The South Florida Bulls got two (2) 100-yard kick off return touchdowns from running back Brian Battie, and still fell 54-42 to No. 20/19 Houston Cougars thanks in large part to another embarrassing performance by the defense and defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer. The loss eliminates USF from bowl eligibility for the third straight year.
USF allowed 646 yards of total offense by the Cougars as Houston averaged over 10 yards per play on their way to their best offensive performance in recent memory. The USF defense is now allowing 485 yards per game at a 7 yards per play clip.
Asked if the defensive coordinator position needs to be re-evaluated after another lackluster game, head coach Jeff Scott had this to say:
.@BullsNathanSBN asks the golden question if #USF needs to look at the defensive coordinator position.— Will Turner (@WTurner247) November 7, 2021
Scott: “We’re banged up. I think anybody watching us play, we’re not able to make plays we need to make in the 2nd half, but we have guys in position. That’s what you look for.
Listen, we don’t call for coaches to be Tarmac’d often, but when we do, it’s for cause. See: Gilbert, Sterlin in the 2017 Birmingham Bowl; Strong, Charlie in 2018 after the Tulane game.
This is one of those times. Spencer’s defense has wasted three kick return touchdown, and a pick-6 in the last four games. The Bulls (2-7, 1-4 AAC) have had halftime leads in the last four games, and have only won one of them. And in that one game, the offense held the ball for 45 minutes, and Temple still averaged over six yards per play. It’s time to say good-bye to the Glenn Spencer era at USF.
Freshman QB Timmy McClain was back in action for the Bulls and threw for a career-high 289 yards, and accounted for three touchdowns. He made chicken salad out of a lot of chicken [poop] to extend plays, and create magic. None more prevalent than his 33-yard touchdown throw to tight end Mitch Brinkman to give USF a 20-12 lead early in the second quarter.
Houston (8-1, 6-0 AAC) QB Clayton Tune threw for 385 yards and three touchdowns. WR Nathaniel Dell caught eight passes for 164 yards and a score. Running back Ta’Zhawn Henry rushed for 130 yards, including a 97-yard touchdown. Fellow running back Alton McCaskill rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns.
USF hosts No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats on Friday. It’s Senior Night for 18 USF players.
- Brian Battie is now the USF all-time record holder for kick off return touchdowns with three.
- Antonio Grier led the Bulls in tackles with 12, and he added a sack and 2.5 TFL.
- McClain’s two interceptions were his first INTs since NC State.
- WR Xavier Weaver caught six passes for 105 yards. It’s a career-high, and his first 100-yard receiving game.
- USF hasn’t won a game in November since 2017.