Tag Archives: USF Football

New USF Head Coach Jeff Scott Press Conference in Tampa 12/11/19






Jeff Scott Named Fifth Head Coach in USF Football history

(Tampa, FL) USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly announced Monday his selection of Jeff Scott to lead USF football as the fifth head coach in program history.

Scott will be introduced to the university and Bay area community on Wednesday on the USF campus. Details on the introductory press conference will be forthcoming.

The co-offensive coordinator at Clemson since 2015 and a member of the football staff at his alma mater since 2008, Scott has been a key part of the rise of one of the most dominant football programs in the nation. He has helped lead the Tigers to their fifth straight College Football Playoff appearance in 2019, three CFP Championship game appearances (2015, 2016 & 2018 seasons) and national titles in the 2016 and 2018 seasons. Clemson scored 21 fourth-quarter points to defeat Alabama, 35-31, in the CFP National Championship game on Jan. 9, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to claim the program’s first national title in 35 years.

“Jeff is a very bright, enthusiastic and driven leader for our program and we are thrilled to welcome him to USF and back to Florida, where he was born and where he has recruited so well for Clemson for many years,” Kelly said. “He is a young and extremely gifted offensive mind, a developer of high-level talent and an elite national recruiter who brings the experience of having played an integral role from the beginning in helping to build one of the most successful programs in college football. We are thrilled that he and his wife, Sara, and their daughter, Savannah, are joining our Bulls family and will be part of the exciting future of USF football.”

In his fifth season serving as co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach in 2019, Scott helped Clemson claim its fifth straight ACC title and improve to 13-0 on the year with a 62-17 ACC Championship game victory over Virginia in which the Tigers posted 619 yards of offense.

“I have great respect for the USF football program and what has been accomplished in a very short time and can’t wait to get to work building on that foundation to produce a championship program,” Scott said.

Born in Arcadia, Fla., Scott has been a key figure in recruiting the talented student-athletes that have led Clemson’s ascendance to the top of college football. He took over as Clemson’s recruiting coordinator in December of 2008 and served in that role until 2014, leading the Tigers to top 10 ranked classes in his first season of 2009 and also in 2011 and 2012. Continuing as an elite recruiter while taking on coordinator duties, he has been named a top 10 recruiter nationally by ESPN.com (2014), a top 25 national recruiter seven times by Rivals.com.

Since becoming co-offensive coordinator alongside Tony Elliott starting with the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Oklahoma, the Tigers have gone 69-4 (38-2 in the ACC) with just two regular season losses and posted the three winningest seasons in program history (2018 (15-0), 2015 (14-1), 2016 (14-1)). During that span, Clemson has averaged 40.3 points and 503 yards per game, gaining 6.6 yards per play while Tigers quarterbacks completed 66.3 percent of their passes.

Scott served as head coach at Blythewood (S.C.) High School (2005-06) and won a 3A state title in the first year the program fielded a varsity team. He entered the college ranks as wide receivers coach at Presbyterian College in 2007 before returning to Clemson as a graduate assistant in 2008.

Scott graduated cum laude from Clemson in 2003 with a degree in mathematics, having earned President’s List recognition with a 4.0 grade-point average in 2001 and 2002. He went on to earn a master’s degree in education instruction technology from American Intercontinental University (2005).

He was a three-year letterman at wide receiver at Clemson (2000-2002) and was named the Outstanding Senior Male Athlete and recipient of the Athletic Director’s Excellence Award. The Tigers reached three bowl games during his time as a player.

Scott and his wife, Sara, have a young daughter, Savannah.






Sports Talk with Don Henderson and Doug Miles 12-9-19

Hall of Fame broadcaster Don Henderson and Doug Miles talk about the college football final 4, USF Bulls coaching possibilities, Tampa Bay Rays stadium issues, Pat Williams baseball dream in Orlando, NFL and more.






Memphis Blows Out USF 49-10 in Home Finale Saturday in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) USF’s home season came to a crashing end Saturday afternoon in Tampa losing in a 49-10 rout to Memphis. The loss eliminates the Bulls from any post season bowl consideration and puts Head Coach Charlie Strong’s future with the program on very thin ice. Since going 7-0 to start last season, the Bulls have gone 4-13 in their last 17 games.

After forcing a Memphis three-and-out, USF seized the initial lead on its six-play, 75-yard opening drive that was capped with a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore Dave Small. Kelley Joiner rushed four times for 66 yards on the drive and his 47-yard sprint downfield set the Bulls up at the Memphis 7-yard line.

Memphis tied things up with 5:01 to play in the opening quarter before Sails set up another go-ahead score for USF with a 40-yard interception return down to the Tigers’ 23. Four plays later, a 37-yard field goal by junior Coby Weiss gave the Bulls a 10-7 lead with 36 seconds left in the first quarter.

Memphis got all the way down to the USF 20 on its next drive that ended with another takeaway by the Bulls. Evans returned his first career interception 52 yards into Memphis territory, securing USF’s sixth game of the season with at least two takeaways.

White bounced back with two touchdown passes during Memphis’ 21-point second quarter that started with Patrick Taylor’s second of three scoring runs in the game.

“You gotta give their team their credit” said Bulls Head Coach Charlie Strong. “We didn’t play well. When you go out there and we play a good team like Memphis, we knew that all three phases had to play together, just knowing who they are, what they’ve done and how they’ve played the whole season. You get out there and we take the ball the opening drive and we go score to go up 7-0. Then we were able to get two turnovers there on defense and made it a short field and only got three points out of it, and missed another field goal. Then, we just could never get any rhythm at all going on offense. Then, it just beats down your defense.”

USF wraps up its 2019 season with rival UCF in Orlando on Friday, Nov. 29. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. on ESPN.






Temple Defeats USF 17-7 Thursday Night in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) USF’s woes continued before a sparse crowd at Raymond James Stadium dropping a 17-7 decision to Temple. The Bulls gave up 9 sacks and committed some bad penalties in crucial moments to drop their record 4-5 and 2-3 in the American Athletic Conference.

USF kept Temple (6-3, 3-2) scoreless for most of the first half and totaled its 21st takeaway of the season with an interception by Bentlee Sanders on the opening drive of the third quarter with the Owls clinging to a 7-0 lead. Sanders added a sack on a night in which USF totaled eight tackles for loss, forced four punts and two turnovers on downs.

USF cut its deficit to 14-7 with a 14-yard touchdown reception by sophomore Bryce Miller late in the third quarter. Two turnovers and a key drop slowed the Bulls’ progress on offense after they put up 525 yards and 45 points the last time out at East Carolina on Oct. 26.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud completed 23 of 38 passes for a career-high 225 yards and a touchdown in his seventh straight start. Senior tight end Mitchell Wilcox set up USF’s lone touchdown with a 25-yard catch and had a team-best 55 yards on a season-high five receptions.

USF’s defense dominated early in the sixth meeting between the schools before Temple used a late touchdown to take a 7-0 lead into the break. The Bulls’ defense gave up just 246 yards prior to Temple’s final drive and saw the Owls finish with 320 yards.

A big stop on Temple’s first drive set the tone for a shutout performance by the Bulls in the opening quarter. Sophomore Tyrone Barber made a clutch tackle for a loss of 2 yards with the Owls facing fourth-and-1 at the Bulls’ 7-yard line.

USF followed that up by forcing a pair of three-and-outs and sophomore linebacker Dwayne Boyles (Miami) ended the second sequence with a sack early in the second quarter. Senior end Darius Slade crashed through the line and posted his first sack as a Bull to halt Temple’s fourth drive that covered 20 yards on four plays.

Temple’s Jager Gardner made the biggest offensive play of the half with a 57-yard run on third-and-1 down to the USF 2. Gardner would finish with 133 yards on 25 carries on the night. Three plays later, Todd Centeio threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Yeboah with just 1:29 to go before the break.

USF’s defense kept it a one-score game on the opening drive of the second half thanks to Sanders’ first-career interception at the Bulls’ 10-yard line. Sanders’ second sack of the season stalled Temple’s very next drive.

Temple took a 14-0 lead on a 39-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by Sam Franklin with 4:45 to play in the third quarter.

The Bulls bounced right back on their next drive with a 14-yard touchdown reception by Miller. Freshman Xavier Weaver (Orlando) sparked the seven-play, 90-yard sequence with a career high 40-yard reception. Wilcox set up the score with a leaping 25-yard catch that got the Bulls to the Temple 14. McCloud went 3-for-3 for 79 yards on the drive that kept the Bulls close with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter.

Down 17-7 in the fourth quarter, USF was at midfield and nearly got into scoring position on an accurate deep pass by McCloud that was dropped. The Bulls were set to get the ball back after a Temple three-and-out, but a roughing the kicker penalty extended the Owls’ drive that ended at the USF 9 with 2:06 remaining.

“This is a tough one, a hard one to swallow”, said USF Head Coach Charlie Strong. “We had opportunities and didn’t take advantage of them. You look at the first drive, we’re driving the football, then end up turning the ball over. We could’ve got a score there and the defense played well up until right before half, giving up the drive where they scored on us. When the opportunity’s there, you have to take advantage of it, and we didn’t take advantage of it. Playing against a good football team, you can’t go out there and make mistakes – every mistake cost us.”

The Bulls continue a three-game homestand Saturday, Nov. 16 against No. 17 Cincinnati before the program’s Senior Day game against No. 19 Memphis on Saturday, Nov. 23. Kickoff times for both games have yet to be announced.






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.