(Tampa, FL Sept. 1, 2020) The USF football program received three more game times and broadcast arrangements for the 2020 season Tuesday, including the Bulls’ season opener vs. The Citadel on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Raymond James Stadium.
The debut of head coach Jeff Scott has been set for a 1 p.m. kickoff and will be broadcast on ESPN+, ESPN’s subscription digital network. The American Athletic Conference and ESPN begin a new 12-year television rights agreement this season. There is a fee to subscribe to ESPN+.
No fans will be in attendance for the Bulls’ season debut at Raymond James Stadium, but USF does anticipate having fans for its remaining four home games in 2020, if deemed appropriate by state and local officials.
The Bulls also received two other kick times on the day. USF’s Saturday, Sept. 19 contest at No. 10 Notre Dame is set for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff and will be televised on USA Network. USA Network is distributed to 90.4 million households and 98 percent of cable homes.
The Bulls’ Friday, Oct. 23 primetime contest vs. Tulsa at Raymond James Stadium was also announced for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff and will be broadcast on ESPN.
USF previously announced the kickoff time for its contest at FAU on Saturday, Sept. 26, set for 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
Scott and USF’s new coaching staff will take the field with 16 returning starters and 49 lettermen from the 2019 team.
Single-game ticket and attendance information for Raymond James Stadium during the 2020 season will be announced in the near future.
(Tampa, FL) The USF football team’s War on I-4 clash at UCF (7-3; 4-2 American) on Friday, Nov. 29 has been set for an 8 p.m. kickoff on ESPN.
The Bulls (4-6; 2-4 American) and Knights will be meeting for the 11th time with USF holding a 6-4 advantage in the series. The last game played at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando was hailed as one of the top games of the 2017 season, as the Knights prevailed in a 49-42 epic between two ranked teams decided in the final minutes. The Bulls are 3-2 in Orlando, including a 44-3 victory in 2015.
On Monday, the American Athletic Conference also announced home and away opponents for conference teams for the upcoming 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The 2020 season will be the first for The American with 11 football-playing institutions. The 2020 and 2021 schedules will include eight conference games – four home games and four road contests – for each team in each season. Each team will face the other 10 teams at least once in the two-year cycle.
“This scheduling model provides balance and competitive equity and will contribute to the exciting seasons to which we have become accustomed in the American Athletic Conference,” said American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco. “It is a fair model that was unanimously supported by our athletic directors.”
The American will not have a divisional format for its 2020 and 2021 football seasons. The conference will determine the procedures for determining the participants in the American Athletic Conference Football Championship at a later date.
USF’s home and away conference schedule for the 2020 and 2021 seasons are below. In a quirk of the new scheduling matrix involving 11 conference teams, the Bulls will face Tulsa in Raymond James Stadium in back-to-back seasons in 2020 and 2021.
Home: UCF, ECU, Navy, Tulsa
Away: Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, Temple (will not play SMU, Tulane)
Home: Cincinnati, Houston, Temple, Tulsa
Away: UCF, ECU, SMU, Tulane (will not play Memphis, Navy)
(Tampa, FL) USF gave No. 17 Cincinnati all it could handle in a 20-17 loss that went to the final second Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.
Following the Bulls’ missed chance at a go-ahead field goal from 33 yards out with 2:07 to play, Sam Crosa made a 37-yard kick as time expired to earn the Bearcats (9-1, 6-0) at least a share of The American’s East Division title.
Powered by a solid defensive effort, USF (4-6, 2-4) took a 10-0 lead into halftime and held a 17-10 advantage early in the fourth quarter. The Bulls’ bid for their first win over a ranked opponent since 2016 was hampered by four missed field goals from 50, 53, 43 and 33 yards out.
Cincinnati, which came to Tampa averaging 32.7 points, was shut out in the first half for just the second time this season and was outgained by the Bulls by a 438-278 margin. Sophomore linebacker Antonio Grier Jr. led USF’s valiant defensive effort with a career-high 10 tackles, including two of USF’s eight tackles for loss and one of the team’s four sacks as the Bulls forced eight punts and gained a takeaway for the 10th straight game.
Redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud completed 18 of 27 passes for a career-high 267 yards and a touchdown. McCloud’s 4-yard scoring pass to senior tight end Mitchell Wilcox helped spot USF a 17-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
USF got a team-high 78 rushing yards from Jordan Cronkrite. The senior from Miami moved up to eighth on the program’s career rushing list with 1,808 yards. Freshman Kelley Joiner Jr. set career highs with 72 rushing yards on 13 carries and totaled a team-best 121 all-purpose yards.
Cincinnati didn’t get a first down until late in the first quarter and that drive resulted in its fourth punt. USF took advantage of the opportunity with a 28-yard field goal by freshman Spencer Shrader Freshman Xavier Weaver had a 37-yard reception on the 13-play, 85-yard drive.
Cincinnati found the end zone on the second drive of the second half before the Bulls answered right back. McCloud’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Wilcox capped off a seven-play, 75-yard drive that extended the USF lead to 17-7 with 7:12 to play in the third quarter. Joiner exploded downfield on the first play of the sequence with a career long 49-yard reception.
The Bearcats tied things up in the first minute of the fourth quarter, which set up a dramatic finish in the 17th meeting between the programs.
With the Bulls backed up at their own 3 midway through the quarter, McCloud threw a quick pass to junior Eddie McDoom, who raced downfield through defenders on a career-long 41 reception. Three plays later, McCloud completed a 19-yard pass to sophomore Bryce Miller on third-and-4 down to the Cincinnati 31. USF got as close as the Bearcats’ 15 before missing the potential go-ahead field goal with 2:07 remaining.
Cincinnati then converted twice on third-and-long and drove 60 yards to set up Crosa’s game-winning field goal in the final seconds.
“This one hurts and it hurts because you saw a great team effort tonight”, said Bulls Head Coach Charlie Strong. “Just the way our guys came out and the energy they had and just the way they played from start to finish. We had our opportunities, and it’s tough because of the opportunities that we had. There’s no blame for anyone. It’s one of those losses that’s a team loss. We have two games left and we’ve got to get to a bowl game.”
USF wraps up a three-game homestand Saturday, Nov. 23 against No. 18 Memphis. Kickoff time for the Bulls’ Senior Day game is 4 p.m. on ESPNU.
(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls game with No. 17 Cincinnati (8-1; 5-0 American) this Saturday at Raymond James Stadium has been set for a 7 p.m. kickoff and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
The Bulls (4-5; 2-3 American) and Bearcats will meet for the 17th time in USF’s Salute to Service game. Cincinnati, which is coming off a 48-3 victory over Connecticut Saturday, leads the all-time series, 9-7, but the Bulls hold a 5-3 edge in Tampa, including a 33-3 victory in Cincinnati’s last trip in 2017.
The Bearcats posted a 35-23 victory over USF in Cincinnati last year in the coldest kickoff in USF program history. The teams took the field with the temperature reading 28 degrees at kickoff. USF took a 16-14 lead to halftime in the game before the Bearcats scored 21 third quarter points and posted the win behind 151 yards and three touchdowns rushing from Michael Warren. USF started quarterback Chris Oladokun in the game and he passed for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
The sixth Horns Up Rally of the season will be held on Friday from 5-8 p.m. on 7th Avenue in Ybor City.
(Greenville, NC) USF scored 35 straight points in the first half and kept its foot on the gas pedal after the break in a 45-20 rout of East Carolina on Saturday that extended the Bulls’ winning streak against the Pirates to five games.
USF (4-4, 2-2) has won all five road games is the series with ECU (3-5, 0-4) and remained unbeaten in Greenville after posting new season highs with 347 rushing yards and 525 total yards.
Senior Jordan Cronkrite (Miami) registered his third 100-yard rushing game in the past four outings with 129 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. The senior, who ran for over 1,000 yards last season, now has 511 yards in the last four games. Freshman Jah’Quez rushed for a career-high 99 yards in the second quarter on six direct snaps in the wildcat.
Quarterback Jordan McCloud went 9-for-12 for 102 yards in a first half that saw the redshirt freshman throw touchdown passes to Jacob Mathis and Randall St. Felix, the latter of which set season highs with five catches for 79 yards. McCloud also rushed for 49 yards on four carries in his sixth straight start before sitting out the second half with a minor right ankle sprain.
USF seized the momentum with 35 unanswered points that led to a 35-10 lead at the half. The Bulls gained 248 of their 358 total first-half yards on the ground, scored 14 points off two takeaways and totaled seven of their nine total tackles for loss in the game.
Tyler Snead’s 100-yard kickoff return gave ECU the lead right out of the gates before USF answered right back on its opening drive. Cronkrite’s 5-yard touchdown capped off a 10-play, 75-yard sequence that saw the Bulls convert twice on third down. Cronkite set up the score with a 21-yard run on third-and-3, one play after 17-yard scramble by McCloud, who went 3-for-4 for 35 yards on the drive.
McCloud’s 21-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Jacob Mathis gave the Bulls the lead in the final minute of the opening quarter. Six plays before the go-ahead score, senior safety Studstill recovered a fumble after senior linebacker Patrick Macon ripped the ball out at the Bulls’ 11-yard line.
USF used an 18-yard touchdown reception by St. Felix to take a 21-7 lead midway through the second quarter. The Bulls needed just 35 yards to reach the end zone after Tampa native KJ Sails’ 24-yard return on ECU’s third of four punts in the half.
Three plays after a 48-yard interception return by senior end Reaves, USF pumped up its lead to 28-7 thanks to Evan’s first career touchdown run from 34 yards. Evans used six direct snaps to rack up 99 rushing yards in the second quarter.
ECU’s last-second field goal before the break halted the Bulls’ scoring streak, which reached 35 points after Cronkrite’s 10-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds left in the half. Cronkrite rushed for 91 yards on eight attempts in the first two quarters.
USF’s defense came up with a fourth-down stop from its own goal line midway through the third quarter and capitalized on the stand with a 24-yard field goal by Spencer Shrader. Rygol accounted for 56 of USF’s 88 yards on its 15-play drive that took 7:11 off the clock.
Rygol threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Horne on USF’s next drive, a six-play, 66-yard sequence, that gave the Bulls a 45-10 advantage with 11:57 to play.
The Bulls’ defense didn’t give up a touchdown until only 45 seconds remained in the game. Sophomore defensive backs Bentlee Sanders, Nick Roberts and Studstill all tied for the game high with nine tackles apiece.
“To come on the road and get another conference win, it was really good”, said Bulls Head Coach Charlie Strong. “We ran the ball really well, rushed for over 300 yards and the offense did a great job. We ended up playing three quarterbacks, but it was just good to see them play so hard. Defensively, we were able to get the stops at the right time.”
The Bulls are on a bye next week and return to Raymond James Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 7 to host Temple at 8 p.m. (TV: ESPN).
(East Hartford, CT) USF found its offense, at least for one week, racking up 503 total yards in a 48-22 win over UConn Saturday afternoon in Connecticut. Jordan Cronkrite ran for 148 yards while the Bulls ground game compiled 313 rushing yards to capture an American Athletic Conference win.
USF (2-3, 1-1 in AAC) led from start to finish in its eighth straight victory over the Huskies (1-4, 0-2), dating back to 2012. Saturday marked USF’s first 300-yard rushing game since gaining 346 yards on the ground against the Huskies on Oct. 20, 2018.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud accounted for four touchdowns in his third straight start. The Tampa native completed 11 of 12 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns on top of rushing for 62 yards and another score from 26 yards out.
Making his first-ever USF start in the slot, Bryce Miller caught a pair of 12-yard touchdown passes from McCloud. Miller’s first TD reception started a string of four straight scoring drives that helped the Bulls build a 27-14 halftime lead.
Cronkrite registered his first 100-yard rushing game of the season while averaging 7.4 yards per carry. Senior Trevon Sands added seven carries for a career-high 64 yards in a performance that included his first-ever touchdown run as a Bull from 5 yards out in the second quarter.
USF’s defense posted five sacks and allowed just eight points and 94 yards in the second half as the Huskies were held to 293 yards.
“I keep saying it – we have a good football team”, Head Coach Charlie Strong said. “It’s all about them just playing with confidence, coming together and believing in themselves. I told them that we (had) some guys down, but the thing about it is other guys can step up.”
USF returns to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 12 to host BYU. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
(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.
(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.
(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.