(Tampa, FL) The USF football team’s War on I-4 clash at UCF (7-3; 4-2 American) on Friday, Nov. 29 has been set for an 8 p.m. kickoff on ESPN.
The Bulls (4-6; 2-4 American) and Knights will be meeting for the 11th time with USF holding a 6-4 advantage in the series. The last game played at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando was hailed as one of the top games of the 2017 season, as the Knights prevailed in a 49-42 epic between two ranked teams decided in the final minutes. The Bulls are 3-2 in Orlando, including a 44-3 victory in 2015.
On Monday, the American Athletic Conference also announced home and away opponents for conference teams for the upcoming 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The 2020 season will be the first for The American with 11 football-playing institutions. The 2020 and 2021 schedules will include eight conference games – four home games and four road contests – for each team in each season. Each team will face the other 10 teams at least once in the two-year cycle.
“This scheduling model provides balance and competitive equity and will contribute to the exciting seasons to which we have become accustomed in the American Athletic Conference,” said American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco. “It is a fair model that was unanimously supported by our athletic directors.”
The American will not have a divisional format for its 2020 and 2021 football seasons. The conference will determine the procedures for determining the participants in the American Athletic Conference Football Championship at a later date.
USF’s home and away conference schedule for the 2020 and 2021 seasons are below. In a quirk of the new scheduling matrix involving 11 conference teams, the Bulls will face Tulsa in Raymond James Stadium in back-to-back seasons in 2020 and 2021.
Home: UCF, ECU, Navy, Tulsa
Away: Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, Temple (will not play SMU, Tulane)
Home: Cincinnati, Houston, Temple, Tulsa
Away: UCF, ECU, SMU, Tulane (will not play Memphis, Navy)
(Tampa, FL) USF gave No. 17 Cincinnati all it could handle in a 20-17 loss that went to the final second Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.
Following the Bulls’ missed chance at a go-ahead field goal from 33 yards out with 2:07 to play, Sam Crosa made a 37-yard kick as time expired to earn the Bearcats (9-1, 6-0) at least a share of The American’s East Division title.
Powered by a solid defensive effort, USF (4-6, 2-4) took a 10-0 lead into halftime and held a 17-10 advantage early in the fourth quarter. The Bulls’ bid for their first win over a ranked opponent since 2016 was hampered by four missed field goals from 50, 53, 43 and 33 yards out.
Cincinnati, which came to Tampa averaging 32.7 points, was shut out in the first half for just the second time this season and was outgained by the Bulls by a 438-278 margin. Sophomore linebacker Antonio Grier Jr. led USF’s valiant defensive effort with a career-high 10 tackles, including two of USF’s eight tackles for loss and one of the team’s four sacks as the Bulls forced eight punts and gained a takeaway for the 10th straight game.
Redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud completed 18 of 27 passes for a career-high 267 yards and a touchdown. McCloud’s 4-yard scoring pass to senior tight end Mitchell Wilcox helped spot USF a 17-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
USF got a team-high 78 rushing yards from Jordan Cronkrite. The senior from Miami moved up to eighth on the program’s career rushing list with 1,808 yards. Freshman Kelley Joiner Jr. set career highs with 72 rushing yards on 13 carries and totaled a team-best 121 all-purpose yards.
Cincinnati didn’t get a first down until late in the first quarter and that drive resulted in its fourth punt. USF took advantage of the opportunity with a 28-yard field goal by freshman Spencer Shrader Freshman Xavier Weaver had a 37-yard reception on the 13-play, 85-yard drive.
Cincinnati found the end zone on the second drive of the second half before the Bulls answered right back. McCloud’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Wilcox capped off a seven-play, 75-yard drive that extended the USF lead to 17-7 with 7:12 to play in the third quarter. Joiner exploded downfield on the first play of the sequence with a career long 49-yard reception.
The Bearcats tied things up in the first minute of the fourth quarter, which set up a dramatic finish in the 17th meeting between the programs.
With the Bulls backed up at their own 3 midway through the quarter, McCloud threw a quick pass to junior Eddie McDoom, who raced downfield through defenders on a career-long 41 reception. Three plays later, McCloud completed a 19-yard pass to sophomore Bryce Miller on third-and-4 down to the Cincinnati 31. USF got as close as the Bearcats’ 15 before missing the potential go-ahead field goal with 2:07 remaining.
Cincinnati then converted twice on third-and-long and drove 60 yards to set up Crosa’s game-winning field goal in the final seconds.
“This one hurts and it hurts because you saw a great team effort tonight”, said Bulls Head Coach Charlie Strong. “Just the way our guys came out and the energy they had and just the way they played from start to finish. We had our opportunities, and it’s tough because of the opportunities that we had. There’s no blame for anyone. It’s one of those losses that’s a team loss. We have two games left and we’ve got to get to a bowl game.”
USF wraps up a three-game homestand Saturday, Nov. 23 against No. 18 Memphis. Kickoff time for the Bulls’ Senior Day game is 4 p.m. on ESPNU.
(Sarasota, FL) The Baltimore Orioles today announced that they will host an additional home game during their 10th anniversary season in Sarasota. The Orioles will play against the New York Mets at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday, March 23 at 1:05 p.m.
Single-game tickets for the club’s Grapefruit League season, which now features 17 home dates in Sarasota, will go on sale on Saturday, January 11 at orioles.com/spring
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on Tuesday, February 11, while the full-squad report date is set for Sunday, February 16. The 2020 season will mark the Orioles’ 11th consecutive Spring Training season in Sarasota and the club’s 10th at renovated Ed Smith Stadium.
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(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls game with No. 17 Cincinnati (8-1; 5-0 American) this Saturday at Raymond James Stadium has been set for a 7 p.m. kickoff and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
The Bulls (4-5; 2-3 American) and Bearcats will meet for the 17th time in USF’s Salute to Service game. Cincinnati, which is coming off a 48-3 victory over Connecticut Saturday, leads the all-time series, 9-7, but the Bulls hold a 5-3 edge in Tampa, including a 33-3 victory in Cincinnati’s last trip in 2017.
The Bearcats posted a 35-23 victory over USF in Cincinnati last year in the coldest kickoff in USF program history. The teams took the field with the temperature reading 28 degrees at kickoff. USF took a 16-14 lead to halftime in the game before the Bearcats scored 21 third quarter points and posted the win behind 151 yards and three touchdowns rushing from Michael Warren. USF started quarterback Chris Oladokun in the game and he passed for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
The sixth Horns Up Rally of the season will be held on Friday from 5-8 p.m. on 7th Avenue in Ybor City.
(Tampa, FL) USF’s woes continued before a sparse crowd at Raymond James Stadium dropping a 17-7 decision to Temple. The Bulls gave up 9 sacks and committed some bad penalties in crucial moments to drop their record 4-5 and 2-3 in the American Athletic Conference.
USF kept Temple (6-3, 3-2) scoreless for most of the first half and totaled its 21st takeaway of the season with an interception by Bentlee Sanders on the opening drive of the third quarter with the Owls clinging to a 7-0 lead. Sanders added a sack on a night in which USF totaled eight tackles for loss, forced four punts and two turnovers on downs.
USF cut its deficit to 14-7 with a 14-yard touchdown reception by sophomore Bryce Miller late in the third quarter. Two turnovers and a key drop slowed the Bulls’ progress on offense after they put up 525 yards and 45 points the last time out at East Carolina on Oct. 26.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud completed 23 of 38 passes for a career-high 225 yards and a touchdown in his seventh straight start. Senior tight end Mitchell Wilcox set up USF’s lone touchdown with a 25-yard catch and had a team-best 55 yards on a season-high five receptions.
USF’s defense dominated early in the sixth meeting between the schools before Temple used a late touchdown to take a 7-0 lead into the break. The Bulls’ defense gave up just 246 yards prior to Temple’s final drive and saw the Owls finish with 320 yards.
A big stop on Temple’s first drive set the tone for a shutout performance by the Bulls in the opening quarter. Sophomore Tyrone Barber made a clutch tackle for a loss of 2 yards with the Owls facing fourth-and-1 at the Bulls’ 7-yard line.
USF followed that up by forcing a pair of three-and-outs and sophomore linebacker Dwayne Boyles (Miami) ended the second sequence with a sack early in the second quarter. Senior end Darius Slade crashed through the line and posted his first sack as a Bull to halt Temple’s fourth drive that covered 20 yards on four plays.
Temple’s Jager Gardner made the biggest offensive play of the half with a 57-yard run on third-and-1 down to the USF 2. Gardner would finish with 133 yards on 25 carries on the night. Three plays later, Todd Centeio threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Yeboah with just 1:29 to go before the break.
USF’s defense kept it a one-score game on the opening drive of the second half thanks to Sanders’ first-career interception at the Bulls’ 10-yard line. Sanders’ second sack of the season stalled Temple’s very next drive.
Temple took a 14-0 lead on a 39-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by Sam Franklin with 4:45 to play in the third quarter.
The Bulls bounced right back on their next drive with a 14-yard touchdown reception by Miller. Freshman Xavier Weaver (Orlando) sparked the seven-play, 90-yard sequence with a career high 40-yard reception. Wilcox set up the score with a leaping 25-yard catch that got the Bulls to the Temple 14. McCloud went 3-for-3 for 79 yards on the drive that kept the Bulls close with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter.
Down 17-7 in the fourth quarter, USF was at midfield and nearly got into scoring position on an accurate deep pass by McCloud that was dropped. The Bulls were set to get the ball back after a Temple three-and-out, but a roughing the kicker penalty extended the Owls’ drive that ended at the USF 9 with 2:06 remaining.
“This is a tough one, a hard one to swallow”, said USF Head Coach Charlie Strong. “We had opportunities and didn’t take advantage of them. You look at the first drive, we’re driving the football, then end up turning the ball over. We could’ve got a score there and the defense played well up until right before half, giving up the drive where they scored on us. When the opportunity’s there, you have to take advantage of it, and we didn’t take advantage of it. Playing against a good football team, you can’t go out there and make mistakes – every mistake cost us.”
The Bulls continue a three-game homestand Saturday, Nov. 16 against No. 17 Cincinnati before the program’s Senior Day game against No. 19 Memphis on Saturday, Nov. 23. Kickoff times for both games have yet to be announced.
Doug Miles talks with Rupy Aujla (aka Dr. Rupy) author “Eat to Beat Illness, 80 Simple, Delicious Recipes Inspired by the Science of Food as Medicine” on “Talk Across America”. Book link available below: