If the South Florida Bulls were expecting a dead cat bounce after firing head coach Jeff Scott, they’re going to be disappointed. The Bulls fell 41-23 to the SMU Mustangs on Saturday afternoon in front of a sparse crowd inside Raymond James Stadium.
Led by interim head coach Daniel Da Prato, the Bulls competed in the first half and used a 41-yard field goal from Spencer Shrader to tie the game at 17 with eight seconds left in the first half.
Then the wheels fell off.
A questionable fourth down decision to punt by Da Prato led to a Mustangs (6-4, 4-2 AAC) touchdown, and after a quick three-and-out, and turnover on downs, the Bulls saw themselves down 38-17 going into the fourth quarter.
The defense gave up 553 yards of offense, and allowed 8.1 YPP. Interim defensive coordinator Ernie Sims doesn’t have much time or things to work with to fix a defense that has been awful all season.
USF (1-9, 0-6 AAC) quarterback Katravis Marsh was taken off the field on a stretcher in the fourth quarter after a hit to the head. He finished the day 12-for-31, 178 yards, one touchdown and one interception. True freshman QB Byrum Brown came on in relief of Marsh and threw his first career touchdown with a little over a minute to play in the game.
Running back Brian Battie continues to be a bright spot on offense as he finished the day with 26 carries for 145 yards. He needs just 127 yards over the next two games to crack the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the year. It’s his third straight 100-yard rushing effort, and seventh of his career.
The Bulls are on a short week this week as they travel to Tulsa for a Friday night tilt at 9 p.m.
- WR Xavier Weaver caught four passes for 60 yards and touchdown. His 718 yards this season is 5th all-time by a Bull. With his second quarter TD, he is now tied for fifth for receiving touchdowns in a year (6).
- Freshman RB Jason Albritton scored his first career touchdown in the first quarter.
- TE Jayson Littlejohn also had his first career touchdown in the 4th quarter.