Tag Archives: USF Football

Navy Dominates USF 35-3 Saturday in Annapolis

(Annapolis, MD) USF ran into a juggernaut Saturday afternoon as Navy sailed to a 35-3 win in Annapolis. The Midshipmen (5-1, 3-1 in AAC) rushed 59 times for 434 yards in its third straight win. Navy Quarterback Malcolm Perry had a game-high 188 rushing yards and two touchdowns while Navy’s only completed pass was a 23-yard touchdown on a trick play.

Despite turning the ball over twice in the first half, the Midshipmen used 220 rushing yards to build a 21-3 halftime lead in the first meeting between the programs since a 52-45 Bulls home victory in 2016.

Perry’s 67-yard touchdown run started the scoring with 3:56 to go in the first quarter. Jamale Carothers’ 58-yard run and OJ Davis’ 23-yard touchdown catch on an option pass helped extend the Navy advantage to 21-0 in the second quarter before a takeaway led to points for USF.

Sails hauled in his second interception of the season, but had a pick-6 taken off the board due to a penalty called on a block on the return. Four plays later, freshman Spencer Shrader made his second field goal of the season from 33 yards out with 2:43 remaining in the half.

USF got the ball back less than two minutes later when Roberts intercepted a pass at the Bulls’ 33. The Bulls got to the Navy 48 but the drive ended with an interception of redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud at the 22. Battling through injuries sustained in previous games. McCloud completed 11 of 23 passes for 50 yards and rushed for 26 yards in his fifth straight start.
After USF’s defense kept Navy scoreless in the third quarter, Perry found the end zone again on a 21-yard run with 13:03 to play. Perry entered the weekend tied for third nationally in TD runs and now has 14 this season.

USF trailed, 35-3, with 6:50 remaining when sophomore quarterback Kirk Rygol replaced McCloud. Rygol finished 4-for-7 for 64 yards while USF registered 150 of its 264 total yards on the ground. Cronkrite led the way with 17 carries for 76 yards, falling short in his attempt at a third straight 100-yard rushing performance.

“If you look at the first half, we gave up three big plays”, said Bulls Head Coach Charlie Strong. “The quarterback, we allowed him to just run up and down the field on us. Then, we couldn’t move the ball on offense. When that happens to you, this is the result that you get.”

USF wraps up a two-game road trip at East Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 26. Kickoff is set for 3:45 p.m. and the conference clash will be televised on ESPNU.





Charlie Strong Looks Ahead to Saturday’s Game vs. Navy in Annapolis





USF Holds On To Defeat BYU 27-23 Saturday in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) Senior Jordan Cronkrite rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 7:37 remaining to lead USF to a 27-23 homecoming victory over BYU Saturday before an announced Raymond James Stadium crowd of 35,375.

Clinging to a four-point lead, USF (3-3, 1-1 in AAC) came up with consecutive fourth-down stops deep in its own territory to defeat BYU (2-4) in the first-ever meeting between the programs. The Cougars’ final two drives ended at the USF 5 and 20, the last ending after Devin Studstill batted down a pass in the end zone.

USF generated 243 of its 315 total yards on the ground and Cronkrite led the rushing attack with 158 yards on 26 carries in his second-best performance as a Bull. The senior from Miami registered both his rushing touchdowns and racked up 123 yards in the second half.

On a tough day through the air, senior tight end Mitchell Wilcox led the way with two catches for 52 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown reception that put USF on the scoreboard in the second quarter after BYU jumped out to a 13-0 lead.

The wild, first game between the programs started with BYU building a 16-7 halftime lead after the Bulls’ defense forced field goals in the red zone on the Cougars’ final two scoring drives.
BYU took an early 3-0 lead, but the USF defense did lots of damage in the opening quarter with 6 tackles for loss and four sacks.

After BYU extended its lead to 13-0, USF’s offense put together an eight-play, 86-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 39-yard touchdown reception by Wilcox with 6:01 remaining in the half.

Cronkrite punched in his first touchdown of the season from 1 yard out to help drop USF’s deficit to 16-14 on the first drive of the second half that covered 68 yards on 14 plays.

BYU responded with quarterback Jaren Hall’s 29-yard touchdown run on the next drive, but the Bulls stayed within striking distance recovering a fumble on a punt attempt at the BYU 23 and USF trailed, 23-21, after a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jordan McCloud with 14:57 remaining.

BYU missed a field goal after McCloud’s score and the Bulls turned the opportunity into a 27-23 advantage with Cronkrite’s 3-yard touchdown run with 7:37 to go. Cronkrite secured his second straight 100-yard rushing game on the nine-play, 78-yard drive that was powered by his 41-yard run down to the BYU 15.

BYU marched all the way down to the USF 8 on the next drive before the Bulls came up with a stop on fourth-and-7 from the 10. USF took over with 1:36 to play and, following three running plays, Schneider’s 61-yard punt moved the Cougars back to their own 26 with 1:09 remaining.

BYU got as far as the USF 12 on the final drive of the game that featured Grier’s sack on the crucial third-and-10 play before Studstill’s game-sealing pass breakup.

“That’s a great win for us”, Bulls Head Coach Charlie Strong said, “What we were able to do on defense was just hold them to field goals in the first half and not let the game get away from us”.

USF continues conference play at Navy on Saturday, Oct. 19. Kickoff in Annapolis, Md., is set for 3:30 p.m. and game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.





USF Head Coach Charlie Strong Looks Ahead to Saturday’s Game vs. BYU in Tampa

Charlie Strong’s comments at today’s USF Football presser in Tampa on Saturday’s game against BYU in Tampa.





USF Homecoming Game vs. BYU Scheduled for 3:30 PM ET Kickoff in Tampa Oct. 12th

(Tampa, FL) USF football’s homecoming game against BYU on Saturday, Oct. 12 has been set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

It will mark the first-ever meeting between the Bulls and Cougars in football and the second straight afternoon kickoff for the Bulls in Raymond James Stadium.

An FBS independent, BYU stands 2-3 on the season after a grueling early schedule that saw the Cougars post wins at Tennessee (29-26) and vs. No. 24 USC (30-27), and losses to No. 15 Utah (30-12), No. 21 Washington (45-19) and at Toledo (28-21) last Saturday. The Cougars have a bye week this week before coming to Tampa.

BYU has logged 577 wins in football since the program’s inception in 1922, including 23 conference titles, 36 bowl game appearances and one national title. The Oct. 12 meeting between USF and BYU will be the first of two, with USF traveling to Provo, Utah on Sept. 25, 2021.

USF (1-3; 0-1 American) will head to UConn (1-3; 0-1 American) Saturday for a noon kickoff at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford.

SMU’s “Pony Express” Rolls Over USF 48-21 in AAC Conference Opener in Tampa Saturday

The “Pony Express” of the early 80’s came back to life as SMU delivered a 48-21 beating to the USF Bulls Saturday afternoon in Tampa. The Mustangs remained unbeaten at 5-0 while USF fell to 1-3 in what appears to be another lost season under head coach Charlie Strong.

Redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud earned his second straight start at quarterback for the Bulls, but was sacked six times in the first half and exited with a sprained wrist before USF saw its three-game winning streak in conference openers snapped.

After scoring 55 points before the bye week, USF couldn’t stay in a rhythm on offense while red-hot SMU jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead.

Xavier Jones’ first of two first-half touchdown runs started the scoring for SMU with 9:58 remaining in the opening quarter before USF nearly evened things up on the next drive.

Senior back Jordan Cronkrite hauled in a 31-yard reception on third-and-14 at the USF 19. The 16-play, 77-yard drive was kept alive by McCloud’s 18-yard scramble to the SMU 17 on fourth-and-7, but the Bulls came away with no points after McCloud was intercepted in the end zone.

SMU scored touchdowns on five straight possessions as senior quarterback Shane Buechele was razor sharp completing his first 13 passes, throwing three touchdown passes and running for a 10-yard touchdown.

Former starting QB Blake Barnett started the second half leading the Bulls to back-to-back scoring drives by throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Miller with 10:40 remaining. Miller set up his first career touchdown catch with a career long 37-yard reception on the four-play, 83-yard drive that took just 1:12 off the clock.

USF extended its scoring streak to three straight drives with Barnett’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Wilcox with 2:57 remaining. Wilcox also had a 20-yard catch on the five-play, 82-yard drive that started with a career long 30-yard reception by Mathis.

USF had won its past three conference openers before dropping its first AAC game in a season for the first time since 2015.

“It’s one of those games, and I just told our players, we will get it corrected because we’re better than that”, said head coach Charlie Strong after the loss. “We know this, it can be fixed and we’ve just got to go to work. I told our coaches that’s on us. We cannot allow our team to go out and we can’t fall behind, 34-0. We’re not good enough to get caught back up.”

USF continues conference play at UConn on Saturday, Oct. 5. Kickoff is set for noon ET, moved up from its original 7PM start as a safety precaution after receiving guidance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health as it relates to the mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus.

The Bulls return to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 12 to host BYU (time TBA).





USF Bulls Football Game at Georgia Tech September 7th Scheduled for 2PM Kickoff

(Tampa, FL) The USF football team’s Week 2 game at Georgia Tech has been set for a 2 p.m. kickoff and will be televised on the ACC Network, the ACC announced on Thursday.

USF travels to Georgia Tech on Sat., Sept. 7 for the second meeting between the schools. The Bulls used 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to post a 49-38 comeback win vs. Tech in Tampa last year.

USF will open its third season under head coach Charlie Strong with a primetime clash vs. Wisconsin on Fri., Aug. 30 that will be nationally televised on an ESPN network from Raymond James Stadium. Wisconsin, coming off its 17th straight bowl appearance, was ranked No. 21 in the Sporting News Post-spring Preseason Top 25 rankings and returns Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor, who ran for 2,194 yards last season.

The Bulls face South Carolina State on Sat., Sept. 14 and BYU on Sat., Oct. 12 for a Homecoming game that will round out the non-conference schedule.

The Bulls’ conference slate is highlighted by three straight November home contests with conference title contenders Temple (2018 East Division runner-up), Cincinnati (2018 East Division third place) and Memphis (back-to-back West Division winner) before the regular season finale in the War on I-4 in Orlando. Kickoff times and remaining television designations will be announced at a later date.





USF Bulls Agree to Home and Home Football Series with Boise State

(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls will play a home and home football series with Boise State beginning in 2025 Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly announced today. The Bulls and Broncos will meet for the first time on Aug. 30, 2025 in Raymond James Stadium. USF will travel to the famous blue turf in Boise, Idaho on Sept. 11, 2027.

“Boise State is a very exciting addition to our football schedule and one I believe will have national interest,” Kelly said. “The Broncos have a highly successful program that has been prominent on the national stage over the last two decades, and I think our student-athletes and fans will look forward to two high quality games and a trip out west to compete on the blue turf.”

USF also announced other schedule adjustments: A return game in Tampa vs. San Jose State, originally slated for the 2023 season, has been moved back to Sept. 20, 2025 in Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls visit to Northern Illinois, originally set for Aug. 30, 2025, will be moved to Sept. 25, 2027 in DeKalb, Illinois.

USF’s 2025 season non-conference schedule now contains games vs. Boise State (Aug. 30), at Florida (Sept. 6) and vs. San Jose State (Sept. 20), with one date remaining to be filled.

The Bulls and Broncos have never played against each other in football and USF has never played in the state of Idaho. The 2027 game in Boise, Idaho will mark just the fifth game for USF in the west. The Bulls will play at BYU in 2021 in the first western locale game on the schedule since USF won at San Jose State in 2017.

Boise State has played in 18 bowl games and won 12, including a 3-0 mark in Fiesta Bowl appearances, while claiming 19 conference titles. Entering head coach Bryan Harsin’s sixth season in 2019, the Broncos have won at least nine games every year under Harsin and compiled a 52-15 record in his tenure. The Broncos posted a 10-3 mark last season, losing in overtime to No. 25 Fresno State in the Mountain West championship game.

USF currently has 13 scheduled non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents over the next eight seasons (through 2026) in addition to home-and-home series vs. Boise State (2025 & 2027) and BYU (2019 & 2021).

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





Former Gators QB Kerwin Bell Named Bulls Offensive Coordinator & Quarterbacks Coach

(Information provided by the USF Athletic Department)

(Tampa, FL) Fresh from leading Valdosta State to the 2018 NCAA Division II championship with the nation’s No. 1 ranked scoring offense in the division (52.0 ppg), Florida native Kerwin Bell has been named the Bulls’ offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, USF Head Coach Charlie Strong announced Thursday.

Bell, a former standout quarterback and SEC Player of the Year at the University of Florida (1984-87), comes to USF after 12 seasons as a successful head coach leading programs at Valdosta State (2016-18) and Jacksonville University (2007-15) and a 14-year playing career in professional football, which included stops with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1989) and Miami Dolphins (1988).

“I have known Kerwin for more than 30 years and have a great deal of respect for what he has done in his career both as a player and coach and the success of the football programs he has led,” Strong said. “He has directed some very explosive, high-scoring offenses and consistently puts his players in position to reach their highest potential. We are very excited to have Kerwin joining our staff.”

Strong and Bell were first part of the same program during the 1983-84 seasons at Florida, where Strong was serving in his first coaching position as a graduate assistant and Bell was a walk-on quarterback. Bell, a native of Mayo, Fla., earned the Gators’ starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman in 1984 and went on to earn SEC Player of the Year honors after leading the Gators to a 9-1-1 record, SEC championship and top five national ranking.

Bell most recently served three seasons as the head coach at Valdosta State (2016-18) where he guided the offense and led the Blazers to a 27-7 record, a school-record 15 straight victories, two Division II playoff appearances and conference and national championships in 2018. He was named the 2018 Gulf South Conference Co-Coach of the Year after leading VSU to a 14-0 record (the first unbeaten season in program history) and a 49-47 victory over Ferris State in the Division II National Championship game, the program’s first title since 2012.

Bell’s 2018 offense led the nation in scoring (52.0 ppg), ranked second in first downs (341) and was fourth in total offense (523.9 ypg), red-zone offense (.901) and pass efficiency (167.37).
Bell led VSU to runner-up conference finishes in his first two years guiding the program and went 8-3 with a playoff appearance in his first season at the helm in 2016 as the Blazers led the nation with 27 interceptions.

Prior to VSU, Bell led Jacksonville University for nine seasons, guiding the Football Championship Series program to a 66-35 record and three Pioneer Football League championships. Also serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Bell was named the 2008 PFL Coach of the Year and an Eddie Robinson Award finalist after leading the Dolphins to a 9-4 record and conference title.

Prior to taking over the Jacksonville program, Bell led Trinity Catholic High School in Ocala, Fla, for six seasons (2001-06), earning a Florida 2B state title in 2005 and runner-up finish in 2006.

Bell was selected in the seventh round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, beginning a 14-year professional career that saw stops with the NFL teams in Miami, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Indianapolis as well as stops in the Canadian Football League (where he passed for 19,538 yards and 101 touchdowns in nine seasons) and the World League of American Football.

Bell earned a degree in psychology from the University of Florida in 1987. After beginning his career at UF as a walk-on, he was inducted into the University of Florida Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997 following a four-year career (1984-87) that saw him pass for 7,585 yards and 56 touchdowns. He was ranked the No. 26 greatest Gator of all-time from the first 100 years of UF football in 2006 by The Gainesville Sun.