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USF Puts Scare into No. 5 Cincinnati, Lose 45-28. Glenn Spencer is Still Not Good at His Job

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The offense shows progress. The defense still #NotGreat.

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at South Florida Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

The South Florida Bulls welcomed in the No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats inside Raymond James Stadium on Friday night, and hung with them for three of the four quarters before falling 45-28.

The Bulls (2-8, 1-5 AAC) got the scoring started in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Jaren Mangham after USF and Cincinnati exchanged back-to-back-to-back turnovers.

The Bearcats promptly responded with a touchdown drive of their own capped by 12-yard touchdown run by running back Ryan Montgomery—who was filling in for the injured Jerome Ford.

Then in the second quarter the wheels fell off. The Bearcats scored 17 points while they held USF to to just nine yards of offense in the second frame to pull away going in to halftime. Cincinnati finished the game 506 yards of offense. It’s the fifth time Glenn Spencer’s defense has allowed more than 500 yards in a game this season.

The Bulls responded in the third quarter after Cincinnati (10-0, 6-0 AAC) pushed their lead to 31-7 to start the quarter. USF used a 12-play, 75-yard drive to cut the lead back to 17 with Mangham’s 1-yard plunge. Mangham’s two touchdowns on Friday was the sixth time in 2021 that he’s had two or more scores in a game. He also tied former running back Marlon Mack for second on the single-season rushing touchdown record with 15. The Colorado transfer is just three away from Quinton Flowers’ record of 18 set in 2016.

USF cut the lead to 10 later in the third quarter on 1-play, 80-yard drive after the #Timmy2Jimmy connection hit on a crosser, and the former track star did the rest of the work for the score and his first TD in college. Jimmy Horn Jr. finished with five catches for 108 yards—his second 100-yard game of his career.

After another Bearcat touchdown, USF again cut the lead back to ten midway through the fourth quarter on a 2-yard rushing score by Timmy McClain that capped a 16-play, 98-yard drive. USF’s defense forced a fumble on 4th and goal from the USF 1 to set up the long scoring drive.

The Bulls will travel to New Orleans to face the Tulane Green Wave next Saturday on ESPN+.

Notables

  • Ten seniors were honored on senior night ahead of the game.
  • WR Xavier Weaver had five catches for 64 yards before leaving the game in the 4th quarter with a hamstring injury. RB Brian Battie was cleared to return to the game after getting injured, but was held out.
  • Linebacker Antonio Grier led the Bulls with 14 tackles.
  • Offensively, the Bulls finished 7-for-13 on third down, including 6-for-6 in the second half. The Bulls were 5-for-6 on 3rd and 9+ yards.
  • After getting just 39 first-half yards, the USF offense racked up 307 yards in the second half.
  • Timmy McClain finished 16-for-29 for 245 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.