The lone bright spot from the South Florida Football team’s week-one loss to No. 19/17 Wisconsin on Friday night was Oklahoma State transfer LB Patrick Macon, who tallied a whopping 15 total tackles (10 solo), 4.0 TFL, a sack and forced a fumble in the 49-0 Bulls beat down. USF’s season-opening crowd of 46,704 at Raymond James Stadium saw the senior middle linebacker from Memphis, Tenn., post the most tackles in a game for the Bulls since DeDe Lattimore’s 18 stops against Rutgers in 2013.
Junior cornerback KJ Sails, a North Carolina transfer, recovered Macon’s forced fumble while tallying two tackles and darting for a 17 yard punt return. Sails was finally granted his hardship waiver from the NCAA earlier this week, something all USF fans should be elated about. Senior Devin Studstill started at strong safety and tied for second on the team with five tackles in his first game with the Bulls since transferring from Notre Dame.
Following a 55-minute lightning delay, Wisconsin Heisman hopeful Jonathan Taylor’s three touchdown first half helped power the Badgers to a 28-0 lead by the break. While several dropped passes dashed USF’s chances to get its new offense rolling. Taylor’s 37-yard TD run got Wisconsin on the board first. Blake Barnett finished 13 for 30 (43.3%) for 109 yards and two interceptions on the night.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud made his first USF appearance in relief of Barnett. McCloud completed all three pass attempts for 22 yards and rushed for 17 yards on three carries during USF’s final drive that resulted in a missed field goal. McCloud was a breathe of fresh air for the somber fans that remained in garbage time. Kerwin Bell may have to make the move to the Tampa native this week against Georgia Tech if Barnett’s play does not drastically improve.
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