The South Florida Bulls did everything they could on Saturday to upset the No. 24 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats on the road at Nippert Stadium, but the upset bid fell short as the Bulls lost 28-24 in Cincinnati.
In a surprising twist, head coach Jeff Scott took the ball first after winning the coin toss, and the USF offense promptly marched down the field for a touchdown, capped by running back Brian Battie’s 22-yard rush. USF tacked on field goal on their next possession after Bulls’ cornerback Aamaris Brown intercepted Bearcats QB Ben Bryant on their first offensive play.
Coming into Saturday’s game, the Bulls had scored just seven points in the first quarter all season—with 3:16 left in the frame, they had already topped that. A quick UC touchdown cut the USF lead to 10-7 before the quarter ended.
Both teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter, and the Bulls led (!!) 17-14 at halftime. What worked at Florida (controlling the ball, converting third downs) worked extremely well for the Bulls as they held the ball for over 21 minutes in the first half, and went 5-for-8 on third downs.
After a third quarter UC touchdown, USF reclaimed the lead just four seconds in the final quarter when quarterback Gerry Bohanon found wide receiver Xavier Weaver on a 16-yard pass in the end zone.
With Bearcats QB Ben Bryant out of the game in the fourth quarter, they turned to senior running back Charles McClelland, and he helped them take the lead for good on a 35-yard score with 9:24 left.
USF had a promsising final drive that stalled after a swing pass to Battie was stuffed for a loss of four on 4th and 1. On the surface it was bad play call from offensive coordinator Travis Trickett, on a second viewing, it may have been a missed read from Bohanon.
And here’s how it looked in video form pic.twitter.com/ltEssKnPH5— dareksharp (@DarekSharp) October 8, 2022
Either way, the Bulls (1-5, 0-2 AAC) have lost their 10th straight FBS game, and will face Tulane next week at home. The Green Wave beat ECU 24-9 on Saturday.
- Bohanon was 10-for-20 passing for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He added 117 yards on the ground.
- Battie rushed the ball 23 times for 82 yards and a touchdown.
- Weaver had six catches for 94 yards and two scores.
- USF lost center Brad Cecil during the game (status unknown). DT Rashad Cheney (ankle) is likely done for the year.
- The Bulls were 7-for-14 on third down.
- Cincinnati totaled 414 yards on offense and averaged 6.9 yards per play.