Tag Archives: Blake Barnett

Marshall Hands USF 6th Straight Loss with 38-20 Win at The Gasparilla Bowl In Tampa

(Tampa, FL) Most Valuable Player Keion Davis rushed for a game-high 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Marshall Thundering Herd (9-4, 6-2 C-USA) to a 38-20 victory over the USF Bulls (7-6, 3-4 AAC) in the 11th annual Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium before an announced crowd of 14,135. USF completes a disappointing season with 6 straight losses after going 7-0.

Davis did almost all of his damage in the second half, picking up 82 of his 94 yards on just nine carries. His 16-yard touchdown run with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter gave the Herd its final 18-point margin and secured Marshall’s record third win in three Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl appearances. Marshall also won in 2011 (20-10 over FIU) and in 2015 (16-10 over UConn).

Marshall never trailed, jumping out to a 14-0 lead less than 11 minutes into the game on the strength of short scoring runs by quarterback Isaiah Green and running back Anthony Anderson. Green’s score capped a seven-play, 81-yard drive and Anderson’s plunge followed a fumble recovery and return of 29 yards to the USF 1-yard line by Marshall’s Darius Hodge.

USF cut the lead in half at the 2:43 mark of the second quarter thanks to a 38-yard scoring pass from slotback/wildcat Tyre McCants who found Randall St. Felix open in the end zone.
The Bulls were unable to get any closer in the game as Marshall extended its lead to 28-7 late in the second quarter and carried a 28-10 lead into halftime.

St. Felix highlighted the USF offensive effort collecting a Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl-record 165 receiving yards on just six catches. St. Felix added his second touchdown reception of the night on a 33-yard connection with quarterback Blake Barnett late in the third quarter which narrowed Marshall’s lead to 31-20.

Marshall’s balanced offensive attack finished with 503 total yards — 282 rushing and 221 passing. The Herd’s defense limited USF to 360 total yards and just 92 on the ground. Marshall did not allow an opposing rusher to reach 100 yards in any game during the 2018 season and the streak now has reached 14 games.





Temple Scores 27 Unanswered Points to Defeat USF Bulls 27-17 Saturday

(Philadelphia, PA) In a microcosm of their season, the USF Bulls (7-4, 3-4 in AAC) played well enough to build a 17-0 lead in the first half, then fell apart in the second, giving up 27 unanswered points in a 27-17 loss to Temple Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. The game mirrors the Bull’s entire 2018 season, starting off with 7 straight wins and now four consecutive losses as the bottom has fallen out of Charlie Strong’s second season in Tampa.

USF has lost four straight games for the first time since dropping six straight at the end of the 2013 season.

Temple (7-4, 6-1 in AAC) scored touchdowns on special teams and defense, taking the lead on a 73-yard punt return by Isaiah Wright with 10:05 to play. Star back Ryquell Armstead was held to 64 rushing yards on 26 attempts, well under his 122.2 ypg average, a week after running for 210 yards and six touchdowns against Houston.

Junior Jordan Cronkrite led USF’s ground attack with 17 attempts for 83 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the fifth player in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Both of Cronkrite’s rushing touchdowns came during the Bulls’ 17-0 run in the opening half.

Starting quarterback Blake Barnett completed 14 of 23 passes for 82 yards and threw two interceptions after missing last week’s game with a shoulder injury.

Looking to get back on the winning track, USF jumped out to a 17-0 lead going into halftime after getting two touchdown runs from Cronkrite and a dominant effort by the defense.

After USF forced a three-and-out on Temple’s opening drive, Cronkrite passed the 1,000-yard mark with a 49-yard run on the Bulls’ opening possession. Cronkrite rushed for 56 of USF’s 60 yards on the tone-setting scoring drive that was capped off by his 3-yard touchdown run.

USF’s offense was back in Temple territory after Chris Barr recovered a fumble at the Owls’ 37-yard line on a muffed punt late in the first quarter. Eight plays later, the Bulls took a 10-0 lead with 35-yard field goal by Coby Weiss 10 seconds into the second quarter.

USF pumped its lead up to 17-0 after Cronkrite’s 1-yard touchdown run with 2:27 to go before halftime, which capped off a 12-play, 83-yard drive.

Senior Ronnie Hoggins grabbed USF’s second takeaway of the game with an interception midway through the third quarter, but Temple stormed back in the second half with 27 straight points. Wright’s 73-yard punt return gave the Owls their first lead with 10:05 remaining in the game and they never gave it up.

Kevin Kegler came up with a huge tackle for loss at the USF 45 to stuff a Temple fourth-and-1 rushing attempt with 8:13 to play, but the Bulls’ offense couldn’t capitalize. Still trailing 20-17, USF got the ball back at its own 10-yard line with 1:44 remaining but a strip sack fumble was recovered in the end zone by Temple.

“You had the ball and three opportunities in the third quarter on the plus side and we got nothing out of it”, said a beleaguered Charlie Strong. “We’ve got to be able to score points there. We had two turnovers and then we gave the ball up on downs. You can’t let that happen, especially when you’re on the road.”

USF returns to Raymond James Stadium to host rival UCF, who has already clinched the AAC eastern division with its win over Cincinnati Saturday night, on Friday, Nov. 23 at 4:15PM. The game will be televised on ESPN.





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).





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





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.





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 Get Miracle Last Second Win in Tulsa Friday Night to Remain Unbeaten

(Tulsa, OK) No. 23 USF rallied back from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit and defeated Tulsa, 25-24, thanks to a 22-yard field goal by Coby Weiss with two seconds remaining Friday night.

USF (6-0, 2-0 in AAC) stormed back with 15 unanswered points and used a seven-play, 52-yard scoring drive in the final minute to improve to 6-0 for the second straight season. Weiss’ kick was set up by a 32-yard catch by Tyre McCants that got the Bulls down to the Tulsa 5 before they stopped the clock with a spike.

USF put together its largest fourth-quarter comeback since rallying from 15 points down at Nevada in 2012. Getting the job done helped the Bulls become bowl eligible for the fourth straight season and they set a program record for wins across a four-season period (35-9, 79.5% winning percentage).

Blake Barnett led the fourth-quarter comeback with two touchdown runs down the stretch. The junior quarterback completed consecutive passes to Mitchell Wilcox for a total of 28 yards on the game-winning drive before his pivotal 32-yard strike to McCants. Wilcox finished with five receptions for 95 yards while McCants covered 91 yards on a game-high eight catches.

Junior back Jordan Cronkrite extended his 100-yard rushing game streak to four with 151 yards on 23 carries during a performance that included a 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Cronkrite has rushed for 582 yards in the past three games and has757 yards in just five games.

After having eight days to prepare for the Bulls, Tulsa (1-5, 0-3) took a 10-3 lead into halftime despite being outgained in total offensive yards by a 171-134 margin.

Tulsa grabbed a 7-0 advantage with 5:09 remaining in the first quarter and USF responded less than four minutes later with a 22-yard field goal by Weiss. The 11-play, 78-yard scoring drive was kept alive by Wilcox’s 45-yard reception on third-and-15 from the USF 12.

USF’s defense kept things close in the opening half by forcing five punts, including four three-and-outs.

The Bulls evened things up at 10-10 just over a minute into the second half thanks to Cronkrite’s 66-yard sprint to the end zone. It marked the junior’s team-leading sixth touchdown run of the year and his fourth scoring run from at least 66 yards out this season, a USF season record.

Tulsa scored 14 straight points to take a 24-10 lead into the fourth quarter before the Bulls answered back midway through the period. Barnett’s 1-yard touchdown run with 7:10 remaining got the Bulls closer but the extra-point attempt was blocked.

USF forced Tulsa’s eighth punt of the game and got the ball back with 4:48 remaining. Barnett moved the chains twice on third-and-long with runs of 13 and 11 yards before Darnell Salomon (Miami) got the Bulls down to Tulsa 14 with a 31-yard catch and run.

Barnett’s 12-yard touchdown run with 2:09 to play dropped the deficit to 24-22 but he couldn’t complete the two-point conversion with his feet. USF’s defense ended up forcing Tulsa’s ninth punt of the game and the Bulls got the ball back at its own 43 with 1:03 remaining.

Key plays on the final drive by Barnett, Wilcox, McCants and Weiss helped the Bulls improve to 13-2 in games away from Tampa in the last three seasons. USF has won four straight vs. AAC West Division foes.

Head Coach Charlie Strong: “The thing about these guys is they just don’t quit. We were down 14 with less than 10 minutes to go in the game and we get in there and get us a drive put together. If there is a bigger player than Wilcox and McCants, I’d love to see them. Those guys came down with some big catches and Blake made the throws at the right time. I’m just so happy and so proud of this team and the way they battled.”

USF returns to Tampa at Raymond James Stadium to host UConn in the program’s homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 20. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.





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).