Offense Tops Defense, 56-55, In Exciting Spring Game. Offense scores four touchdowns, Defense posts nine sacks in fast-paced game.
TAMPA, April 14, 2018 – Head Coach Charlie Strong’s Bulls rewarded fans for packing Corbett Stadium by putting on a show on both sides of the ball in Saturday’s USF Spring Game presented by the USF Federal Credit Union.
Quarterbacks Brett Kean (Lakewood, Ohio) and Chris Oladokun (Tampa) both threw a pair of touchdown passes while freshmen receivers Randall St. Felix (Miami) and Zion Roland (St. Petersburg) posted four catches apiece to lead the white team offense to a 56-55 victory over the green team defense in front of 3,452 fans.
Saturday’s game awarded point totals for various achievements on offense and defense (including sacks, tackles for loss and turnovers) instead of splitting up teams and Strong was pleased with the close outcome. The game was fast-paced with a running clock in both halves.
“It was good today that we were able to come out and just compete as well as we competed with offense versus defense,” Strong said. “It was a close score. Early, the defense played very well and then the offense got cranked up and was able to make some throws and catches.”
Coordinator Brian Jean-Mary’s defense also did some damage with an interception by senior safety Jaymon Thomas (Immokalee) on top of racking up nine sacks. Senior end Josh Black (Tampa) led the sack attack with 2.5 trips to the quarterback.
“It’s all about fundamentals and technique,” Strong said. “That’s what you always look for in the spring, where guys get better. You want to make sure each day there’s improvement and we were able to improve.”
USF’s ongoing battle for the starting quarterback job remained close all spring and Saturday was no different.
Brett Kean and Chris Oladokun both finished with 127 passing yards and two touchdowns to help the offense rally past the defense after a slow first quarter.
Kean’s prettiest pass of the day went to junior receiver Darnell Salomon (Miami) for a 43-yard score in the second quarter. Kean, a junior, capped off the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown to junior receiver Tyre McCants (Niceville, Fla.) early in the fourth quarter.
“I think a big thing for this offense is getting in a rhythm,” said Kean, who completed 10 of 17 passes. “I think throughout the game, we got in a rhythm and it showed.”
Oladokun completed 13 of 23 passes and got the scoring started with a 24-yard touchdown strike to running back Jordan Cronkrite (Miami) in the second quarter.
Oladokun, a sophomore, made his play of the day by hitting Randall St. Felix (Miami) with a perfect 31-yard touchdown pass in the front, left corner of the end zone in the third quarter.
St. Felix finished the spring game with a team-high 65 yards on four catches.
Zion Roland (St. Petersburg) also finished with a team-high four catches for 41 yards to end a spring that saw the freshman steadily make progress.
Josh Black led the way with 2.5 sacks and sophomore tackle Mi’Cario Stanley made an impact with a pair of trips to the QB. Spring standout end Kirk Livingstone (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished with 1.5 sacks while Vincent Jackson (Tampa), emerging freshman linebacker Dwayne Boyles Jr. (Miami) and sophomore tackle Kevin Kegler finished with a sack apiece.
Aside from the interception by Thomas, USF’s secondary got a big boost from senior safety Nate Ferguson (Tampa), who led the team with nine total tackles. New weakside linebacker Khalid McGee (Miami) was solid with seven total tackles (five solo).