(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.
• 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
(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).
(Tampa, FL) ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, has announced the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will now be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL beginning this year.
Owned and operated by the Tampa Sports Authority, Raymond James Stadium is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and host to the Outback Bowl and the 2017 National Championship.
“We are excited about the continued growth of this bowl game,” said Clint Overby, vice president of ESPN Events. “I want to thank those we have worked with in St. Petersburg and at Tropicana Field in helping us build this game into a quality, postseason experience.
The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will continue to hold a presence in Pinellas County during bowl week, hosting multiple events and maintaining relationships with its beach hotel partners. Bowl week plans for 2018 include former Tampa Bay Buc Mike Alstott hosting team visits to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in downtown St. Petersburg and the Battle at the Beach taking place at the City of Treasure Island Gulf Front Park.
“Since the inception of the bowl in 2008 our staff has aimed to forge special relationships with stakeholders on both sides of Bay,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. “This move will continue to support our ability to better expand our relationships across Tampa Bay. With our new home at Raymond James Stadium, Bad Boy Mowers, the two participating teams and their fans will be able to enjoy the incredible benefits of one of the best football venues in America.”
The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will air on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 20, from Raymond James Stadium. Tickets will go on sale later this year.
(Tampa, FL) No. 20 Florida dominated the Outback with stingy defense and a persistent offense that did its job, too.
Chauncey Gardner, Jr., returned one of his two fourth-quarter interceptions 58 yards for a touchdown, and graduate transfer Austin Appleby threw for 222 yards and two TDs to pace Monday’s 30-3 rout of No. 21 Iowa.
With Gardner grabbing game MVP honors, the Gators (9-4) held up their end of what many expected to be a day defense ruled , especially considering Florida entered ranked 115th in the nation in total offense — five spots ahead of the sputtering Hawkeyes.
Conversely, the teams were sixth and 24th, respectively, in total defense.
“The MVP, it goes to our guys up front, the linebackers and the coaching staff because they put me in good position to make plays. … It should be a team MVP,” Gardner said. “Our motto is just go out there and have fun, and play our game.”
Mark Thompson scored on an 85-yard pass play in the first half and Appleby, who spent the past four seasons at Purdue, tossed a 6-yard TD pass to DeAndre Goolsby to break the game open late in the third quarter.
Florida (9-4) rebounded from lopsided losses to archrival Florida State and No. 1 Alabama, scoring more points on Iowa (8-5) than the Hawkeyes allowed to Michigan, Illinois and Nebraska combined while ending the regular season on a three-game winning streak.
“It was a tough day for our football team,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Our team really had a good month, they practiced and prepared well. I’m not sure there’s a thing I’d go back and change. Ultimately, we didn’t play well enough to come up with a victory.”
Iowa’s C.J. Beathard led an early field goal drive and managed to get his team close to the end zone on two other occasions. Florida’s defense stiffened both times, stopping the Hawkeyes on downs at the Gator 3 in the second quarter and forcing them to settle for a 30-yard field goal that sailed wide right midway through the third quarter.
Appleby, who actually began his career at Purdue against Iowa, shrugged off throwing interceptions on Florida’s first two drives of the day to finish 14 of 25 passing.
“We didn’t panic early. We knew Iowa would come out swinging and make some plays on us early,” Appleby said. “We had some bad luck, but didn’t panic, and the defense made some stops and we got on a roll.”
Akrum Wadley ran for 115 yards, giving Iowa a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the same season for the first time. The junior finished with 1,081, and LeShun Daniels wound up with 1,058 after gaining 45 Monday.
(Tampa, FL) Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack combined for over 300 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns to lead the USF Bulls to a 48-31 victory over UCF Saturday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. The Bulls notched a program record 10th win and 7th in the American Athletic Conference.
The Bulls overcame a 7-0 early deficit to their cross-I4 rival UCF Knights (6-6, 4-4) when running back Marlon Mack broke a tackle and scampered down the sideline 43 yards to tie the game at 7-7.
Juwuan Brown gave the Bulls a lead they would never relinquish when he picked up a Jawon Hamilton fumble at the UCF 22-yard line and rumbled in for the score putting USF up 14-7 late in the first quarter.
Marlon Mack tallied his second touchdown of the game on a spectacular 56-yard run, breaking at least four tackles on the way to the end zone. Mack would finish the day with 155 yards on 20 carries. The Bulls took a 24-14 lead into halftime.
Quarterback Quinton Flowers opened the third quarter in style with a 62-yard touchdown romp, breaking teammate Marlon Mack’s single season rushing he set last year of over 1600 yards. Flowers had 152 yard rushing on 20 carries. He also completed 17 of 26 passes for 152 yards.
UCF would pull to within seven points late in the third quarter, but USF linebacker Auggie Sanchez’ interception led to Flowers second running touchdown of the game and the Bulls never looked back.
Head Coach Willie Taggart’s post game comments are available in the attached video below.
Temple defeated East Carolina Saturday night to win the east division in the AAC and will play Navy in the conference champtionship game next Saturday at noon in Annapolis. USF will await bowl offers to determine where they will play next.
USF honored 18 seniors today playing in their final home game. Six members of the senior class were recruited from the Tampa Bay area.
Today’s win was the 10th of the season for USF, setting a record for the Bulls football program. USF’s road win last week over SMU was a school’s best 4th of the season.
Coming into today’s game, the Bulls have a nation-leading streak of 15 games scoring at least 30 points.
The Bulls offense has the nation’s 7th ranked total offense averaging 516.2 yards per game and 43.2 points per game. The Bulls average 286.4 yards rushing per game, good for 6th in the nation.
USF beat UCF 44-4 last season in Orlando, FL.
USF needed a Temple loss tonight to East Carolina to earn a spot in next Saturday’s (12/3) AAC Conference Championship game to be played in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Temple’s win over East Carolina Saturday night sets up the conference title game between Temple and Navy in Annapolis. ABC or ESPN will televise the game beginning at noon ET.
Uniform Shuffle: The Bulls wore their all green uniforms with gold numbers, green helmets with gold Bulls logo.
Today’s game was broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.
(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls extended their American Athletic Conference winning streak to six straight wins with a 38-22 victory over the East Carolina University Pirates Saturday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Marlon Mack rushed for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns and Quarterback Quinton Flowers ran for 115 yards and threw for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the Bulls offense.
“It wasn’t pretty”, said Bulls Head Coach Willie Taggart, “but I’m happy with the win”. Taggart’s high-powered offense racked up 556 yards, including 306 on the ground as USF (5-1, 2-0) remained unbeaten in conference play.
ECU (2-4, 0-2) took the early 3-0 lead on their opening possession with a 40-yard field goal by Davis Plowman at 5:29 of the first quarter.
After a stalled first drive, USF scored the second time they had the ball when Quinton Flowers threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to D’Ernest Johnson, capping off a 45-yard in 5:11 to go ahead 7-3.
Both teams traded field goals early in the second quarter. Eric Nadelman booted a 26-yard field goal for USF and Davis Plowman connected on a 49-yarder to pull the Pirates within 10-6.
Marlon Mack had his longest run of the season, 63 yards to the ECU 6-yard line, but fumbled on the next play and the Pirates recovered. ECU drove the ball downfield and Davis Plowman clanked it off the right goal post on a 42-yard field goal attempt.
The Bulls mounted one of their patented quick scoring drives in less than two minutes, when Quinton Flowers hit D’Ernest Johnson for his second touchdown pass of the game from the 11-yard line giving the Bulls a 17-6 lead at the half.
Marlon Mack scored on a one-yard plunge early in the third quarter to extend the Bulls lead to 24-6.
ECU replaced starting quarterback Philip Nelson with sophomore Gardner Minshew (21-33 220 yards, 1 TD) who gave the Pirates offense a boost with a 1-yard touchdown toss to Zay Jones to make it 24-13. Jones was the leading receiver for the Pirates with 145 yards on 18 catches.
Davis Plowman made it a one-possession game (24-16) with a 31-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter. Then after USF went 3 and out and punted, the Pirates drove 69 yards and scored on James Summers 3-yard touchdown run. Summers finished with 114 yards on 18 carries. The 2-point conversion was no good. USF led 24-22 with 6:58 remaining in the game.
Quinton Flowers ended any hopes of an ECU comeback with his third touchdown pass of the game, a 62-yard strike to Rodney Adams over the middle to extend the Bulls lead to 31-22.
Marlon Mack added one more score to the books on a 9-yard run lifting the Bulls to their fifth win of the season.
USF will host UConn next Saturday (October 15) at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7PM.
Today’s victory extends the Bulls AAC Conference win streak to six straight, the longest in Bulls football history.
USF holds a 5-1 all-time record over East Carolina. The Bulls defeated the Pirates 22-17 last season in Greenville, NC.
USF defeated ECU in the 2006 PapaJohns.com bowl.
Including today’s win over ECU, the Bulls have scored at least 35 points in ten consecutive games. The Bulls rushed for more than 200 yards against ECU to extend that streak to 11 games.
The Bulls are first in the AAC and fifth in the nation in scoring averaging 45.8 points per game.
Last week against Cincinnati, Marlon Mack had his 15th 100-yard game and became USF’s all-time leading rusher with 2755 yards in just 28 games. Today’s game marked his 16th straight 100- yard game.
Today’s game was telecast nationally on ESPNews.
Uniform shuffle: USF wore green jerseys with gold numbers, white pants and metallic gold helmets today.
Lee Roy Selmon family members served as honorary captains at today’s game.
Today was Homecoming for USF Bulls alumni.
Next week: The Bulls are home to play UConn in another AAC conference game. Kickoff scheduled for 7PM.