Tag Archives: American Athletic Conference

USF RB Jordan Cronkrite Named American Athletic Conference Player of the Week

(Tampa, FL) USF junior running back Jordan Cronkrite (Miami) has been named the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week after a record-setting 302-yard and three-touchdown day in the Bulls’ win at UMass.

Cronkrite, who previously earned conference honor roll recognition in Week 4, became the third USF player to earn conference player of the week honors for the 5-0 Bulls on the year, as he joined quarterback Blake Barnett (Week 3) and wide receiver Terrence Horne (Week 2). Cronkrite also earned Honorable Mention National Performer of the Week honors from the College Football Performance Awards, AAC Offensive Player of the Week from College Sports Madness, and a helmet sticker on ESPN College Football Final.

Cronkrite posted a USF and American Athletic Conference record 302 yards rushing at UMass with touchdown runs of 77, 76 and 30 yards. Cronkrite averaged a USF game-record 13.1 yards per carry in posting the second-highest rushing total in the NCAA in 2018 and the fourth-most rushing yards ever by a player from a state of Florida FBS program.

Cronkrite enters Week 7 ranked third nationally and second in The American in rushing yards per game (151.5) and yards per carry (8.78), and owns three of the nation’s top 21 longest rushing plays on the season with touchdown runs of 80, 77 and 76 yards on the year.

He is riding a string of three straight 100-yard games into USF’s Friday ESPN primetime clash at Tulsa. His 567 yards (9.45 ypc) in his last three games rank as the second-most ever over a three-game span by a USF player, coming up just shy of the record of 591 set by Andre Hall in 2004.

Head Coach Charlie Strong’s Monday press conference on the Tulsa game this Friday:

One of just 11 remaining unbeaten teams in FBS football, USF (5-0; 1-0 American) put an end to its short stint outside the national Top 25 rankings on Sunday, when the Bulls entered the Week 7 rankings in both the Associated Press Poll and Amway Coaches Poll at No. 23.

USF is one of three unbeaten teams in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference as The American is the only conference nationally with three unbeaten teams. The Bulls are joined by No. 10/9 UCF (5-0) and No. 25/25 Cincinnati (6-0).

After finishing up its second straight unbeaten non-conference season and improving to 12-2 away from Tampa in its last 14 games, USF will resume conference play on Friday with a 7 p.m. ESPN primetime kickoff at Tulsa (1-4; 0-2 American). The Bulls are 33-6 in their last 39 games, a mark that is tied with Oklahoma and Wisconsin for the fourth-best nationally over that span and trails only Alabama (37-2), Clemson (35-4) and Ohio State (34-5).





Undefeated USF Bulls Return to Top 25 Rankings After Rout of UMass Saturday

(Tampa, FL) One of just 11 remaining unbeaten teams in FBS football, USF (5-0; 1-0 American) put an end to its short stint outside the national Top 25 rankings on Sunday when the Bulls entered the Week 7 rankings in both the Associated Press Poll and Amway Coaches Poll at No. 23.

The Bulls saw a program record run of 20 straight weeks in the Top 25 rankings ended when the 2018 preseason polls were announced and did not include a USF team that lost 13 starters, including its record-breaking quarterback and middle linebacker. After six weeks of the 2018 season, the Bulls are 5-0 for the second straight season, the sixth time in program history, and back in the Top 25.

USF posted 574 yards of offense and a season-high 365 yards rushing, the 10th-best total in program history, in a 58-42 victory at UMass on Saturday that included a run of 31 straight points that gave the Bulls a 41-14 lead midway through the third quarter. The offensive outburst was fueled by a USF and American Athletic Conference record 302 yards rushing from junior Jordan Cronkrite (Miami) who posted touchdown runs of 77, 76 and 30 yards. Cronkrite averaged 13.1 yards per carry in posting the second highest rushing total in the NCAA in 2018 and the fourth-most rushing yards ever by a player from a state of Florida FBS program. Cronkrite now stands third nationally in rushing yards per game (151.5) and yards per carry (8.78) and owns three of the nation’s top 21 longest rushing plays on the season.

USF is one of three unbeaten teams in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference as The American is the only conference nationally with three unbeaten teams. The Bulls are joined by No. 10/9 UCF (5-0) and No. 25/25 Cincinnati (6-0). UCF comes to Raymond James Stadium for the War on I-4 on Fri., Nov. 23 while the Bulls travel to face Cincinnati on Sat., Nov. 10.

After finishing up its second straight unbeaten non-conference season and improving to 12-2 away from Tampa in its last 14 games, USF will resume conference play on Friday with a 7:00 p.m. ESPN primetime kickoff at Tulsa (1-4; 0-2 American). The Bulls are 33-6 in their last 39 games, a mark that is tied with Oklahoma and Wisconsin for the fourth-best nationally over that span and trails only Alabama (37-2), Clemson (35-4) and Ohio State (34-5).





USF at UMass Football Game to be Aired in Tampa Bay on WTTA-TV Channel 38

(TAMPA, FL) The unbeaten USF football team returns to action this Saturday when the Bulls travel to Amherst, Mass., to take on Massachusetts in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. The game is being televised by Eleven Sports and will be aired locally in the Bay Area on WFLA sister station WTTA-TV Great 38.

WTTA-TV Great 38 can be received by over-the-air antenna in the Bay Area on channel 38 as well as on Spectrum (Ch. 6 & 1006 HD), Frontier (Ch. 14 & 513 HD) and Comcast/Xfinity (Ch. 11 & 435 HD) cable systems and via DirecTV (Ch. 38) and Dish Network (Ch. 38). The game is also being broadcast on Eleven Sports (available via DirecTV, ATT Uverse and Verizon Fios) and NESN (available on DirecTV).

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with WFLA and its sister station WTTA Great 38 to provide fans in the Bay Area the opportunity to watch their Bulls take the field this Saturday at UMass,” USF Vice President for Athletics Michael Kelly said. “We reached out to Eleven Sports, which is broadcasting the game in the Northeast, and were able to work out an agreement to license the game for distribution in the Bay Area, and WFLA was terrific in clearing the air time and a great location in which to broadcast it. We know area fans will enjoy the opportunity to cheer on their Bulls.”

The Eleven Sports broadcast team of Eric Frede, Andy Gresh and sideline reporter Matt Goldstein, a former UMass kicker, will call the game.

USF is one of just 14 teams that remain undefeated in FBS football as the Bulls return after a bye week at 4-0. The Bulls checked in just outside the Top 25 rankings this week, collecting 83 votes in the AP Poll (27th) and 109 in the Coaches Poll (26th).

The Bulls have won 32 of their last 38 games, tied for fifth-best in the nation over that span, entering Saturday’s contest at UMass (2-4). The game can also be heard live on the USF Sports Network on 820 AM in the Bay Area and digitally on the iHeart Radio Bulls Unlimited channel.

The American Athletic Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) once again has made mental health and safety its top priority. All 13 American institutions will kick off the American Athletic Conference’s Pow6rful Minds Campaign for 2018-19 with Mental Health Awareness Week, Oct. 1-7. This is part of an important initiative to improve awareness of mental health issues and resources available to student-athletes with the goal of ending the stigma related to seeking help and promoting success through a healthy, powerful mind. Learn more HERE.





USF Bulls vs E. Carolina Pirates recap from the Press Box in Tampa 9-22-18

USF Bulls vs E. Carolina Pirates recap from the Press Box in Tampa 9-22-18.

USF Head Coach Charlie Strong Post game Presser





USF Bulls 3-0 Open AAC Conference Schedule Against ECU Saturday night in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls will open their sixth season in The American Athletic Conference Saturday night vs. ECU, a team USF is 7-1 against all-time and has won three straight games against, including a 61-31 victory in Greenville in USF’s second AAC game last year. The Bulls are 4-1 in AAC openers, having won their last two. This will mark USF’s fifth AAC opener played at home, the Bulls are 3-1 in those games with a loss to Memphis (24-17) in 2015. USF is 9-6 all-time in conference openers. A win would mark USF’s second straight 4-0 start to a season (USF started 7-0 in 2017) and the seventh in program history.

PROGRAM WIN 150: USF is seeking the 150th win in program history in just its 22nd season. The Bulls will try to reach the mark in program game 255 (149-105, .586), which would be the fastest of any FBS program in the state of Florida to reach the mark. The next closest is Florida in 258 games. USF has gone 24-4 since the start of 2016.

AMERICAN ROLL: USF is 19-5 in AAC games over the last three seasons, the best record in the conference, and has won 10 of its last 11 AAC home games, with the loss coming to Houston (28-24) in the final 11 seconds last year. The Bulls have won seven straight home games vs. AAC East Division foes, with the last loss coming in 2014. The Bulls are 13-2 vs. East Division foes the last three years (losses at UCF (2017) and at Temple (2016) and 16-6 overall.

HOME COOKING: USF has won 18 of its last 21 home games, with 15 wins coming by two touchdowns or more.

EXTRA YARD FOR TEACHERS: USF will sport helmet decals in support of Extra Yard for Teachers. The CFP Foundation is spearheading the charge towards elevating the teaching profession using the high profile of college football through the implementation of four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development.

LAST TIME VS. ECU:
Six different players scored touchdowns in USF’s most explosive game of the 2017 season, a 61-31 victory at East Carolina hat marked the Bulls’ most points ever in a road game. It was USF’s second-highest scoring game in American Athletic Conference play.

USF rushed for a season-high 390 yards and totaled 575 total yards.

USF had a highly productive 21-point first quarter and held ECU to just seven second half points while running off 24 unanswered to cruise to the win.
Quinton Flowers passed Tim Tebow to become the state of Florida’s top career rushing FBS quarterback and posted 93 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries. Flowers added two touchdown passes during his 253-yard day.

TV: ESPNews
• Play-by-Play: Dave LaMont
• Analyst: Ray Bentley
• Sideline Reporter: NA
• Online: espn.com/watch

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 QB Blake Barnett Named AAC Offensive Player of the Week

(TAMPA) Another week and another conference honor for USF quarterback Blake Barnett who is off to a blazing start in his Bulls debut.

After being named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll following each of his first two USF starts, Barnett was named the Conference Offensive Player of the Week following a 411-yard passing day against Power Five foe Illinois and leading another fourth quarter comeback.

Barnett passed for two touchdowns and 172 yards in the fourth quarter as he led USF back from a 12-point deficit with drives of 75, 71 and 85 yards. The Bulls tallied 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, capped by Barnett’s game-winning 50-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Salomon with 2:24 to play.

Barnett completed 23-of-40 passes for 411 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He tallied 428 total yards on the day. Barnett’s passing yardage ranks as the second-most ever by a USF quarterback while his total yards rank seventh.

Barnett enters week 4 ranked in the top 21 of seven NCAA statistics. He stands eighth nationally in total offense (352.3 ypg), 10th in total passing yards (918), 11th in points per game (20.7 ppg) and 14th in passing yards per game (307.7 ypg). Barnett has thrown seven touchdown passes to five different receivers on the year, with four averaging 60 yards or better receiving per game, and is completing 64.8 percent of his passes.

Barnett will look to lead USF to its third straight conference opening win Saturday when the Bulls take on the ECU Pirates in an 8 p.m. kickoff at Raymond James Stadium. USF is 4-1 all-time in American Athletic Conference openers and 7-1 all-time vs. ECU.

A Bulls’ win would mark the 150th in program history in the program’s 255th game. That would make USF the fastest FBS program in the state of Florida to reach 150 wins, bettering Florida, which did it in the program’s 258th game in 1937.

The game will be televised by ESPNews and can be heard live on the USF Radio Network (820 AM locally, iHeart Radio Bulls Unlimited Channel).





USF Bulls Erase 12-Point Fourth Quarter Deficit to Defeat Illinois 25-19

(CHICAGO) USF (3-0) erased a 12-point fourth quarter deficit with 18 unanswered points and extended its winning streak against Power Five foes to five straight with a 25-19 victory over Illinois at Soldier Field on Saturday.

Darnell Salomon (Miami) completed the comeback with a 50-yard touchdown catch on a pass from Blake Barnett (Corona, Calif.) with 2:24 remaining after starting the fourth quarter with a 14-yard touchdown reception. USF’s defense came up huge with three sacks on the final drive of the game and didn’t allow a touchdown for the final 55 minutes, 6 seconds.

Barnett threw both his touchdown passes to Salomon in the fourth quarter, completing 23 of 40 attempts for 411 yards, good for the second-best performance in the USF single-game record book. Salomon finished with five catches for 95 yards as the Bulls came from behind in the fourth quarter for the second straight week.

Defensively, linebackers Khalid McGee (Miami) and Nico Sawtelle (Jensen Beach, Fla.) had career-high tackle days with 14 and 13 stops, respectively. Ronnie Hoggins (Coconut Creek, Fla.) added 11 tackles while Kevin Kegler (Madison, Fla.) finished with a career-high 1.5 sacks.

Mitchell Wilcox (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) set a new USF game record for a tight end with eight catches for 109 yards, both career highs. Barnett also completed six passes to Randall St. Felix (Miami), who finished his second 100-yard game with 120 receiving yards and hauled in a career long 55-yard catch in the fourth quarter.

Jordan Cronkrite (Miami) rushed for a career-high 136 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries to help the Bulls register their fourth 600-plus yard outing. The Bulls finished with 626 yards, outgaining Illinois, which finished with 380, by 246 yards on the day.

USF faced its first halftime deficit this season despite leading Illinois in offensive yards by a 267-231 margin in the first two quarters.

Illinois (2-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead just over four minutes into the first quarter. USF bounced right back with Cronkrite’s first touchdown run as a Bull from 3 yards out that capped off an 11-play, 75-yard drive in 3:02. The sequence was kept alive by a gutsy 7-yard reception by Wilcox on fourth-and-5 from the Illinois 26.

USF trailed, 16-7, at the break after preventing more points with a clutch takeaway on defense. Down, 13-7, in the second quarter, senior cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (Tampa) recovered an Illinois fumble at the USF 31 with 5:26 to go before halftime. McGee had a standout first half with nine tackles (seven solo).

USF cut into its 12-point fourth quarter deficit with Barnett’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Salomon on the first play of the period. Wilcox posted four catches for 53 yards on the 11-play, 75-yard drive.

Coby Weiss’ 26-yard field goal made it a two-point game with 7:47 remaining. The score was set up by a leaping, career long 55-yard catch by St. Felix down to the Illinois 12.

USF’s defense forced a punt with 3:47 left to give coordinator Gilbert’s offense a chance at a go-ahead score. USF needed just 1:17 to grab its first lead, capping off a six-play, 85-yard drive with Barnett’s 50-yard touchdown pass to Salomon. Barnett increased the lead to 25-19 with a two-point conversion pass to St. Felix.

Sacks by Kirk Livingstone (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Kegler and Tyrone Barber (Venice, Fla.) helped stall the final Illinois drive that ended with an incomplete pass in the end zone with no time remaining.

Head coach Charlie Strong’s thoughts on USF’s comeback victory:

The Bulls are back at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22 for a conference clash with East Carolina. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNews.





USF Bulls travel to Chicago Saturday to face the Fighting Illini of Illinois

(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls (2-0) will play their first-ever game in Chicago and second in the state of Illinois on Saturday in the second of a two-game series with the Illini. The Bulls won the first meeting, 47-23, last year in Tampa. USF last ventured to the state of Illinois in 2001, falling, 20-17, at Northern Illinois. It will mark USF’s fourth Big Ten road game in the last six seasons and fifth overall. The Bulls are 1-5 all-time vs. Big Ten opponents, that victory coming last year vs. Illinois, and are 0-4 in road games vs. the Big Ten, falling at Maryland (2015; 35-17), Wisconsin (2014; 27-10), Michigan State (2013; 21-6) and Penn State (2005; 23-13).

Coming off a 49-38 win over Georgia Tech, USF is looking for its fifth straight win vs. a Power 5 opponent. The Bulls have won six of their last seven meetings vs. P5 teams, including a pair of bowl victories. The loss came to No. 13 Florida State (55-35) in 2016 in Tampa. The American has posted four wins vs. P5 teams so far in 2018.

Illini Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach Rod Smith was on the USF staff from 2001-06 under head coach Jim Leavitt, serving as QB Coach/Passing Game Coordinator and then Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach (2005-06). Meanwhile, nine coaches in the game have Tampa Bay Buccaneers ties, including Illini Head Coach Lovie Smith who served as head coach of the Buccaneers from 2014-15 and was the linebackers coach from 1996-2000.

USF has gone 23-4 since the start of 2016, including 10-1 in out-of-conference games (two bowl wins) with the only loss coming to No. 13 Florida State in 2016. The Bulls have posted a 18-3 record in Raymond James Stadium over the past four seasons and are in the midst of the most successful run in program history (31-9 (77.5) since 2015) that includes a 30-6 mark in the last 36 games, which ranks among the top six in the nation over that time.

Broadcast info for Saturdays Bulls game:
USF (2-0; 0-0 American) vs. Illinois (2-0; 0-0 Big Ten)
Saturday, Sept. 15 • 3:30 PM (ET) • Soldier Field • Big Ten Network
TV: Big Ten Network (BTN)
• Play-by-Play: Dave Revsine
• Analyst: J Leman
• Sideline Reporter: Ally Strum
• Online: BTN2Go.com

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
• Satellite: Sirius 145 / XM 386





USF Bulls vs Georgia Tech recap from the Press Box in Tampa 9/8/18





USF Bulls vs. Elon Phoenix recap from the Press Box in Tampa 9/1/18