Tag Archives: USF Bulls Football

USF Bulls End Losing Skid in 55-16 Win Over South Carolina State Saturday Night in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) Quarterback Jordan McCloud accounted for five touchdowns in his first career start in a 55-16 rout of South Carolina State at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night.

Redshirt freshman McCloud completed 16 of 27 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns. The Tampa native also rushed for two scores and 56 yards.

USF (1-2) scored 42 points off takeaways after forcing five turnovers in its 31-point second half.

Sophomore Johnny Ford, who moved from running back to receiver in the spring, recorded his first 100-yard receiving game with 100 yards on just four catches, including a 42-yard touchdown to start USF’s scoring and a career long 52-yarder in the fourth quarter. Ford also had a 32-yard touchdown run and gained 37 yards on three carries.

In the first half, McCloud threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another while the USF defense totaled three takeaways and six tackles for loss (9.0 total on the night) as the Bulls built a 24-3 advantage.

After a field goal by SC State (2-1) started the scoring, Ford’s 42-yard touchdown reception boosted the Bulls into the lead with 5:05 remaining in the opening quarter. Ford has touchdown receptions in back-to-back games, both on passes from McCloud.

McCloud’s career long 31-yard run down to the SC State 4 paved the way for Coby Weiss’ 20-yard field goal that extended the lead to 10-3 with 14:16 to play in the first half.

Livingstone scooped up a fumble on sophomore cornerback Bentlee Sanders’ (Tampa) first career sack before another USF score. Wilcox set the program’s new tight end career touchdown receptions record he’d later extend with a 20-yard catch that helped the Bulls up their lead to 17-3 with 9:22 to go before halftime.

“I was so proud to see the way we bounced back”, Head Coach Charlie Strong said. “Losing that game last week, a game that you felt like we should have won, we didn’t come away with the victory. Then we come back and win this game. Now, everything counts. Now, we’ve got to get ready for conference play.”

Following a bye week, USF opens conference play with home game against SMU on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Raymond James Stadium kickoff at 4PM EDT. Game to be televised on ESPNU.

USF Falls to Georgia Tech 14-10 Saturday, Losing Streak Now at 8

(Atlanta, GA) In a more competitive game than its season opener, USF hung tough but fell short in a 14-10 loss to Georgia Tech Saturday at Bobby Dowd Stadium in Atlanta. The Bulls extended their losing string dating back to last season to eight games.

Despite the USF defense forcing four punts in the first half, Georgia Tech took a 14-3 lead into the locker room thanks to a two-touchdown second quarter.

On the opening drive, USF’s defense forced its first of three three-and-outs in the first half and Georgia Tech missed a field goal before the Bulls took a 3-0 lead. Redshirt sophomore Randall St. Felix’s 22-yard reception on fourth-and-4 from the Tech 38 helped set up a 27-yard field goal by junior Coby Weiss with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter.

Jordan Mason’s 1-yard touchdown run gave the Yellow Jackets the lead less than four minutes into the second quarter. Tobias Oliver’s 7-yard touchdown run with 53 seconds left in the half, helped spot Georgia Tech a 14-3 advantage.

Sails delivered the big play USF needed in the second half, intercepting his first pass as a Bull and returning it 6 yards to the Georgia Tech 25 late in the third quarter. USF cashed in three plays later with Ford’s 20-yard touchdown reception on a pass from Jordan McCloud, who had replaced starting QB Blake Barnett.

“We had our chances”, Bulls Head Coach Charlie Strong said. “We had the ball first-and-goal at the 1-yard line. We get a penalty, then we go backwards, then we turn it over. We’ve just got to convert when we have those opportunities.”

On replacing Blake Barnett with McCLoud in the second half Strong commented, “We just needed a change-up and we just needed to get going. We weren’t moving the ball. We got enough around us where we could move the football, so we gave Jordan a chance to let him come in.”

The Bulls return to Raymond James Stadium to host South Carolina State next Saturday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.

Wisconsin Badgers Shutout USF 49-0 in Bulls Season Opener in Tampa Friday Night

(Tampa, FL) It was as ugly as the night was long. After a 55-minute lightning delay, Wisconsin turned out the lights on the Bulls early and often in a 49-0 thrashing before 46,704 restless fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Friday night.

Wisconsin Heisman hopeful Jonathan Taylor’s three touchdown first half helped power the Badgers to a 28-0 lead by the break. Taylor rushed for 135 yards total and 2 touchdowns and caught passes for another 2 scores before sitting out most of the second half in the rout. Taylor’s 37-yard TD run got Wisconsin on the board first. The Badgers later stripped Bulls quarterback Blake Barnett and returned the fumble 16 yards for a touchdown and 14-0 lead. Barnett finished 13-of-30 for 109 yards and two interceptions on the night.

The Bulls season opener was one everyone would like to forget quickly as the team hits the road this Saturday against Georgia Tech in a 2PM (EDT) kickoff.

Head coach Charlie Strong’s thoughts after USF’s season opener:

The Bulls return to Raymond James Stadium to host South Carolina State on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.





WDAE Becomes New Radio Outlet For USF Football Broadcasts

(Tampa, FL) USF Athletics and IHeartMedia & Entertainment, Inc. will start a new partnership beginning in the 2019-20 season that will make WDAE (95.3 & 96.7 FM/620 AM), the home of USF football radio broadcasts and expand USF’s “Bulls Unlimited” digital radio offering to two channels on iHeart Radio.

“We are very excited to be partnering with one of the most widely listened to sports stations in the state to bring USF football games to our fans and expand our groundbreaking digital platform,” Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly said. “WDAE is synonymous with sports in the Bay area and we look forward to a tremendous partnership that will continue to expand the USF brand and help connect more fans with the excitement of our Bulls sports teams.”

The three-year agreement will begin this fall with WDAE airing USF football games live on three stations that simulcast the WDAE signal – 95.3 FM, 96.7 FM and 620 AM. All Bulls football games will be carried on the WDAE stations except when conflicts arise with Tampa Bay Rays baseball games. When Rays game conflicts exist, USF football games will air on WHNZ 1250 AM over the air and continue to be carried on the “Bulls Unlimited” iHeart Radio channel.

“We are thrilled to welcome USF to the iHeartMedia family,” Market President Chris Soechtig said. “Having a partnership with Tampa Bay’s home team on 95.3 WDAE further solidifies our commitment to deliver exceptional local sports coverage to our listeners. We are counting down the days to kick off!”

As part of the new iHeartMedia agreement, USF will expand its popular digital radio outlet to two “Bulls Unlimited” channels, allowing much greater bandwidth and flexibility in carrying game broadcasts and other programming surrounding USF’s 19 sports teams. The “Bulls Unlimited” digital channel on iHeart Radio, which launched in 2017 as just the second digital radio channel in college athletics, will continue to carry all football games and will become the primary home of USF men’s and women’s basketball and baseball broadcasts. WDAE will carry broadcasts of some postseason contests involving USF basketball and baseball over the air.

WDAE will also broadcast the USF Football Radio Show on a weekly basis throughout the season as well as the last hour of the pregame show and a 30-minute postgame show during football game broadcasts. The first hour of the Bulls’ traditional two-hour football pregame show will air exclusively on “Bulls Unlimited.”

The two “Bulls Unlimited” stations on iHeart Radio will continue to carry 24/7 digital streaming of USF Athletics content, including live game broadcasts across several sports and coaches shows.

USF opens the season on Fri., Aug. 30 with an ESPN primetime game with Wisconsin at 7 p.m. in Raymond James Stadium.





Coach Charlie Strong to Speak at First-Ever Bulls Kickoff Luncheon in Tampa August 15th

(Tampa, FL) Head Coach Charlie Strong and the entire 2019 USF football team will be in attendance for the first-ever Bulls Kickoff Luncheon to be held on Thurs., Aug. 15 at the Tampa Marriott Water Street (700 S. Florida Ave.) in downtown Tampa.

The kickoff event will run 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with lunch served at noon, and will feature Strong previewing the Bulls’ upcoming season, Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly, an opportunity to meet the 2019 team, photo opportunities with Rocky the Bull and USF cheer teams, the USF Herd of Thunder Band, and door prizes for those in attendance. Attendees will be seated with USF players at their table.

Registration for the Bulls Kickoff Luncheon is open to the public, with nearly 300 already having registered for the event held in the Marriott’s Grand Ballroom. A table for eight may be purchased for $300 and individual tickets are $30. Registration for the event is on-line. Questions can be directed to 1-800-GoBulls.

“The 2019 football season is just around the corner and we are very excited to be going to the heart of Tampa for this first-ever kickoff event,” Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly said. “We have a very exciting team returning and we look forward to the opportunity to have Coach Strong, our coaching staff and all our players downtown to meet our fans at this unique event.”

USF opens the season on Fri., Aug. 30 with an ESPN primetime clash with Wisconsin at 7 p.m. in Raymond James Stadium.





USF Bulls Add FAMU and Bethune-Cookman to Future Home Football Schedule

(Tampa, FL) USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly announced the addition of five home games to the Bulls’ future football schedules as USF inked agreements for three visits from Florida A&M and a pair of visits from Bethune-Cookman to Raymond James Stadium.

The addition of the home series with the in-state programs leaves USF with just two non-conference dates remaining to be filled through the 2027 season, with one date remaining to be filled in each of the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

“We are excited to add five home games vs. a pair of in-state programs and to be able to continue to build and highlight the great tradition of college football in the state of Florida,” Kelly said. “Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman both have deep traditions and passionate fan bases and we look forward to a great atmosphere in Raymond James Stadium for these games.”

The Bulls will renew the series with FAMU starting on Sept. 18, 2021 and the Rattlers will also visit Tampa on Sept. 23, 2023 and Sept. 18, 2027. USF leads the series with FAMU, 3-0, and posted a 51-3 victory in the last meeting in 2015.

The Bulls will meet Bethune-Cookman for the first time ever on Sept. 12, 2020 and the Wildcats will return to Tampa on Sept. 26, 2026.

Both programs will travel their notable marching bands to perform at the contests in Raymond James Stadium.

The Bulls have scheduled 17 non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents over the next 10 seasons, including three-game series with Alabama, Florida and Miami, as well as home-and-home series vs. Boise State (2025 & 2027) and BYU (2019 & 2021). The 17 contests vs. Power 6 opponents are tied for the most among American Athletic Conference teams. The Bulls have at least one Power 6 non-conference opponent scheduled in each of the next 10 seasons and two or more in seven of those seasons.

Six future non-conference opponents can claim a national championship and the Bulls will be facing programs during that span that claim a total of 34 national championships. Six future non-conference opponents in the next 10 seasons rank among the top 25 all-time in Associated Press Top 25 Poll appearances.

The Bulls will play nine games vs. ACC opponents and six vs. SEC foes in the coming years. Future ACC opponents include Georgia Tech (2019), Louisville (2022, 2024 & 2026), Miami (2025, 2027 & 2028) and NC State (2021 & 2024). Future SEC opponents include dates vs. Alabama (2023, 2024 & 2026) and Florida (2022, 2023 & 2025). The Bulls will also face Big 12 opponent Texas (2020) and Big Ten foe Wisconsin (2019).

Kick-off Times Set for USF Football vs. Wisconsin, SC State, Navy and Temple Games

(Tampa, FL) The USF football team will open the 2019 season with a 7 p.m. primetime kickoff vs. Wisconsin on ESPN, the American Athletic Conference announced today among several kickoff times set for conference schools.

The Bulls’ Fri., Aug. 30 season opener vs. the Badgers in Raymond James Stadium was one of four kickoff times announced for the 2019 USF football season. The Bulls’ Sat., Sept. 14 game vs. South Carolina State will kick off at 6 p.m. and air on ESPN3. USF’s Sat., Oct. 19 game at Navy will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The Bulls’ primetime clash with Temple on Thur., Nov. 7 will kick off at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

USF’s Week 2 game at Georgia Tech was previously announced as a 2 p.m. kickoff on the ACC Network, giving the Bulls five set kick times and broadcast designations for the season. Kickoff times and broadcast designations for USF’s remaining seven regular season games are expected to be announced during the season on a 12- or six-day selection basis.

USF will open its third season under head coach Charlie Strong with a primetime game vs. Wisconsin. The Badgers, coming off their 17th straight bowl appearance, were ranked No. 19 in the Athlon Sports preseason Top 25 and return 2018 Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor, who ran for 2,194 yards last season.

The Bulls face BYU on Sat., Oct. 12 in a Homecoming contest that will round out the non-conference schedule. USF’s conference slate is highlighted by three straight November home games with conference title contenders Temple (2018 East Division runner-up), Cincinnati (2018 East Division third place) and Memphis (back-to-back West Division winner). The regular season finale vs. UCF in the War on I-4 in Orlando on Fri., Nov. 29 will air on ABC or ESPN with a kickoff time to be announced later. The American Conference Championship game on Sat., Dec. 7 has been set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC and will be played at a home site.

USF Bulls Football To Play Three-Game Series Against Alabama Starting in Tampa in 2023

(Tampa, FL) USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly announced an agreement with Alabama to play a three-game football series that will begin in 2023 with the Crimson Tide coming to Tampa.

The addition of the series with the Crimson Tide brings the Bulls’ scheduled non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents to 17 over the next 10 seasons, 14 of those added since January. The 17 contests vs. Power 6 opponents are tied for the most among American Athletic Conference teams.

Alabama joins most recent series announcements pitting the Bulls vs. Florida and Miami as well as games in the next two seasons vs. Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and Texas. The Bulls have at least one Power 6 non-conference opponent scheduled in each of the next 10 seasons and two or more in seven of those seasons.

Six of those opponents can claim a national championship, including 17 for Alabama, and the Bulls will be facing programs during that span that claim a total of 34 national championships.
“We are very excited to open the Alabama series in Tampa in 2023 and to add one of the most successful brands in American sports to a very exciting list of future opponents that will give our student-athletes and coaches a great opportunity to compete against the best programs in the nation,” Kelly said.

The Bulls and Crimson Tide will open the series on Sept. 16, 2023 in Raymond James Stadium. It will be the Tide’s first return to Tampa since falling, 35-31, to Clemson in the 2017 CFP National Championship Game, one of Alabama’s four straight national championship game appearances since 2015. The series will shift to Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821) in Tuscaloosa, Ala. for the final two games in the series on Sept. 7, 2024 and Sept. 12, 2026.

USF and Alabama have met once previously with the Tide winning, 40-17, in Tuscaloosa on Aug. 30, 2003. The Bulls are 2-5 all-time vs. SEC opponents, winning their only meeting in the last eight seasons with a 46-39 overtime victory over South Carolina in the 2016 Birmingham Bowl.

The Bulls’ 2024 non-conference slate is now set with the USF facing Louisville, NC State and Western Kentucky in Tampa and traveling to Alabama. USF’s 2026 schedule has one remaining date with FAU coming to Tampa and the Bulls traveling to Alabama and Louisville.





USF Bulls and Miami Hurricanes to Play Three-Game Series

(Tampa, FL) USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly today announced an agreement with the University of Miami to play a three-game football series starting in 2025, bringing the Bulls’ scheduled non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents to 14 over the next 10 seasons.

The Bulls and Hurricanes will play a pair of games at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, beginning the latest series on Sept. 13, 2025 and closing the three-game series on Sept. 9, 2028. The Hurricanes will return to Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 4, 2027 to face the Bulls in Tampa for the fourth time and first time since 2013.

The addition of the three-game series with Miami comes on the heels of the announcement of a home-and-home series with Boise State (2025 & 2027) in April and an agreement with Texas to cancel the final two games (scheduled for 2022 & 2024) of a previously announced three-game series. USF will still travel to Texas in 2020.

“We are excited to continue to add very high-level opponents with great national interest to our future football schedules,” Kelly said. “In the next 10 years we now have six games on the schedule against Florida and Miami and our student-athletes, coaches and fans look forward to the challenge.”

The Bulls and Hurricanes have met six times on the football field with Miami holding a 5-1 lead in the series, including a 49-21 victory in the last meeting in 2013 in Tampa. The Bulls win came, 23-20, in Miami in 2010.

USF’s 2025 season non-conference schedule is now full with games vs. Boise State (Aug. 30), at Florida (Sept. 6), at Miami (Sept. 13) and vs. San Jose State (Sept. 20). The Bulls will open the 2027 season vs. Miami (Sept. 4) in Tampa and have road trips to Boise State (Sept. 11) and Northern Illinois (Sept. 25) on the schedule with one non-conference opponent to be filled.

USF now has 14 scheduled non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents over the next 10 seasons (through 2028) in addition to home-and-home series vs. Boise State (2025 & 2027) and BYU (2019 & 2021).

The Bulls will play nine of those games vs. ACC opponents, including contests vs. Georgia Tech (2019), NC State (2021 & 2024), Louisville (2022, 2024 & 2026) and Miami (2025, 2027 & 2028). Future schedules also include dates vs. SEC foe Florida (2022, 2023 & 2025), Big 12 opponent Texas (2020) and Big Ten foe Wisconsin (2019).

USF takes on Wisconsin on Fri., Aug. 30 in a primetime matchup to open the 2019 season, travels to Georgia Tech (Sept. 7) in Week 2 and will host BYU on Oct. 12 for a homecoming game at Raymond James Stadium.

USF has played 13 non-conference regular season games vs. Power 6 opponents in six seasons since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2013. The non-conference Power 6 opponents faced over that span include Florida State (2015, 2016), Georgia Tech (2018), Illinois (2017 & 2018), Maryland (2014, 2015), Miami (2013), Michigan State (2013), NC State (2014), Syracuse (2015, 2016) and Wisconsin (2014).





USF Bulls Show Signs of Improvement in Spring Football Showcase Saturday

(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls played its spring football game Saturday afternoon at Corbett Stadium on campus as fans got a first look at new Offensive Coordinator Kerwin Bell’s offense.

Starting quarterback Blake Barnett set the tone by throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mitchell Wilcox on the very first play. By the final whistle, USF’s offense produced five touchdowns and two field goals in a 73-36 victory over the defense, which was limited by spring practice rules.

“I just feel like we’ve got a lot of momentum coming from this spring camp and I think we’re going to take that into the fall,” said Wilcox, a senior from Tarpon Springs, Fla., who led all receivers with 90 yards on two catches.

Saturday’s scoring system featured normal point totals for touchdowns and field goals on top of two points being awarded for 15-plus yard plays and one point for fourth-down conversions. Defensively, three-and-outs counted for three points, turnovers counted for four and fourth-down stops earned the Bulls one point.

“I like the way the offense just came out. They were able to operate,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “Defensively with the scoring system, defensive guys got mad at me because I took away the sacks and tackles for loss, which could have added more points to the score.”

USF’s offense was certainly happy with the result after producing what would have been 41 points in a real game situation as all three quarterbacks threw at least one touchdown and combined for 509 yards passing.

Behind Barnett, redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud completed 17 of 25 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Before McCloud’s scores, redshirt freshman Octavious Battle threw a 29-yard pass to Jernard Phillips for a score and added a 10-yard TD pass to slot receiver Bryce Miller in the first quarter.

“From day one of spring practice to where we are now, we’ve come a million miles on offense,” head coach Charlie Strong said.