The South Florida Bulls “improved” to 1-1 on Saturday night after they defeated the Howard Bison 42-20 in front of an announced crowd of 28,554 inside Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls rushed for six touchdowns—including four straight scoring drives in the second half—to put the game away for good.
After getting whacked by the BYU Cougars to open the season, USF tried to jumpstart the game by hitting a deep shot down the field on the first play from scrimmage. But, in true USF fashion, the Gerry Bohanon throw was intercepted as you could hear 28,000 buttholes pucker up.
Howard took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter behind porous defense by USF, but the Bulls forced two timely turnovers by the Bison and promptly capitalized on them for touchdowns and a 14-7 lead going into halftime.
Another Howard turnover in the third quarter led to USF running back Jaren Mangham’s second rushing score of the night. Mangham now has 18 career rushing touchdowns for the Bulls which is tied with Demetris Murray and Rafael Williams for 8th most all-time.
Clemson transfer running back Michel Dukes scored a pair of rushing touchdown, and Brian Battie’s 60-yard touchdown run put the game away with 11:35 left in the final quarter. Battie finished with 105 yards on the ground—his third career 100-yard game. Redshirt freshman RB K’wan Powell found the end zone for his first touchdown of his career later in the 4th quarter.
Even while creating three turnovers, the USF defense did not look great for the second week in a row. The Bison converted on 9-of-17 third downs, and averaged 5.4 yards per play. Starting linebacker Antonio Grier was held out this week due to a nagging hamstring injury. Defensive backs Daquan Evans, Matt Hill, and Christian Williams also did not play for the Bulls. We’ll know more about their status for Florida as week get deeper into the week.
USF travels to Gainesville to face the Gators next Saturday at 7 p.m.
- WR Xavier Weaver had seven catches for 57 yards. He left the game in the second half after taking a hit across the middle.
- Minnesota transfer LB DJ Gordon led the Bulls with 7 tackles (1.5 TFL). Fellow Gophers transfer Rashad Cheney had six tackles and 0.5 TFL.
- USF finished with 11 TFL, and three sacks.
- Jaelen Stokes, Keeon Terrell, and Jonathan Ross each recorded their first career sack.
- Bohanon finished 17-of-28 for 219 yards and an interception.