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First Quarter Dooms USF in 35-27 Loss at No. 15 BYU

Timmy is QB1.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Brigham Young Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The South Florida Bulls did their best to climb out of a 21-0 hole they dug themselves in the first quarter at No. 15 BYU, but the comeback came up short as they fell 35-27 to the Cougars on Saturday night inside LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.

The Cougars struck early in the first quarter with a touchdown less than two minutes into the game. They tacked on two more touchdowns in the opening quarter with back-to-back 4th and 1 rushing scores by running back Tyler Allgeier.

USF was down 28-6 at halftime, but they did not give up. True freshman quarterback Timmy McClain led the Bulls on a 14-play, 75 yard touchdown drive capped by a 3-yard rushing touchdown by wide receiver Xavier Weaver on 4th and goal.

The Cougars responded quickly as QB Baylor Romney—in for the injured Jaren Hall—connected with his brother, wide receiver Gunner Romney for a 47-yard touchdown to push the lead to 35-13 with 5:40 left in the third quarter. USF then answered with a Jaren Mangham 2-yard touchdown run with 3:03 left in the third quarter.

BYU (4-0) drove the ball down to the USF five, but stalled and had to settle for a field goal. USF defensive tackle Blake Green got a hand on the field goal attempt to give the Bulls life with 14:46 to play in the fourth quarter.

McClain orchestrated a 19-play, 94 yard touchdown drive capped by another Mangham goal-line score to make it a one possession game with 5:41 left. USF’s onside kick attempt went out-of-bounds, and the Cougars were able to run the clock out to escape with the win.

After the first quarter, the Bulls out-scored BYU 27-14 and was able to consistently move the ball on offense with McClain. The bigger problem area for USF (1-3) is how easily the defense got shredded by BYU. The Cougars averaged just under 9 YPP for the game, and registered just one TFL. Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer will need to figure out a way to create more havoc as the Bulls head into conference play.


  • McClain finished his day 17-for-23 for 186 yards. He was 10-for-11 in the second half.
  • Jaren Mangham now has seven rushing touchdowns in his last three games.
  • Xavier Weaver added five catches for 76 yards. He’s on pace to break the USF single-season receiving yards record (879).
  • USF was 4-for-7 on third downs in the second half, including 3-for-3 on fourth downs.