(Tampa, FL) Despite a shaky start and several bad penalties on offense, the USF Bulls straightened themselves out and easily defeated the Florida A&M Rattlers 51-3 in their season opener at Raymond James Stadium Saturday night. The Bulls defense was miserly, limiting an anemic Rattler offense to just one first down and just 23 yards total offense in the first half.
The Bulls managed just three points in the first quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Emilio Nadelman with 2 minutes remaining after a Marlon Mack 7-yard touchdown run was negated by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Bulls had two other touchdowns called back by penalties in the second quarter. Quarterback Quinton Flowers pass to Chris Barr was nullified by an illegal block in the back and Flowers 7-yard sneak was brought back on a holding call.
The Bulls finally tallied a touchdown when Flowers scrambled and broke away from several Rattler defenders and threw across his body to an open Ernest Johnson in the back of the end zone with 7:24 left in the half. A missed extra point limited USF to a 9-0 lead.
Quinton Flowers lofted a 45-yard touchdown pass to Ernest Johnson who rumbled down the sideline to increase the Bulls lead to 16-0 at the half.
USF opened the third quarter with a three play, 66-yard drive in less than a minute capped off by Flowers 22 yard scamper into the end zone giving USF a 23-0 margin.
USF added touchdowns on a 62 yard touchdown toss from Steven Bench to Elkanah Dillon, a 1 yard tally by Marlon Mack who finished the game with 131 yards rushing, a late 15 yard scoring run by Bench with 2:58 left in the game and Darius Tice 2-yard touchdown plunge with :28 left in the contest.
A 21-yard field goal by Colby Blanton finally put FAMU on the board with 4:29 remaining in the third quarter, the Rattlers loan points of the night.
USF totaled 556 yards of total offense against the Rattlers 182. Quinton Flowers completed 12 of 16 passes for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns and ran for 63 yards. Steven Bench went 8 of 10 passing for 140 yards and 1 touchdown. FAMU quarterback Kenneth Coleman was 14 of 29 for 135 yards and 2 interceptions. Coleman had 30 yards on the ground to lead all Rattler rushers.
While the Rattlers were not a great test, the Bulls will take the win and head to next Saturday’s 11:30 AM kickoff up the road in Tallahassee against Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Bulls opened their 19th season of football tonight. Coming into tonight’s game, USF was 13-5 all time in season openers and 17-1 in home openers.
Sarasota’s Marlon Mack who played at both Booker High School and Sarasota High School, posted an American Athletic Conference and USF record 275 yards rushing in the season opener last year and led the conference in rushing as a freshman with 1041 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Former longtime Manatee Hurricanes head coach and athletic director Joe Kinnan is Head Coach Willie Taggart’s Senior Offensive Consultant this season. Taggart played for Kinnan at Manatee High School and led the team at quarterback to back-to-back state title games and a 5A championship as a junior.
Other local players on the Bulls roster: Evan Wilson, wide receiver, who played at The Out-of Door Academy in Sarasota, Baity Chardonnae, wide receiver, who played at Palmetto High School, Malik Dixon, safety, who played at Port Charlotte High School and Riley Sheehan, fullback, who played at Riverview High School in Sarasota.
USF has 16 players from the Tampa Bay area on the Bulls two-deep roster heading into the 2015 season.
Bradenton native Willie Taggart begins his third season as Bulls head coach. His record in two seasons is 6-18. Overall, Taggart’s coaching record including his stint at Western Kentucky is 22-38. Taggart graduated from Western Kentucky in 1998.
Willie Taggart is the youngest head coach in the American Athletic Conference at 39 years of age and the sixth youngest in the FBS. P.J. Fleck is the youngest head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision at 34.
Temple surprised almost everyone by defeating Penn State 27-10. It was the Owls first win over the Nittany Lions since 1941 breaking a 28 game losing streak. USF hosts Temple at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday November 14.
Announced attendance at tonight’s game, 30,494.
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(St. Petersburg, FL) The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl has announced that the University of Central Florida (UCF) from the American Athletic Conference and NC State from the Atlantic Coast Conference has each accepted an invitation to play in this year’s game. The seventh edition of the bowl game will be played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL., on Friday, Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. ET and air on ESPN.
“We’re excited about this matchup in the first year of our new conference agreements with The American and Atlantic Coast Conference,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. “UCF fans have provided great support for their team in their past trips to our game and we look forward to showcasing St. Petersburg as a premier bowl destination to the NC State fans. “
UCF (9-3, 7-1), which won its second consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship this season, is riding a four-game winning streak and has won eight of its last nine games. This will be the Knights third appearance at the bowl game. UCF’s last trip to St. Petersburg was in 2012 when future NFL first round pick Blake Bortles led them to a 38-17 win over Ball State.
“We had a wonderful experience in St. Petersburg in 2012, so we’re certainly excited to head back to the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” said UCF Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury. “Our team really enjoyed the activities surrounding the bowl and all the hospitality from everyone involved with the game and we appreciate the efforts of all involved to make it a first-class bowl game.”
“After a 9-3 season we are very happy to go to the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” added UCF Head Coach George O’Leary. “Obviously a bowl game is a great reward for the players, the program and the fanbase. We are very anxious to get to St. Petersburg and enjoy the bowl and its festivities.”
NC State (7-5, 3-5) will be playing in its 28th bowl game and 10th since 2000. This year’s game will be the Wolfpack’s first bowl played in the state of Florida since 2010 when they defeated West Virginia at the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.
“St. Petersburg is a beautiful, warm weather destination to play our bowl. Congratulations to our players and coaches,” said Wolfpack Director of Athletics Deborah A. Yow.
“We are both excited and thankful for the opportunity to play in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” said NC State Head Coach Dave Doeren, who has now coached bowl eligible teams 10 of the 13 years he’s been a full-time D1 coach. “We know that the NC State fan base will enjoy the opportunity to support their Wolfpack in a great city and I look forward to seeing a sea of red on game day! This is a great reward for our young team that has continued to improve over the course of the season, especially for the 12 current players from Florida who will be able to be home for the holidays.”
NC State and UCF have met twice, with each team claiming a victory on the road. UCF won the initial matchup at NC State 25-22 in 2007. The Wolfpack evened the all-time series with a 28-21 win at UCF in 2010.
The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl is owned-and-operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, which manages 11 postseason bowl games.
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(New York, NY) CBS Sports Network returns to the gridiron for the 2014 season with schedule of college football games featuring teams from the Mountain West, The American, Conference USA, Army and Navy football, the Patriot League and NCAA Division II. The Network will air 66 games this season, showcasing some of the nation’s top teams including Ohio State, Nebraska and Arizona State.
This year also marks the Network’s first season of American Athletic Conference football, with 15 games airing throughout the season, including Maryland at USF on Saturday, Sept. 6 (3:30 PM, ET) and NC State at USF on Saturday, Sept. 13 (3:30 PM, ET). The remainder of CBS Sports Network’s American Athletic Conference games will be selected on a six- and 12-day basis.
Carter Blackburn returns to CBS Sports Network this year as lead college football play-by-play announcer and will team with Aaron Taylor, forming the Network’s lead announce team. Other new voices are former Nebraska quarterback and Heisman Trophy Winner Eric Crouch, San Diego State quarterback Kevin O’Connell, play-by-play announcer Ron Pitts and studio analyst Fred Smoot. Reporters include newcomers Cassie Gallo, Melanie Collins and Courtney Fallon, along with Lauren Gardner, Sheehan Stanwick Burch, Susannah Collins and Rashan Ali.
CBS Sports Network Broadcast Teams
Carter Blackburn/Aaron Taylor Mountain West
Rich Waltz/Adam Archuleta Mountain West
Dave Ryan/Corey Chavous The American
Ben Holden/Kevin O’Connell Army
John Sadak/Randy Cross Navy
CBS Sports Network also airs two games from Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, N.Y. this year: UConn vs. Army on Saturday, Nov. 8 (3:30 PM, ET) and the 150th meeting between rivals Lehigh and Lafayette on Saturday, Nov. 22 (3:30 PM, ET).
In addition, CBS Sports Network returns its lineup of college football studio programming for the 2014 season, including “Inside College Football”, which airs throughout the week and features hosts Adam Zucker and Brent Stover, as well as analysts Brian Jones, Christian Fauria, Houston Nutt, Cross, Taylor and Smoot.
CBS Sports Network again serves as the home for Service Academy football, airing 17 games featuring Army, Navy and Air Force. This season marks the Network’s 10th year airing Navy home games and fifth year as Army’s television partner. CBS Sports Network enters its ninth year in partnership with the Mountain West and 10th year with Conference USA.
The complete 2014 college football schedule follows:
Thurs, Aug. 28 Tulane at Tulsa Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, OK 8:00 PM
Fri, Aug. 29 Bowling Green at WKU Houchens-Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, KY 7:30 PM
Sat, Aug. 30 Ohio State vs. Navy M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD 12:00 PM
Sat, Aug. 30 Northern Arizona at San Diego State Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 7:00 PM
Sat, Aug. 30 Washington at Hawaii Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI 10:30 PM
Thurs, Sept. 4 Grand Valley at Azusa Pacific Citrus Stadium, Glendora, CA 9:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 6 Buffalo at Army Michie Stadium, West Point, NY 12:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 6 Maryland vs. USF Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL 3:30 PM
Sat, Sept. 6 Arizona State at New Mexico University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM 7:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 6 Oregon State at Hawaii Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI 10:30 PM
Thurs, Sept. 11 LA Tech at North Texas Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX 8:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 13 Ohio at Marshall Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, WV 12:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 13 NC State at USF Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL 3:30 PM
Sat, Sept. 13 Wake Forest at Utah State Romney Stadium, Logan, UT 7:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 13 Nebraska at Fresno State Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, CA 10:30 PM
Thurs, Sept. 18 Southeastern Oklahoma at Henderson State Carpenter-Haygood Stadium, Arkadelphia, AR 8:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 20 Rutgers at Navy Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD 3:30 PM
Sat, Sept. 20 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 7:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 20 Louisiana at Boise State Bronco Stadium, Boise ID 10:30 PM
Thurs, Sept. 25 Missouri Western at Lindenwood Harlen C. Hunter Stadium, St. Charles, MO 8:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 27 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 12:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 27 WKU at Navy Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD 3:30 PM
Sat, Sept. 27 Boise State at Air Force Falcon Stadium, Colorado Springs, CO 7:00 PM
Sat, Sept. 27 Nevada at San Jose State Spartan Stadium, San Jose, CA 10:30 PM
Thurs, Oct. 2 Benedict at Miles Albert J. Sloan Alumni Stadium, Fairfield, AL 8:00 PM
Fri, Oct. 3 Lafayette at Fordham Jack Coffey Field, Bronx, NY 6:30 PM
Fri, Oct. 3 San Diego State at Fresno State Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, CA 10:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 4 Ball State at Army Michie Stadium, West Point, NY 12:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 4 Navy at Air Force Falcon Stadium, Colorado Springs, CO 3:30 PM
Sat, Oct. 4 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 4 Boise State at NevadaMackay Stadium, Reno, NV 10:30 PM
Thurs, Oct. 9 Minnesota State at Winona State Maxwell Field, Winona, MN 8:00 PM
Fri, Oct. 10 Fresno State at UNLV Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV 10:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 11 Rice at Army Michie Stadium, West Point, NY 12:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 11 VMI at Navy Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD 3:30 PM
Sat, Oct. 11 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 11 Colorado State at Nevada Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV 10:30 PM
Thurs, Oct. 16 Colorado School of Mines at Fort Lewis Dennison Memorial Field, Durango, CO 8:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 18 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 3:30 PM
Sat, Oct. 18 Utah State at Colorado State Hughes Stadium, Fort Collins, CO 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 18 Hawaii at San Diego State Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 10:30 PM
Sat, Oct. 25 San Jose State at Navy Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD 1:00 PM
Sat, Oct. 25 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 5:00 PM
Thurs, Oct. 30 St. Joseph’s (IN) at University of Indianapolis Key Stadium, Indianapolis, IN 8:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 1 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 12:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 1 BYU at Middle Tennessee Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium, Murfreesboro, TN 3:30 PM
Sat, Nov. 1 Colorado State at San Jose State Spartan Stadium, San Jose, CA 7:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 1 San Diego State at Nevada Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV 10:30 PM
Fri, Nov. 7 Fordham at Bucknell Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, Lewisburg, PA 6:30 PM
Sat, Nov. 8 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 12:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 8 UConn vs. Army Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY 3:30 PM
Sat, Nov. 8 Boise State at New Mexico University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM 7:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 8 San Jose State at Fresno State Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, CA 10:30 PM
Thurs, Nov. 13 Southern Miss at UTSA Alamodome, San Antonio, TX 8:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 15 Army at WKU Houchens-Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, KY 12:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 15 Georgia Southern at NavyNavy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD 3:30 PM
Sat, Nov. 15 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 8:00 PM
Fri, Nov. 21 Air Force at San Diego State Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 9:30 PM
Sat, Nov. 22 Fordham at Army Michie Stadium, West Point, NY 12:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 22 Lehigh vs. Lafayette Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY 3:30 PM
Sat, Nov. 22 American Athletic Conference Site TBD 8:00 PM
Fri, Nov. 28 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 12:00 PM
Fri., Nov. 28 Colorado State at Air Force Falcon Stadium, Colorado Springs, CO 3:30 PM
Sat, Nov. 29 Rice at LA Tech Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston, LA 12:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 29 San Jose State at San Diego State Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 3:30 PM
Sat, Dec. 6 American Athletic Conference TBD Site TBD 12:00 PM
(St. Petersburg, FL) ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, has announced BitPay, the world’s leader in business solutions for the bitcoin digital currency, as the new title sponsor for the annual college football postseason game played in St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field. Beginning with this year’s December 26 game, the bowl will now be known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. BitPay will serve as title sponsor for three years through the 2016 game.
“Our goal is to continue to move bitcoin into the mainstream and sponsoring the St. Petersburg Bowl offers us that opportunity,” said Tony Gallippi, Executive Chairman for BitPay. “College football fans and the bitcoin community represent a similar target demographic – tech-savvy men between the ages of 18 and 40.”
By sponsoring the bowl game, BitPay is not only hoping to stimulate the bitcoin community around the event, but also to further promote interest in the digital currency on a national scale. The bowl game will be an exciting opportunity to enable fans to use bitcoin in a fun, collegiate sports environment. With a rapport of over 33,000 merchants and growing, BitPay has led the bitcoin economy by allowing businesses around the world to easily accept bitcoin. The attention brought to bitcoin by the game will only further boost its ascension into the mainstream.
“We’re extremely excited to welcome BitPay to college football and our bowl home in St. Petersburg,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial arrangement.”
The 2014 game will be played on Friday, Dec. 26, at 8 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. The game, which will once again air on ESPN, is in its first-year of its new conference affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the American Athletic Conference.
Tickets for the 2014 Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will go on sale later this year with prices starting as low as just $40. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets and merchandise will also be available to purchase with bitcoin.
Follow me at twitter.com@sarasotaradio.