Tag Archives: UConn Huskies

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 Return to Top 20 in Rankings After Comeback Win over Tulsa Friday Night

(Tampa, FL) One of just eight remaining unbeaten teams in FBS football, USF (6-0; 2-0 American) has reached bowl eligibility on the earliest date in program history and climbed into the top 20 of the national rankings for the 31st time in program history, checking in at No. 20 in the latest Amway Coaches Poll and No. 21 in the Associated Press Poll.

One of three unbeaten and Top 25 ranked teams in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference, USF’s comeback from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit in a 25-24 victory at Tulsa marked its largest fourth quarter comeback since 2012 and earned the Bulls bowl eligibility on Oct. 12, one day earlier than the previous earliest date in program history.

Bowl eligible for the fourth straight season and in October for the sixth time in program history, the 2018 Bulls team bettered by one day the 2007 team, which earned bowl eligibility on Oct. 13, 2007 after a 64-12 defeat of UCF.

The American is the only conference nationally with three unbeaten teams. The Bulls are joined by No. 10/9 UCF (6-0) and No. 20/21 Cincinnati (6-0). UCF comes to Raymond James Stadium for the War on I-4 on Fri., Nov. 23 while the Bulls travel face Cincinnati on Sat., Nov. 10.

Junior Jordan Cronkrite posted his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game, collecting 151 yards and a 66-yard touchdown Friday in Tulsa. Cronkrite stands third nationally in rushing yards per game (151.4) and yards per carry (8.05) and became the first Bull to post four touchdown runs of 60-plus yards in the same season. With 757 yards and six touchdowns through six games, Cronkrite is well on his way to posting the ninth 1,000-yard rushing season in program history and becoming just the fifth Bull to accomplish the feat. The Bulls have been ranked in the top 10 nationally in rushing in each of the previous three seasons and have had a 1,000-yard rusher for a program record four straight seasons.

USF returns to Raymond James Stadium, where it has won 19 of its last 22 games, on Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. Homecoming clash with UConn (1-5; 0-3 American). The Bulls have won six straight games against the Huskies and will be looking to equal the program’s best-ever start by improving to 7-0 for the second straight season. The Bulls are 34-6 in their last 40 games, a mark that is tied with Oklahoma for the fourth-best mark nationally over each team’s last 40 contests and trails only Alabama (38-2), Clemson (36-4) and Ohio State (35-5).

Saturday’s game will be televised by CBS Sports Network and can be heard live on the USF Sports Network (820AM; iHeart Radio Bulls Unlimited).





Quinton Flowers Five Touchdowns leads USF over UConn 42-27 in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) Quinton Flowers ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more to lead the USF Bulls to a 42-27 American Athletic Conference victory over the UConn Huskies Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Despite four turnovers for the Bulls, the win keeps USF (6-1, 3-0) undefeated in the AAC and in first place in the East Division.

“We can play better”, Bulls Head Coach Willie Taggart, said. “We had 4 turnovers and still won the game.”

Trailing 17-14 early in the third quarter, USF rallied with four touchdowns the rest of the way to secure bowl eligibility and maintain the top spot in its division.

Quarterback Quinton Flowers gave the Bulls its first lead when he zig-zagged his way to a 54-yard touchdown run on the Bulls second play on offense.

“It was like watching a video game”, his coach Willie Taggart joked after the game.

Flowers would score two additional touchdowns on the ground and toss for two more. The junior signal caller had a career night rushing for 157 yards on 16 carries and completing 23 of 37 passes for 213 yards. The only downside to his game was a pair of interceptions.

Marlon Mack scored on a 34 yard run with 2:57 left in the game to break the 100-yard rushing barrier for the 17th time in his USF career. Mack carried the ball 16 times for 107 yards and also caught six passes for 75 yards.

UConn (3-4, 1-3) quarterback Bryant Shirreffs threw for a pair of touchdowns while connecting on 22 of 39 passes for 306 yards. Arkeel Newsome led the Huskies ground game tallying 72 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown.

The Bulls have a short week as they continue their AAC schedule next Friday night on the road in Philadelphia against Temple in a 7:00 PM kickoff. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN.

Bull Shots

Tonight’s game was broadcast nationwide on CBS Sports Network.

Tonight’s win was the fifth straight for USF over UConn.

UConn last played in the Tampa Bay area in last December’s St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field, losing to Marshall 16-10.

Uniform Shuffle: The Bulls wore pink accents on their all green uniforms and white helmets for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Tonight’s win makes the USF bowl eligible for the second earliest time in school history. The Bulls won their sixth game on October 13, 2007 against UCF.

Marlon Mack had his 17th career 100-yard rushing game tonight to go over 3000 yards in his USF career.

Before tonight, the last nine games between USF and UConn had been decided by 8 points or less.

Last year (Oct. 17, 2015) the Bulls defeated the Huskies 28-20 in Hartford, CT.

The Bulls play their next two games on Friday nights. Next week (Oct. 21) at Temple and (Oct. 28) against Navy at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.