USF Football

Taylor, Wisconsin Pancake Bulls 49-0 in Season Opener

Jonathan Taylor proved Friday night why he is a Heisman candidate, a sour opener for the hometown Bulls.

The Bulls suffered their worst loss in program history on Friday night, losing 49-0 to the Badgers.

The Badgers started the game with an 8 play, 77-yard drive that was capped with a 37-yard touchdown run by their Heisman candidate running back Jonathan Taylor. That was only the beginning of the onslaught. Taylor would finish the game with 148 total yards and 4 touchdowns.

“No, they did not,” Head Coach Charlie Strong said about whether the Badgers did anything unexpected. “They ran the football. That’s a team that’s going to line up and run the football. You know where they’re going to run it. If you look up front, that’s where they were able to win the game.”

Behind Blake Barnett’s 13-30, 109-yard performance, the Bulls were only able to cross into Badger territory one time late in the 4th quarter when Jordan McCloud checked in. Two interceptions and a fumble recovery for a touchdown didn’t do anything positive for Barnett and the Bulls.

“Offensively, I think we were only able to cross the 50-yard line one time tonight. When you play an opponent like that” Strong said, “you can’t have the mistakes that we had. You can’t have the penalties, the turnovers. The three turnovers were big.”

The only bright spot for the Bulls was Patrick Macon on defense. He racked up 15 total tackles, 1 sack and a forced fumble. In his first game for the Bulls, Macon seemed to be the only one who came to play football on Friday night.

“Macon has practiced well ever since Nico went down,” Strong said. “We knew the type of player we were going to get out of him.”

With another power five opponent next week in Georgia Tech, USF needs to avoid back to back losses. With both teams coming off of blowout losses, GA Tech lost 52-14 on Thursday against 1 Clemson, their week two matchup will be an intriguing one.

“Tonight, will really be a character check for us in the next couple of weeks,” Strong said. “I really think this team has it. Even with the way we were getting beat, there was never a guy pointing fingers. They knew the mistakes we were making; we couldn’t make.”

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