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Haiku and Postgame Reaction: USF 25, Illinois 19

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Let us never speak of this again.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Sloppy, ugly game.
Don’t ever do that again,
except for winning.

The South Florida Bulls survived a long list of mistakes, penalties, and other self-inflicted wounds and rallied from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Illinois Fighting Illini 25-19. The Bulls are somehow 3-0, but you’ll never convince anyone that USF played well.

A lot more to come from Chicago and Tampa. Quick postgame nuggets:

  • USF gained 626 yards of total offense. But between bad field position, missed kicks, and ill-timed penalties, somehow this only translated into 25 points.
  • Blake Barnett had the second-most passing yards in a game in USF history. He finished 23 for 40 for 411 yards and two TDs, including the game-winner to Darnell Salomon with 2:24 remaining. He also threw two interceptions, although one was definitely not his fault.
  • Jordan Cronkrite was the primary ball carrier today and had a very good game with 136 yards on 22 attempts, plus a two-yard TD in the first quarter,
  • Although the defense gave up 222 yards rushing, they bottled up the Illini in the second half and gave the offense a chance to finally get on track and win the game. Kevin Kegler and true freshman Tyrone Barber made big sacks down the stretch to help stop Illinois.
  • Randall St. Felix (120 yards) and Mitchell Wilcox (109) each went over 100 yards receiving. Darnell Salomon almost joined them with 95. It would have been the first time USF ever had three 100-yard receivers in the same game.
  • USF had 14 penalties for 124 yards. Some were definitely of the ticky-tack variety, but a lot of them were just plain dumb.
  • The kicking game was nothing short of disastrous. Trent Schneider put his first two kickoffs out of bounds, then proceeded to scuff two punts before Jake Stone relieved him. (Stone almost sent another kickoff out of bounds after USF’s last touchdown, even though the kick came from midfield.) Coby Weiss missed two field goals, including a 44-yarder that didn’t even make it to the crossbar.
  • Illinois running back Mike Epstein had 167 yards from scrimmage and scored the Illini’s only touchdown.