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USF’s Top 5 Individual Performances: Running Backs and Offensive Line

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In part two of this series, we will be looking at the running backs and the offensive linemen

Temple University v South Florida Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images

Part two of this series will start with a position that USF seems to have a strong history of - running backs.

From 1997 to 2018, you can find some amazing running backs and platoons of running backs that have set the tempo of the game.

Then I’ll transition to the big boys up front, where instead of looking at one individual o-linemen, it will be a performance by the unit for a game.

Honorable Mentions

Mike Ford vs Northern Illinois 2010 International Bowl (20 carries for 207 yards, one TD).

#5 Dyral McMillan vs New Haven 1999 (34 carries for 258 yards, 3 TDs)

Dyral McMillan is a name that young Bulls’ fans won’t recognize (like myself), but the old guys remember him dearly.

McMillan was the running back for USF for one season during 1999 after transferring from Miami, but boy did he have a huge impact for the Bulls. He was the first player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season for USF and was stellar for the Green and Gold during the 1999 season.

He had a two great performances back-to-back, starting against New Haven with 258 yards, and 221 yards against Hofstra the next week. Obviously, New Haven isn’t a big name opponent, but with USF being in their third season of football, the team was young and inexperienced.

McMillan brought a sense of veteran leadership to this team after leaving Miami over a dispute over his position (he was going to be the starting fullback).

I can’t find much about this game other than the stat book listing scores of one yard, 17 yards, and three yards.

It also seems like he scored two times in less than 30 seconds towards the end of the game.

#4 Marlon Mack vs Temple 2015 (21 carries for 230 yards, 2 TDs)

My all-time favorite game as a student came on a mild November night.After watching the football program struggle for two seasons then miraculously turn it around early in 2015, reaching bowl eligibility at home in such a fashion was amazing to watch.

Joining the students to rush the field (sorry mom, but I didn’t get arrested) to join the team in celebrating bowl eligibility was a huge turning point in the program in the 2010s.

On this particular night, Mack was unstoppable. He scored on runs of 57 yards, 48 yards and even caught a TD pass. Every time he touched the ball, something good happened.

He averaged 11 yards a rush, 14 yards per catch. If USF wanted a first down, all they needed to do was put it in his hands.

#3 Andre Hall vs UAB 2005 (29 carries for 275 yards, 2 TDs)

Andre Hall was a monster. He set many records for USF and finished with 2,731 yards rushing after only two years.

Against UAB, he set the school record for most rushing yards in a game with 275 yards. It was the Andre Hall show that day and everyone was a witness to it.

Although the Bulls struggled in the first half, Hall and company were able to turn it around in the fourth quarter to beat the Blazers.

He ended up scoring a 63-yard touchdown run to round out his day with a minute left to put the game out of reach and seal his name in the USF record book.

#2 Benjamin Williams vs FAU 2007 (25 carries, 185 yards, 4 TDs)

The magical 2007 season makes an appearance on this list with Benjamin Williams having a record night against FAU.

USF, ranked #6 in the nation at the time, came into Boca Raton coming off an upset over West Virginia and held off the Owls despite four turnovers.

Williams opened up the scoring with a five-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. But FAU hung around, keeping it tied going into halftime. Williams would score again in the third with a powerful nine-yard touchdown run to retake the lead.

Matt Grothe added a touchdown run of his own before Williams broke off his third score of the afternoon, a magical 54-yard run.

He scored his fourth and final rushing touchdown with 30 seconds left in the contest to quell any sort of comeback attempt and put his name in the school record books with the most rushing touchdowns in a game.

The Bulls won the game 35-23 and I think we know what happens a few weeks later #AmarriJacksonDidNOTPushOff.

#1 Marlon Mack vs Western Carolina 2014 (24 carries, 275 yards, 4 TDs)

In his first-ever game as a Bull, true freshman Marlon Mack sealed his name in USF’s record books in two categories.

Mack started his illustrious career with a bang, tying the school record with 275 yards while tying another school record with four TDs.

After struggling to put together any sort of offense in 2013, the script was seemingly flipping in 2014. Despite a slow start and a weather delay, USF scored the most points (36) in the Willie Taggart era.

Mack got his first touchdown as a Bull in the second quarter on a 62-yard touchdown run. His second score was a 60-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter followed by another one shortly afterwards.

His fourthand final touchdown run of the night displayed his patience to wait for a hole to open and 56 yards later he found the end zone.

USF won the game 36-31, and despite the 2014 season being underwhelming, Mack emerged as a bright spot and displayed his future NFL talent week in and week out.

Now to move onto the big boys up front.

Offensive linemen don’t get nearly enough credit for the amount of work they put in and some of the biggest plays in USF history don’t happen without those guys blocking and staying on their assignment.

As mentioned, the top five performances will be done by the unit instead of the individual. The best way to judge a good performance is by how well the running game does, and how many penalties the group accrued.

HONORABLE MENTION

Not necessarily an honorable mention performance, but Thor Jozwiak is an all-around good dude, rocked the best mohawk in the history of mohawks, and my personal favorite offensive linemen we have ever had.

#5 USF vs Syracuse 2005

One of the better performances by a team comes in 2005 when the Bulls traveled up to the Carrier Dome to take on Syracuse.

Andre Hall had a masterful game, collecting 222 yards and three TDs. The rest of the RB did well, gathering 338 yards on the ground this game, and although Pat Jumilste struggled in the passing game going 5/12 for 89 yards, he was only sacked one time the entire game and the offensive line was called for holding once.

The Bulls shutout the Orange 27-0. The offensive linemen this game were LT Theodric Watson, LG Frank Davis, C John Miller, RG Chris Carothers, and RT Walter Walker.

#4 USF vs Temple 2015

A game previously mentioned, Marlon Mack lit up the scoreboard and it was a dominant game by the entire USF offense.

The offensive line bullied the Owl’s defense which included future NFL stars Tyler Matakevich, Hassan Reddick, and Matt Loannidis. The Bulls racked up 556 yards of total offense, with 326 of them coming on the ground.

Quinton Flowers, despite being sacked twice, put up an additional 130 yards of rushing yards. The o-line was also called for holding twice, however they managed a clean sheet in the second half with no holds or sacks given up after halftime.

The offensive linemen this game included LT Kofi Amichia, LG Thor Jozwiak, C Brynar Gudmundsson, RG Dominique Threatt, and RT Mak Djulbegovic. This group may very well have the title of most difficult spelling and pronunciation.

#3 USF vs Western Carolina 2014

Another previously mentioned game, Mack obviously had himself a fantastic record-setting game, but the offensive line deserves a lot of credit this game for setting up running lanes and keeping quarterback Mike White clean.

Although the offense was still stuck in neutral trying to get Power Running set up, the o-line was whistled for holding just once. Mack and company amassed 294 yards on 33 carries, which resulted in 8.9 yards a carry.

They only lost yards on four plays, which is another huge credit for the work the offensive line put in this game.

Future NFL draft pick Austin Reiter led the offensive line at center, to the left of him was Darrell Williams at left tackle and Thor Jozwiak at left guard. To his right, future NFL player Quinterrius Eatmon at right guard, and Brynar Gudmundsson at right tackle.

#2 USF vs Pitt 2001

One of the most important early games in USF history came with an upset of Pitt in Heinz Field.

As mentioned in the top five performances by a QB, Blackwell had a wonderful game leading USF to it’s first major upset, the offensive line had an equally great game. The unit didn’t give up a sack, had one holding call against them, and had one play go for negative yards.

Although the Bulls only gained 100 yards rushing, it was through their protection of Blackwell that he was able to be as dominant through four quarters. USF jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and never looked back, and won the game 35-26.

The offensive line included LT Mike Snellgrove, LG Matt Sparrowhawk, C Alex Herron, RG Jimmy Fitts, and RT Derrick Sarosi.

#1 USF vs C. 2015

Arguably the most dominating performance in the series history, USF capped off the donut year for the Knights by putting them down 44-3 in Orlando.

A game that produced memes and signs that we can laugh about for ages, USF put very little effort into beating C., putting up a modest 455 yards, averaging at least six yards every play. The offensive line never got called for holding, and although Flowers was sacked twice, the line held its own against five or six blitzers and kept Flowers clean during the second half.

The same offensive line against Temple also paved the way this game with LT Kofi Amichia, LG Thor Jozwiak, C Brynar Gudmundsson, RG Dominique Threatt, and RT Mak Djulbegovic.

Sad UCF images can be found here:

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2015/11/26/9805738/ucf-knights-football-winless-0-12-sadness-sad-crying-weeping-happy-thanksgiving

Next time, we will be flipping to the other side of the ball with some incredible defensive linemen performances and linebackers.