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USF Football Holds On to Beat BYU 27-23 on Homecoming

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USF ran 31 fewer plays, had the ball for 15 fewer minutes, and gained 124 fewer yards...and still won.

Robert Steeg / The Daily Stampede

Senior running back Jordan Cronkrite ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns to help the South Florida Bulls defeat the BYU Cougars 27-23 on Saturday evening in front of announced crowd of over 35,000 fans back in Tampa for homecoming.

“That’s the best feeling [in the locker room] we’ve had since Georgia Tech last year,” punter Trent Schneider said after the game. The Aussie broke his own single-game punt average today with 52.8 yards per punt, including a booming 61-yard punt with just over a minute left in the game.

The Bulls (3-3) didn’t make it easy on themselves as they spotted the Cougars an early 13-0 lead before redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud found tight end Mitchell Wilcox in the end zone for the first USF score of the day.

“[The throw] was not for me,” Wilcox said with a chuckle. “[McCloud] told me after that it wasn’t for me, but I just went and attacked it.”

Wilcox was held off the statsheet last week at UConn mostly due to keeping him in to help block, but he led the USF receivers today with two catches for 52 yards and a score.

McCloud didn’t have his best game, completing just 50% of his passes and he missed wide receiver Eddie McDoom on two throws that should’ve been easy touchdowns. The Plant graduate admitted after the game that his wrist injury is still bothering him, and that he suffered a stinger on the second or third drive of the game.

The Bulls defense recorded six sacks—the most in a game since 2012—and 13 tackles-for-loss. After the Cougars scored to make it a 23-14 lead in the third quarter, USF’s defense didn’t allow another point the rest of the way. BYU’s final five drives of the night: punt, fumble, missed field goal, turnover on downs, turnover on downs.

BYU (2-4) had one final shot to win the game with four seconds left, but backup quarterback Baylor Romney’s heave to the end zone was batted down by Notre Dame transfer Devin Studstill to seal the win.

“I cried,” defensive end Greg Reaves said after the game. “I just put so much into this every day...It’s nice to see the result come to fruition.”

Notables:

  • The Bulls ran 39 plays in the second half—32 were rushes. USF didn’t throw a pass in the fourth quarter.
  • 11 different Bulls recorded a tackle-for-loss.
  • BYU quarterback Jaren Hall finished the game 12-of-19 for 101 yards, and added 76 yards and a score on the ground.
  • Running back Trevon Sands had 10 carries for 63 yards.