(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.
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