[These games are played on an Xbox-360 on Heisman with eight minute quarters.]
Here we go. Miami (2-1) at USF (2-0).— Award Winner Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) July 5, 2018
Bulls go with whiteout and tell the fans to wear green. So super, realistic. pic.twitter.com/8nFdtBxmGB
After very nearly getting upset at home two weeks ago by the Florida Atlantic Owls and having a bye week to correct all the mistakes, the USF Bulls made sure they came out firing on all cylinders against the Miami Hurricanes in their week five matchup.
The Bulls jumped ahead early with a clock-eating opening drive that spanned over four minutes. It ended with a touchdown from running back Michael Pierre, his first of two TD’s on the day.
RB Michael Pierre caps off a 14-play, 77 yard drive that ate up over four minutes to give @USFFootball an early 7-0 lead.@_SBench_ : 5-5, 54 yards on the drive.— Award Winner Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) July 5, 2018
Stephen Bravo-Brown: 4 rec, 47 yards.
Bulls 3-3 on third down, including the TD. pic.twitter.com/TNNxjSm6KZ
Unlike the FAU game, quarterback Steven Bench was accurate and careful with the ball on the opening drive. He connected with wide receiver Stephen Bravo-Brown four times, including a critical catch on third and eight to keep the drive alive.
The Hurricanes responded quickly as running back Duke Johnson carved up the USF defense for long runs on consecutive plays, setting up a 12-yard rushing touchdown to tie things at 7-7. Johnson finished the game with 12 carries for 98 yards.
USF responded on the very next drive when Shaw scored from six yards out after two very long runs by Bench on option keepers. The drive gave the Bulls a jolt of energy in the second quarter that bled into the defense’s effort on the next Miami possession.
Defensive end Aaron Lynch sacked UM quarterback Stephen Morris at the USF 40-yard line. The Hurricanes attempted a 57-yard field goal and missed, giving USF great field position and a chance to open up the game further.
Eight plays and 53 yards later, Pierre scored his second touchdown to give USF a 21-7 advantage in the second quarter.
USF linebacker DeDe Lattimore intercepted a screen pass to Johnson inside the USF 20-yard line to thwart one of the better Miami drives of the night. But USF gave the ball right back when Shaw fumbled on the first play of the drive.
With a little over two minutes left before halftime, Miami drove down the field and tacked on a field goal with 1:23 left to cut their deficit to 21-10, which was more than enough time for the Bulls to do more damage.
With less than ten seconds left before the half, Bench finds tight end Sean Price across the middle for yet another USF touchdown and a 28-10 lead. The USF offense was on fire in the first half. They outgained the Hurricanes 322-199, had 18 first downs, and were a perfect 5 for 5 on third down.
Miami’s second half was worse than the first half. They rushed for 113 yards in the first half, but -2 after halftime. Morris threw two more interceptions and they missed on all four third-down conversion attempts.
While the USF offense wasn’t as explosive as the first half, they did get another touchdown when Shaw trucked a would-be tackler and leaped into the end zone to give USF a 35-10 lead.
JALEN SPENCER WITH THE INTERCEPTION.— Award Winner Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) July 5, 2018
The Bulls will take over at the Hurricanes 16-yard line. 3:03 left in the third. pic.twitter.com/DVEEwsaZo6
With under six minutes to play, USF’s second unit came on to finish the game. The Bulls’ first-team defense was stout after the opening drive, allowing just 128 yards through the air and only 47 in the second half. (That’s 45 total yards for Miami in the last two quarters.)
That’ll do it as @USFFootball defeats #Miami 38-10.— Award Winner Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) July 5, 2018
Bench: 21-28, 219 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 7car, 82 yards
Darius Tice: 6 car, 59 yards.
Offense rushes for over 300 yards
Defense sacks Stephen Morris three times and picks him off three times. pic.twitter.com/tbsxjXsL8f
The Bulls will open up American Athletic Conference play versus Cincinnati (3-1) in week six before yet another bye week. The last half of the season is going to suck if injuries pile up.
[Editor’s note: Another thing that should be brought back into the NCAA Football world once the game gets going again is medical redshirts. I’m not sure why they stopped doing it in later versions and I know I’m not the only one who’s been burned by a redshirt senior star getting hurt in week one.]
- The Bulls earned two nonbinding commitments from LG Jared Hopkins and RG Chuck Mann. USF will have three recruits in Tampa for the Cincy game.
- Week five upsets: #5 FSU lost to Boston College 24-21; #7 Texas A&M lost to Arkansas 38-31; #8 Oklahoma State lost to West Virginia 29-13; UF lost to Kentucky 35-23.
- DE Ryne Giddins has 11 tackles on the season, eight TFL, and four sacks
- QB White Mike threw his first interception in the fourth quarter.