Despite being a 25-point underdog, dealing with COVID, and a massive rebuild, the South Florida Bulls put the fear of God into the Central Florida Golden Knights in their 58-46 loss on Black Friday.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jordan McCloud had the best game of his USF career. He threw for 404 yards, threw four scores, and ran for another to help guide USF to their eighth highest offensive yardage output in program history (676).
McCloud got the scoring started when he found senior WR DeVontres Dukes in the end zone for a 23-yard score with 7:37 left in the first quarter. Dukes tacked on another score in the third quarter. He finished with five catches for 66 yards and the two TDs.
Not to be outdone, slot receiver Bryce Miller caught 11 passes for 121 yards, and two touchdowns to led the Bulls. Randall St. Felix, and Xaiver Weaver both made their presence felt with some very acrobatic catches to extend drives.
On the ground, the tandum of Brain Battie, and Kelley Joiner both went over 100 yards rushing for the day. It was the first time all year USF had a 100-yard rusher.
Seemingly everything offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, Jr. called worked against the awful C. Florida defense. USF scored on six of their final nine drives of the game to keep them in it.
Linebacker Dwayne Boyles recorded his first-career interception in the fourth quarter that directly led to a USF score. He led the Bulls with 13 tackles. Fellow linebackers Andrew Mims (11 tackles, sack), and Antonio Grier (9 tackles, 1.5 TFL) helped a depleted USF defense get some key stops early in the second half to get the Bulls back in the game.
Listen, a loss is a loss. But, you can’t say the taste of this loss isn’t that bad when you compare it with last year’s game in Oviedo. The coaching staff has started to lay the groundwork for the future of the program. The players on the roster are bought into what they are doing, and it finally clicked today.
Yes, C. Florida tied the series 6-6, but would you rather be them or USF right now? The future is bright in Tampa, and we saw what could be for the first time in a long, long time.
- USF’s scout team defense was compromised of eight defenders, a kicker, and two graduate assistants.
- The Bulls were 8-for-15 on third down. C. Florida was 6-for-16. Today was the first time USF converted on at least 50% of their third downs.
- USF had 38 first downs. The Bulls ran 93 plays.