The University of South Florida Bulls football team was manhandled, outclassed, and outcoached in Thursday night’s 17-7 loss to Temple inside Raymond James Stadium.
With 2:06 left in the game and two timeouts left, the Bulls (4-5, 2-3 AAC) offense took the field to attempt to score to make it a one-possession game. After an incompletion on first down, redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud found tight end Mitchell Wilcox for a four-yard gain and was tackled in bounds. Head coach Charlie Strong didn’t call a timeout. On third down McCloud was sacked for the ninth and final time. Still no timeout.
When asked about not using the timeout Strong said, well, it doesn’t really make sense what Strong said. See for yourself.
“We had it, we felt like that could, you know, get the ball out and then go ahead to move it. I mean, they didn’t, they [the timeouts] don’t have anything to do with them. I mean, you’re down 10, it’s just move the ball.”
The Bulls couldn’t establish the run against a good defense once again on Thursday, and they also lost starting left tackle Donovan Jennings early in the first quarter. They tried to replace him with Jarrett Hopple, and that didn’t work. Then they tried Jeremiah Stafford and that was somehow worse, and went back to Hopple for the final series of the game.
The Owls got on the board late in the second quarter thanks to a 57-yard run from running back Jager Gardner to the USF two-yard line. Three plays later quarterback Todd Centeio found tight end Kenny Yeboah for the score.
Temple (6-3, 3-2 AAC) scored their second touchdown after wide receiver Terrence Horne fumbled and linebacker Sam Franklin scooped it up and ran 39-yards for the touchdown. USF answered back after some good playcalling from first-year offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell when McCloud found receiver Bryce Miller for the 14-yard touchdown pass.
The game was effectively over when on fourth down and Temple punting, USF’s Brock Nichols committed a roughing the kicker penalty, extending the drive for the Owls and killing off over four minutes on the game clock.
USF now must win two of the next three game to become bowl eligible. They face Cincinnati next week, Memphis the following week, and wrap up the season (mercifully) at UCF on Black Friday.
- Birthday boy Mitch Wilcox had five receptions for 55 yards.
- Linebacker Patrick Macon led the team with nine tackles.
- This is the first time the road team has won in the series.
- The Bulls converted 10-of-18 third downs. The defense allowed Temple to convert just 5-of-13.
- Total Yards: USF-286, Temple- 320.
- USF averaged 1.6 yards per rush.
- After rushing for over 500 yards in October, running back Jordan Cronkrite carried the ball eight times for 21 yards.