabbed a 7-0 lead near the midpoint of the opening quarter and USF evened things up just before halftime. Ford’s 15-yard touchdown run with 43 seconds before the break capped off a seven-play, 80-yard drive.

USF seized the lead on its first offensive play of the second half when St. Felix took a short pass and went the distance for a 75-yard touchdown. It marked USF’s longest pass play of the season and extended St. Felix’s catch streak to seven games.

Big plays continued for the Bulls midway through their 17-point third quarter when Ford covered 78 yards on USF’s longest ever non-scoring run. The ninth-longest run in USF history helped set up Coby Weiss’ 30-yard field goal that extended the lead to 17-7 with 6:07 to go in the quarter.

After UConn cut its deficit to 17-14, Jernard Phillips got the Bulls back into scoring position with a career long 69-yard kickoff return. Two plays later, Barnett registered his team-leading seventh rushing touchdown of the season from 20 yards out with 2:34 remaining in the third quarter.

Nick Roberts’ 61-yard interception return set up Ford’s second 15-yard rushing touchdown to help pump the USF lead up to 31-14 less than a minute in the fourth quarter. Roberts (Jacksonville, Fla.) matched his career high with 10 tackles while fellow redshirt freshman Mekhi LaPointe set a new career high with a game-high 11 tackles.

UConn responded with 10 straight points before Ford’s 43-yard rushing touchdown helped put USF ahead, 38-23, with 4:46 remaining. UConn cut the lead to 38-30 with 2:24 remaining but never got the ball back.

USF heads back on the road for a conference test at Houston on Saturday, Oct. 27. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on ABC.

The Bulls return to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 3 to host Tulane in the Bulls’ Salute to Service game (kickoff time: TBA).





USF Bulls Return to Top 20 in Rankings After Comeback Win over Tulsa Friday Night

(Tampa, FL) One of just eight remaining unbeaten teams in FBS football, USF (6-0; 2-0 American) has reached bowl eligibility on the earliest date in program history and climbed into the top 20 of the national rankings for the 31st time in program history, checking in at No. 20 in the latest Amway Coaches Poll and No. 21 in the Associated Press Poll.

One of three unbeaten and Top 25 ranked teams in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference, USF’s comeback from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit in a 25-24 victory at Tulsa marked its largest fourth quarter comeback since 2012 and earned the Bulls bowl eligibility on Oct. 12, one day earlier than the previous earliest date in program history.

Bowl eligible for the fourth straight season and in October for the sixth time in program history, the 2018 Bulls team bettered by one day the 2007 team, which earned bowl eligibility on Oct. 13, 2007 after a 64-12 defeat of UCF.

The American is the only conference nationally with three unbeaten teams. The Bulls are joined by No. 10/9 UCF (6-0) and No. 20/21 Cincinnati (6-0). UCF comes to Raymond James Stadium for the War on I-4 on Fri., Nov. 23 while the Bulls travel face Cincinnati on Sat., Nov. 10.

Junior Jordan Cronkrite posted his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game, collecting 151 yards and a 66-yard touchdown Friday in Tulsa. Cronkrite stands third nationally in rushing yards per game (151.4) and yards per carry (8.05) and became the first Bull to post four touchdown runs of 60-plus yards in the same season. With 757 yards and six touchdowns through six games, Cronkrite is well on his way to posting the ninth 1,000-yard rushing season in program history and becoming just the fifth Bull to accomplish the feat. The Bulls have been ranked in the top 10 nationally in rushing in each of the previous three seasons and have had a 1,000-yard rusher for a program record four straight seasons.

USF returns to Raymond James Stadium, where it has won 19 of its last 22 games, on Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. Homecoming clash with UConn (1-5; 0-3 American). The Bulls have won six straight games against the Huskies and will be looking to equal the program’s best-ever start by improving to 7-0 for the second straight season. The Bulls are 34-6 in their last 40 games, a mark that is tied with Oklahoma for the fourth-best mark nationally over each team’s last 40 contests and trails only Alabama (38-2), Clemson (36-4) and Ohio State (35-5).

Saturday’s game will be televised by CBS Sports Network and can be heard live on the USF Sports Network (820AM; iHeart Radio Bulls Unlimited).